One hundred new rental units will be built on the existing Victoria Row property and surrounding land. *Site plan supplied
One hundred new rental units will be built on the existing Victoria Row property and surrounding land. *Site plan supplied
MONDAY, OCT. 11: I am very pleased to announce that the West End Development Corporation, (WEDCo), has launched its West End Residential Housing Plan. This plan is specifically designed to improve the quality of life for all existing tenants.

WEDCo will construct 100 new rental homes within the lands around the existing Victoria Row. This Development is being constructed in 2 phases to avoid displacing any sitting tenants. Phase 1 will involve the construction of 40 to 50 units on the property adjacent to current Victoria row.  

Upon completion of these new units, the tenants from Victoria and Albert Row will have the first option to move into these units.

Phase 2 will see the existing Victoria and Albert Row demolished to make way for new accommodations that meets today's planning codes and better utilizes the property.

The construction of the remaining 50 - 60 units are to be occupied by other residential WEDCo tenants. Any additional units will first be offered to Bermuda Housing Corporation, (BHC) and then to the general public.

The project is already underway and will break ground over the weeks to come. WEDCo is committed to delivering Phase 1 before the end of the 1st quarter in 2011 and Phase 2 is scheduled to be completed by April 2012.

The new development also includes an extensive infrastructure link from Victoria Row to Dockyard’s Waste Water Treatment Facility. This new connection enables  the entire development to have all of its waste treated at  the recently completed Dockyard Waste Water Treatment Facility.

The total housing project is expected to be completed within 18 months at a cost of $34 million. The construction of the units is pre-engineered and they will be shipped directly to Dockyard and transported to site. These units look and feel like traditional Bermuda housing and have very high efficiency values as they will be a combination of concrete and foam. This technology, the proper treatment of sewage and the use of treated water for flushing is a fitting example of this Government and WEDCo’s commitment to developing the area in an environmentally conscious manner.

The construction material is already tried and proven in Bermuda and there are many locations throughout the island. The units also exceed required hurricane standards and this project was rolled out to WEDCo tenants on July 20th, 2010.

In Summary, the Government and The West End Development Corporation recognized the need to upgrade and develop the residential housing within the lands under WEDCo immediately. Every sitting tenant has and will be afforded the opportunity to move into a new unit.

WEDCo is working with every sitting tenant to ensure they know both “what their role is” and “what WEDCo’s role in bringing this initiative to fruition to the betterment of all parties concerned.

The WEDCo team will continue to make every effort to ensure this transition is as seamless as possible. However, the success of the overall project will require the cooperation and understanding of both parties.

WEDCo is not the Government agency for emergency or affordable housing.

However, WEDCo is committed to developing this cost effective residential housing which is of high quality and to charge fair rents when compared to today’s open rental market.

The plan, while being supported by the Government, is being developed, funded and delivered 100% by WEDCo. “Doing nothing to address the West End housing challenges is not an option”. Yes change will concern some, however, WEDCo is continuing to deliver their mandate which is to develop the West End of the island into a vibrant community that all Bermudians can be a part of and be proud of.