With two 10-floor towers sporting some 450 rooms, a spa, restaurant, boardwalk, six swimming pools and other amenities, the proposed $300 million Pageant Beach hotel will be a “jewel for the community,” according to project architect Mike Stroh.
Mr. Stroh made that remark while presenting the hotel – which would be the largest in the territory – to the Central Planning Authority on Wednesday, encouraging the CPA board to grant outline planning permission for the $300 million development.
Residents who live near the proposed hotel were also at the meeting, characterizing the project as an overdevelopment of the site at the southern tip of Seven Mile Beach, and pushing for the plan to be scaled back.
Attorney James Kennedy, who spoke on behalf of some of the residents, argued that the project’s scope is at the maximum of what’s allowed by the Planning Regulations in terms of size and proximity to the water and other properties.
“While the maximums under the regulations are maximums, they’re not targets,” Mr. Kennedy said.
Residents’ primary concern was about the noise the development would cause for the Poinsettia Condominiums, which are directly north of the site.
Mr. Kennedy also noted that no environmental impact assessment has been conducted, which he said is concerning given the size of the development.
Responding to the noise concern, Mr. Stroh said the swimming pools and party areas will mostly be in a pie-shaped lot between the beach and the towers, which will shield the noise from the condos to the north.
However, condo owner Cathy MacLean said much of the noise affecting her and her neighbors would be coming from trash compactors and a service road where supply trucks will unload food and other provisions.
Mr. Stroh replied that there will be “dense landscape” between the hotel and the condos to mitigate that noise. CPA Chairman A. L. Thompson asked whether a wall between the properties would alleviate the residents’ noise concern, and some of the residents indicated that they were open to discussing that and other ideas with the project’s developers, the Howard Hospitality Group.
HHG Chairman Howard Sitzer, who was at the meeting, said he will take the condo owners’ concerns into account.
However, he bristled at the suggestion from one objector that the site is unsuitable for such a development.
“Then you shouldn’t buy it. I did, and I think it’s perfect,” he said.
Developers and CPA board members did not respond to the concern that an environmental impact assessment has not been conducted, but Director of the Department of Environment Gina Ebanks-Petrie said in June that the “magnitude and scope of the potential impacts really don’t warrant an EIA.”
She said at the time that HHG had met with the Department of Environment before submitting its application and had revised some of the more problematic aspects of the plan.
If the CPA grants outline planning permission – a decision might not be made for about two weeks – another meeting will be scheduled for more details to be hashed out before final approval is granted.