THURSDAY, JANUARY 24: Government today announced that historic Dockyard buildings Victoria and Albert Row won’t be demolished.

Public Works Minister Trevor Moniz said the WEDCO infrastructure and housing project in Dockyard has been modified with both buildings being retained and money being saved.

Last year, former Public Works Minister Michael Weeks announced plans to demolish the buildings and erect 100 new housing units.

At a press conference, Mr Moniz said when the Government was the opposition, they campaigned against the project and said there was “little justification” for the new housing units.

“However, taking into consideration that the project was already well advanced – with significant costs and commitments already authorized, the Ministry of Public Works has made the decision to immediately stop further production of any new units," he said.

“To date there are approximately 32 pre-fabricated units completed by the manufacturer.

“Of the 32 units, 16 apartments or 4 new structures are to be erected on the property near to the front of the Albert Row building.

“The tenants of Victoria and Albert Row will be relocated between the 16 new units as well as at other WEDCO accommodations.”

He continued: “As a Government, I just wanted to say that we have listened to the people of Bermuda in taking this decision which now ensures two significant Historical sites will be saved from demolition. 

“The Albert and Victoria Buildings are the last remaining example of housing that were built for Dockyard tradesmen or artisans and their families and is reminiscent of the Dockyards British roots. 

“Although there is no currently defined plan or timeline, it is our intention to restore both Albert and Victoria Row properties in due course.”

Mr Moniz said the original project was due to cost $36 million.

The new project will save taxpayers $11 million.

The first set of houses is expected to be completed by April or May.