SPOTLIGHT ON PETER DE SAVARY & CAMPER-NICHOLSON’S PORT LOUIS By Sandra C.A. Ferguson – Citizens in Defence of Grenada’s Lands and Heritage


{The views expressed in this article while bearing resemblance to the late Dave Marsden when alive in Barbados, is purely coincidental. The opinions expressed do not reflect any advertisers nor the staff of Bajan Reporter. Any offense taken, is purely at one’s own thin skin.}

Peter De Savary - Sandra Ferguson's Favourite Drinking Buddy

Peter De Savary - Sandra Ferguson's Favourite Drinking Buddy

Peter De Saviour was in town last week DONATING(?!) land for the Belmont/Springs community centre. Some of we the people might remember that back in 2007 after throwing a fete for the “fellas”, they were traumatized when PDS’ bulldozers move in and demolished the old building that served as community centre and pan house. The Grenada Informer, issue of Friday, February 5th, 2010 carried the story on page 3 – Savvy Grenada Donates Land to Belmont/Springs Community. According to the story, Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Roberts thanked Peter De Savary, chairman of Savvy Grenada for his CONTRIBUTION(?!).

I am puzzled as to why all and sundry seem to think that Peter De Saviour is doing the community a great favour. To the best of my knowledge, every organization and individual whose lands were appropriated by the Port Louis project was paid handsomely. Why should the people of Belmont/Springs be any different? Of course the nature of the facility and the fact that it is “common property” makes it a little different. But that is the role of any Parliamentary representative – to represent the interests of his/her constituents.

Port Louis Development:
With PDS back in the news, on this Independence week-end, it is as good a time as any to reflect on PDS’ Port Louis development. The Port Louis development involves the people’s property – Islander Hill and Pandy beach, Ballast Ground, the Lagoon and Lagoon Park. It was sometime in October 2006 that the NNP administration of Dr. Keith Mitchell announced the EC$1.6 billion Port Louis project to be undertaken by Peter De Savary, an English millionaire(?), to replace the apparently aborted Port George Development of Poole Capital S.A. Minister of Finance, Anthony Boatswain, appeared to be ecstatic when he made the announcement in the 2007 Budget Speech. He told the nation that Grenada was now being referred to as a “millionaires’ playground”. In his Budget Speech 2007, he advised we the people that the Port Louis project would involve the construction of a world class marina in the Lagoon Road area, a modern five star hotel and night life facilities.

Minister Boatswain added, “That is why I am confident that the investors behind the Port Louis Project, the Four Seasons project and the Levera Project will deliver, because they have been tested internationally and have not been found wanting”.

As usual, we the people were “in the dark”. But PDS loved press conferences. And it was at one of these that he announced his plans to relocate the Pandy road leading to the beach because it was in the middle of HIS project. We the people sat up and took notice!!! And started asking questions!!!

· Since when does a private individual, a foreign investor at that, decide to relocate a PUBLIC road?
· How could the road be passing through the middle of HIS property when persons who lived south of the road had freehold title to their property and the property had been in their families for generations?
· Had the Government of Grenada conveyed private lands to Peter De Savary without consultation with these individual owners?
· Was it true that the Ballast Ground, Lagoon and Island Hill properties been conveyed to Peter De Savary for EC$1.00?
· Was it true that Peter De Savary now owned the Lagoon Park and planned to erect a fence and build cottages on the Lagoon?
· Was it true that Peter De Savary now owned the water rights to the Lagoon for 99 years? What would happen to traditional users and local boat owners?
· Was there an Environmental Impact Assessment? Would there be a public consultation on the EIA?
· What about the relocation of persons who lived in the Islander Hill/Mt. Pandy beach area?
· What about persons who had freehold title to certain properties in this area?
· Was it true that fiscal incentives that was granted to Peter De Savary and SUBSEQUENT BUYERS for 20 years? How much revenue was Grenada giving up?

During the year 2007, without any satisfactory answers to these queries by our Ministers of Government and/or the regulatory authority, the Physical Planning and Development Authority, the Port Louis project:

· Dislocated /displaced the persons living in the Islander Hill and Pandy beach areas.

They were relocated in poorly built shacks on the La Sagesse and Beausejour hills and in the Mt. Delice interior without any proper access roads or utilities. When the plight of these persons were brought to the attention of the nation, Port Louis circulated an e-mail of November 6th, 2007 addressed to the then Hon. Brenda Hood clarifying that USD$1.325 had been spent on the relocation of “the squatters”. According to the e-mail, “ Port Louis had contributed an initial $425,000.00 USD. Government had contributed USD$400,000.00 from funds paid to them by Port Louis and Port Louis had subsequently contributed a further USD$500,000.00. To that date (November 7th, 2007), the various installed payments totaled USD$1,325,000.00.
· Undertook the dredging and reclamation of lands in the Ballast Ground area
· Excavated the Islander Hill and undertook dredging and reclamation in the area of excavation.
In respect of reclamation, we the people are still unclear as to
(i) whether the rights for reclamation were given and how these rights were conveyed
(ii) how much did Port Louis pay for these rights
(ii) was an EIA undertaken ? What did the EIA have to say about:
o the reclamation increasing the vulnerability of the Carenage to flooding?
o The destruction of the sand bank which protected the Lagoon area and was also a breeding ground for various fish species. conch and lobsters?
o The impact of reclamation on the channel used by ships coming into the commercial port?
· Undertook the removal of wrecks and other debris particularly in the vicinity of Ross Combined workshop which sold and recycled scrap metal
· Bought the property of a number of the existing property holders – e.g. Ross Combined Workshop
· Constructed a jetty and the Victory Bar and village

Sale of Port Louis Marina to Camper and Nicholson:
Then in December 2007, we the people understood that the Peter De Savary had sold the Port Louis marina to Camper and Nicholson Marina Investments for USD24 million.

A conveyance by which Port Louis conveyed hereditaments to Camper and Nicholson Grenada Limited is recorded in the Deeds and Lands Registry, 1233/2008, on March 7th, 2008, Liber 9-2008, page 706. What is very interesting and confusing is that the consideration recorded on that conveyance was US$2.15 million!

In November 2008, Camper and Nicholson announced a loan of USD 25 million from the international Bank of Nova Scotia to complete the development of the Port Louis marina which would offer 390 berths, 73 of which would be for superyachts.

Agreement with Park Town:
In May 2008, in the throes of an election frenzy, we the people understood that Peter De Saviour had agreed an investment development plan with Park Town PLC of London, England to develop up to 90 luxury villas and apartments, each between 4,000 and 6,000 square feet, overlooking the Port Louis Village and the Camper and Nicholson yacht marina. Port Louis visitors and residents would also benefit from luxury hotel services, signature bars and restaurants, an associated golf course as well as an FBO facility at the Point Salines International Airport. It was around that time that we the people heard allegations that the former car park at the Point Salines international airport had passed to the control of Peter De Saviour. up to now, we still do not know what are the arrangements made with De Saviour.

It was also announced that Nikki Beach, the internationally renowned hotelier and restaurateur, in partnership with the Peter De Savary group, also planned to construct a 6-star resort/ hotel/club with up to 180 rooms and suites within Port Louis.

Willing to Invest More:
Since his May 2008 announcements of agreements with Park Town and Nikki, we the people do not recall many other public statements from Peter De Saviour till his Willing to Invest More front page story in the Grenada Advocate of August 28th, 2009. According to the story, PDS said he was prepared to take more risk and pump more of his money into the struggling local economy . However, for that to happen, i.e. for him to pump more money into the local economy, “a team approach must be initiated through stakeholders like Government, the private sector and the foreign investors.”.
According to the story, Peter De Saviour noted, that “we are lucky with our projects unlike many other companies and developers and investors. We don’t have any debt, so we don’t owe bank any money. We use our own money”, he said.

Notwithstanding these grand declarations, except for the continuing land degradation on the Islander Hill side so that it now looks like an eyesore and tinder box in these dry conditions, we the people have not seen any progress which suggests hotel development. Of course, we are also wondering where is the physical space to accommodate all of those buildings and infrastructure?

Instead of the promised construction, we the people have noted the following advertisements for Grenada’s real estate, clear evidence that Grenada has been accommodating real estate speculators. Perhaps, these advertisements might shed light on why the economy is struggling, whether Peter De Saviour can pump money into the economy and why De Saviour can offer to pump more money into the economy.

Nu Wire Investor Advertisement:
1. Caribbean Super Yacht Marina/Residential/Village Investment Opportunity – February 2009:

A posting of February 8th, 2009 on the website of Nu Wire Investor is quite instructive (reference – Caribbean Super Yacht Marina/Residential/Village Investment Opportunity – ). It is advertising “a private opportunity to invest with Mr. Peter de Savary & Camper & Nicholsons (since 1783) in a marina, residential & resort project in Grenada, the “Last Best Place” in the Caribbean!”

This advertisement provides the following information:
· Bottom line price would be US$15m for both the beach and hill sites;
· Available to interested investors is the initial investment document that outlines the intention and requirements of the fund that is being established to develop the entire Port Louis, Grenada complex.
· The Port Louis project is a truly unique and diverse project built around one of the best natural harbors in the world, offering :
o over 1.1m sq.ft. of development,
o a spectacular Nikki Beach Hotel,
o a comprehensive shopping and retail area in the style of St. Tropez and
o a beautiful gated residential area built on a headland separating the Caribbean’s largest marina and the ocean (Camper & Nicholsons, since 1782, is developing the 400 slip mega/superyacht marina).
· A full and detailed independent report from C.B. Richard Ellis (CBRE) for Port Louis places a value on the land in excess of USD $140,000,000, with a Gross Sell-Out Value of US$865,000,000.

· The CBRE report projects a profit of USD$350m for an investment total of just USD$50m

From this advertisement, it would not seem that De Saviour is planning to pump HIS money into the economy. And it could also tell us how OUR property ( conveyed for EC$1.00) is making the pockets of Peter De Saviour “heavy”!!

Other Advertisements:

The management of Savvy’s took a conscious decision to train local talented chefs. Some of the best executive Chefs from Italy and France came to Grenada to conduct this training.

The management of Savvy’s took a conscious decision to train local talented chefs. Some of the best executive Chefs from Italy and France came to Grenada to conduct this training.

Recall that besides the Port Louis development, four other properties came into the control of Peter De Saviour around the same time. The Nu Wire also carried the following advertisements which were posted in October 2009:
· Luxury villa, Mt. Cinnamon, Pt. Louis Grenada – described as part of the overall Port Louis Development w/marina, beach and CASINO, Grenada. The asking price is USD$550,000

Did Peter De Saviour obtain a licence to establish and operate a casino as part of the Port Louis development? Since when was Mt. Cinnamon, part of the overall Port Louis Development? I do not recall this association being stated anywhere in Savvy’s Grenada Life brochure.
· Mt.Edgecombe Plantation, Grenada Price: USD$687,500 – fractional Co-Ownership – Only 4 Shares – Ideal for Mega Yacht Owners
· Azurra Castle – Offered at USD$675,000. per deeded co-ownership share (4 shares only) or USD$2,750,000; fractional Co-Ownership Coastal West Indies Estate or Whole Ownership


Vanderbilt Hall, located at 41 Mary St, was sold for just under $6 million.

Vanderbilt Hall, located at 41 Mary St, was sold for just under $6 million.

Vanderbilt Hall, Newport, USA:
It would seem that Peter De Saviour’s pockets are once again heavy. The website of the Barnacle carried a press release of November 25th, 2009 – on the purchase of Vanderbilt Hall, a luxury mansion hotel, in Newport, Rhode Island by Peter De Savary’s Vanderbilt Hall LLC. According to Newport Now, www.newport-, Peter De Savary plans to turn his USD $6 million dollar purchase into a private club. Does this sound familiar?

The website carried a story of 8th February 2010, as follows – Peter de Savary unveils new luxury venues. According to this story, Peter De Savary has launched two new properties:
· The Cary Arms is a boutique hotel on Babbacombe Beach in Torquay, Devon, U.K
· Vanderbilt Hall, an all-suite hotel in Newport Rhode Island.
The story also advises that “he will also shortly unveil a five-star hotel in Port Louis, Grenada, where he is overseeing a $500m (£319m) residential and leisure development”.
While we wait to see WHAT Peter De Saviour will deliver as he speculates with our property, we the people ought to be reminded of the following:
· that, to the best of our knowledge, Port Louis, OUR PROPERTY was transferred to Peter De Saviour for EC$1.00 (one dollar).
· Peter De Saviour is a SPECULATOR. To add injury to insult, he obtained an obsence tax exemption package which is applicable to himself and the subsequent purchasers that will purchase property from him – WHAT DOES THE COUNTRY GET for its property?
· the plight of the persons from Mt. Pandy relocated to shacks on the summit of La Sagesse, Beausejour and in Morne Delice. Peter De Saviour claimed that USD$1.325 was spent to relocate 70 families. Was this money actually spent and if so, WHO BENEFITTED?

The question is after three years, what has this “millionaire” speculator DELIVERED to Grenada? WHO has benefitted? WHO IS BENEFITTING?


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