Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 20th 2014 Contents Two investment groups announced plans Monday
to invest a combined total of more than $460 million
in separate acquisitions that will significantly strengthen
Puerto Rico s status as a high-end luxury resort des-
New York investment firm Paulson & Company said
it would invest US$260 million to create two high-end
luxury resorts in the heart of San Juan s Condado
district. The firm s plans for the historic Condado Van-
derbilt and La Concha Renaissance Hotel, and the
adjoining Condado Vanderbilt condominiums will fill
an important niche in Puerto Rico s tourism industry
by bringing world-class luxury to the popular Condado
In an unrelated announcement, the Encanto Group
said it would invest US$200 million to develop a world-
class beach and marina community on the island s east
coast. The firm, which has operations in Puerto Rico
and the mainland United States, acquired the Punta
Candelero Beach Resort and the Marina at Palmas del
Mar, about 45 minutes from San Juan.
The acquisition includes the Solarea Beach Resort
luxury condominiums, The Yacht Club Marina and 24
additional acres of waterfront slated for future devel-
The two deals, which were facilitated by Puerto
Rico s Department of Commerce and Economic Devel-
opment (DDEC), provide more evidence that Puerto
Rico s economic development efforts are paying off as
the island s economy rebounds.
The Condado Vanderbilt was the epitome of luxury
and the envy of the entire Caribbean when it opened
in 1919. John Paulson, the founder of Paulson & Com-
pany, said he intends to make the hotel the most lux-
urious in San Juan. The Condado Vanderbilt is in heart
of Condado, the epicenter of luxury in Puerto Rico and
home to designer stores, fine dining restaurants and
upscale apartment buildings.
In Palmas del Mar, the completion of The Yacht
Club Marina, scheduled for May 2014, will create Puerto
Rico s only resort-marina, with 158 boat slips, including
40 designed for yachts of up to 175 feet. The project
is also expected to generate about 400 jobs.
The Paulson & Company s investment in the Condado
properties follows the firm s investment last year in
the St Regis Bahia Beach Resort and the Bahia Beach
Resort & Gold Club. The planned community, located
about 25 minutes from San Juan s airport, includes two
miles of pristine beach and an 18-hole golf course
designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.
Baco and his team at DDEC have worked closely
with the firm to facilitate Paulson & Company s invest-
ments in Puerto Rico, which are expected to total as
much as US$2 billion by the end of 2015.
Tourism is one of several key sectors that DDEC has
targeted as growth opportunities to jump-start Puerto
Rico s economy. The sector has remained strong
throughout the recent recession and is on a growth
trajectory, aided by new hotels, an increase in cruise
ship passengers and new nonstop airline service to the
US, South America and Europe.
The economic development agency, which closely
tracks private sector investment and hiring activity,
reported last month that new investments and planned
expansions at existing businesses have resulted in private
sector commitments to add more than 21,000 jobs, a
50 per cent increase over the outlooks last summer.
(Caribbean News Digital)
MARCH 2014 • WEEK THREE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
REGIONAL | BG13
Luxury hotels add
Danny Roberts, the head of the Hugh Lawson
Shearer Trade Union Education Institute, says
the public sector wage freeze that was imple-
mented last year could go beyond the next
In 2013, some public sector workers and
their unions signed a wage freeze until 2016,
however, the government agreed to adjust wages
through promotions and other incentives.
The wage restraint is part of the conditions
under the agreement with the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) to contain spending. But
Roberts says if the structural reforms under
the IMF agreement are not achieved over the
next three years, there is a likelihood public
sector workers will have to consider an extension
of the current wage freeze.
"Well, the possibility exists that if the econ-
omy doesn t grow as one of the conditions set
out in the IMF agreement, that we will be faced
with the challenge of declining revenue and
increasing expenditure. So some of the rules
as set out in the IMF agreement could be threat-
ened if the economy doesn t grow sufficiently
for us to be able repay the loan and to offer
public sector workers a wage increase," he said.
According to Roberts, unions may also have
to consider the possibility of retrenchment of
thousands of public servants at the end of the
He said the public sector wage freeze has
broken the connection between improved per-
formance and more pay as too often workers
become complacent in periods of crisis.
"There is a general tendency to believe that
the government s responsibility is to grow the
economy and that we simply do nothing and
watch them either succeed or fail. I am calling
on public sector workers in particular to play
a more activist role to add their voices to the call to the
need for us to have a comprehensive growth strategy,"
Last year, public sector workers agreed not to seek a
wage increase until 2016.
The agreement will not prevent civil servants getting
increased wages through promotions and performance
incentives, however. (Caribbean360)
Jamaica public sector wage
freeze could be extended
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