After a prolonged absence, the contractor working on the Baha Mar Resort Casino has returned. The owner of the new facility now has hope that the project will be finished after stalling due to the contractor’s absence. The provisional liquidators that are overseeing the project issued a statement on the matter after representatives of China Construction America (CCA) visited the site last week. The group observed how much work was left to be completed for the $3.5b resort.
After having a falling out with CCA and the Export Import Bank of China (EXIM) the project’s primary financier, the developer, Baha Mar Ltd, filed for Chapter 11 protection with a bankruptcy court of Delaware in June. It was right after that Baha Mar Ltd, captained by Sarkis Izmirlian, decided to sue CCA based on the contractor’s alleged failure to compete the construction project in a timely manner. CCA fired back, claiming they had not been paid by Baha Mar Ltd since the month of February.
The project seems to be slipping from Izmiralian’s control, with the developer trying to convince the bankruptcy court to approve a plan to restructure the construction of the property and void the deal with the CCA, plus void the $72m of what the contractor claims the company owes. A U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. dismissed most of the proceedings on September 15th, leaving it to the Bahamas Supreme Court and provisional liquidators.
On Monday, Izmirlian met with Perry Christie, the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, and the Baha Mar official stated that he was the ‘only hand clapping’ to try and negotiate a resolution in the matter. Christie had an upbeat take on the meeting, claiming that the developer, the contractor and the banker were all working together to resolve their issues and then restart the project, which is reportedly around 97% finished.
With the return of CCA, this is a positive in regards to the construction, but there are at least 120 local companies who are claiming they are owned $74.3 m and they are not going to return to work until they have been paid.