Frequently Asked Questions
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Q. How much is the approved project budget by the Government of Grenada for the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project?
The Kimpton Kawana Bay Project was approved for a budget of US$99.28m on May 3, 2017. This means that the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project was approved to fund US$99.28m through the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Programme. The Government of Grenada also formally reaffirmed the US$99.28m budget on August 17, 2020. The dispute with Grenada centers around the Government’s withdrawal of the long-standing budget approval.
Q. Has the developer of the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project cooperated with government oversight of the funds received and spent in relation to the project?
YES. Since inception and continuing for over four years, the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project has provided detailed quarterly reconciliations of its project escrow accounts to the Government of Grenada. The developer has never received a query by the Government of Grenada on any of these quarterly filings. The developer’s independent auditor, PKF International, also presented statements to the Government confirming all CBI funds have been used properly for the project.
Q. Did the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project run out of money for the development of the project?
NO. In 2019 and 2020, Kimpton Kawana Bay accounted for 55% and 47% respectively of Grenada CBI Section 11 approvals (Approved Real Estate) and development of the project was continuing with revenue from the CBI sales, in addition to existing shareholder equity. The developer would have had sufficient financial resources to finish the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project if the Government had not withdrawn the approved budget to squeeze the project financially.
Q. Have any of the funds received from CBI investors through investment in the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project been misappropriated or used for any purposes other than development of the Project?
NO. Any allegations regarding misappropriation of funds by the developer are ABSOLUTELY FALSE and WITHOUT MERIT. All funds received from CBI investors have been properly used for Kimpton Kawana Bay project costs. This was affirmed in official letters to the CBI Committee by PKF International, Kimpton Kawana Bay’s independent internationally well-respected auditors.
Q. When the Government approved the project budget for Kimpton Kawana Bay did it put any limit on the percentage that could be raised through CBI investment?
NO. The Kimpton Kawana Bay Project budget of US$99.28m was approved in May 2017 and affirmed again in August 2020 (see Question #1). Funds received by CBI investors in the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project were approved to be used for project costs in accordance with the budget.
Q. Since the Government’s approval of the budget of US$99.28 million in May 2017 and reaffirmation in August 2020, has the developer of the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project used CBI funds for categories of costs which were not pre-approved by the Government of Grenada?
NO. The Government of Grenada was provided with an anticipated breakdown of the use of the entire US$99.28m budget as part of its approval process. The developer has also provided quarterly reconciliations of its project escrow accounts to the Government of Grenada which detailed how the money was spent in the previous quarter. The Government raised absolutely no objection to the project costs until the recent arbitrary decision to withdraw the budget approval (with the project almost completed) and squeeze the project financially.
Q. With arbitration commenced against the Government of Grenada, will construction of the project continue?
The Government of Grenada has halted the funding mechanism (CBI sales) for the continued development of the project and is inexplicably seeking to cut the approved budget of the project by almost 50%. As such, the developer must stop continued construction and development of the project at this time.
Q. Was the Government notified by the developer that the Government’s actions would prevent the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project from being completed?
YES. The developer specifically advised the Government that its arbitrary actions threatened the success of the project and provided the Government of Grenada multiple opportunities to correct its position to ensure the success of the Project. The Government of Grenada chose to continue to squeeze the funding mechanism of the Project, which ultimately resulted in the filing of the request for arbitration by the developer.
Q. Why did Mr. Warren Newfield resign as Ambassador-at-Large/Consul General for Grenada, and was the resignation because of an investigation into Kimpton Kawana Bay?
Mr. Warren Newfield resigned his position because of his observations about the Government’s transition from pro-business to anti-business as shown by its dealings with Kimpton Kawana Bay and other actions recently taken by the Government. Mr. Warren Newfield’s resignation had nothing to do with any alleged investigation. There have been recent statements by the Prime Minister and in the Government’s press releases referring to an investigation and the appointment of an auditor to “investigate” Kimpton Kawana Bay, but it is unclear what investigation is being referred to and the developer is unaware of the appointment by the Government of Grenada of any auditor to “investigate” Kimpton Kawana Bay.
Q. Grenada’s Prime Minister has been quoted referring to Mr. Warren Newfield’s ‘third strike’. Had Mr. Warren Newfield been warned by the Government of Grenada that his diplomatic status was in jeopardy or was about to be revoked?
NO, THIS IS A FALSE ALLEGATION. Mr. Warren Newfield resigned on his own terms and did so in light of ongoing troubling Government actions which he could no longer excuse. It also became apparent that the only way to get just treatment from the Government of Grenada would likely involve legal action against the Government.
Q. The Prime Minister of Grenada repeated that Mr. Warren Newfield “attacked” Grenada; is that what was done?
Mr. Warren Newfield certainly did not attack Grenada. It was quite the opposite. In his resignation letter Mr. Warren Newfield clearly spoke to the country’s leadership being transformed into an anti-business regime. Grenada is much more than its leadership. Mr. Warren Newfield’s best intentions for Grenada are clear in his final appeal: “to restore reason and rule of law to the government and bring us back to where progress is possible in Grenada.” The fact that the Prime Minister sees this as an attack on Grenada to justify his abhorrent conduct in the country’s Parliament is another show of misguided leadership.
Q. Many Grenadians have expressed concerns about the “racist sentiments being presented in the Parliament of the country” by the Prime Minister of Grenada. Is this likely to have a negative impact on Grenada’s CBI programme which is meant to welcome investors of all ethnicities?
THE PRIME MINISTER’S STATEMENTS ARE QUITE LIKELY TO DAMAGE INTERNATIONAL PERCEPTION OF GRENADA. It was not only offensive but deeply concerning considering the rights which are supposed to be guaranteed to all citizens of Grenada, including the over 5,000 CBI applicants who have or are obtaining Grenadian citizenship through the CBI programme. It appears from the Prime Minister’s statements that a Grenadian citizen who does not “look like him” does not have the same rights as all other Grenadians.
Q. In recent public statements, the Prime Minister of Grenada has alleged:
- That the developer is now asking for “another 40 something million” and “that is what brought the whole thing down.” Has the developer recently requested an additional 40-something million dollars in any respect?
THE KIMPTON KAWANA BAY PROJECT WAS APPROVED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF GRENADA FOR A BUDGET OF US$99.28 MILLION ON MAY 3, 2017. Approximately US$59 million has been raised to date, and there remains approximately US$40 million to be raised based on the project budget that was approved by the Keith Mitchell led government over 4 years ago. For the most part, the project already had sales in the pipeline to raise the remaining funds needed and to complete the project by 2022, but the government’s squeeze and the Prime Minister’s declared refusal to honour the approved budget for the project has stopped the completion of the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project.
- That “[government] insisted that there must be an account that each investor, the money goes in there and government must have oversight on how these monies are spent” and stated that “at least one individual didn’t up to now signed has not signed on to this”. Has Mr. Warren Newfield refused to have an account for the deposit of all CBI funds or refused to allow Government oversight on project expenditures?
ANOTHER FALSE AND MISLEADING STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER if indeed he is referring to Mr. Warren Newfield. The developer suggested the Government appoint an independent auditor if it had legitimate concern about how CBI funds have been spent. From the commencement of CBI sales in 2017, the developer has maintained escrow accounts at two financial institutions in Grenada into which all CBI funds are paid. Further, the developer of Kimpton Kawana Bay, led by Mr. Warren Newfield, has submitted quarterly bank reconciliations showing receipts and expenditures to both the Ministry of Finance and the CBI Committee for the past 4 years without any objection. Effectively, Kimpton Kawana Bay gave the government oversight on how CBI funds were spent even before legislation was passed toward the end of 2017 requiring this.
- That “in addition we found out that the monies for the CBI instead of going directly to construction was loaned to a company controlled by [Warren Newfield] and he admitted that”. Is this an accurate statement and does this mean that investors’ funds have not gone towards project costs?
This is COMPLETELY FALSE. The company supposedly “controlled” by Mr. Warren Newfield to which the Prime Minister refers is True Blue Services Limited, a sister (affiliate) company of the development company, True Blue Development Limited. Importantly, since commencement of construction of the project in 2017, the Government of Grenada has been fully aware that True Blue Services Limited is the company that, among other things, incurs construction expenditure and other project costs. In fact, the Government of Grenada has for over 4 years exchanged hundreds of informational correspondences with True Blue Services Limited in relation to the construction costs and concessions on import of material for construction of Kimpton Kawana Bay. The developer reiterates that all CBI funds have been used for project costs.
- That “[government] is doing an audit now, PWC” and “an audit is now being done, officially to tell [government] where these monies have gone”. When did PWC start the audit on the Kimpton Kawana Bay project and is there any concern about the outcome of such an audit?
THE DEVELOPER OF KIMPTON KAWANA BAY HAS NOT RECEIVED ANY NOTICE OF PWC OR ANY OTHER AUDITOR COMMENCING AN AUDIT OF THE PROJECT’S FINANCES. That said, the developer has communicated to the Government of Grenada that it welcomes an audit by an independent and qualified auditing firm and has no concerns whatsoever about the outcome of such an audit if ever it is done. Furthermore, the Government has been provided with the letters from the developer’s auditors, PKF, confirming that all expenditures have been properly incurred and that all CBI funds that the developer has received and has been spent on project costs.
Q. Does the developer of Kimpton Kawana Bay have reason to believe that the Grenada CBI Committee intentionally delayed the processing or approval of applications submitted by CBI applicants who invested in the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project?
Unfortunately YES. In addition to unusually prolonged delays in issuances of approvals for CBI applicants who invested in Kimpton Kawana Bay, it was recently confirmed by the CBI Committee, and management at the CBI Unit, that they had taken the decision to “HALT” APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED BY CBI APPLICANTS WHO HAVE INVESTED IN KIMPTON KAWANA BAY. The CBI Committee refuses to say when this unlawful and prejudicial decision was taken and refuses to provide a status of the applications in process for Kimpton Kawana Bay purchasers at the CBI Unit.
Q. Can you identify some of the actions by the Government of Grenada that have damaged the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project?
Yes, these are set out in great detail in our Request for Arbitration against the Government of Grenada (click here), but in addition to the untrue and damaging statements made by the Government of Grenada in the public domain, some of the ongoing, targeted actions by Government include the following:
- The withdrawal of the $99.28 million approved budget originally agreed to by Government of Grenada in 2017 and reaffirmed in 2020,
- The retroactive imposition of limitations of the developer’s use of CBI funds contrary to the Government approved budget and the laws of Grenada, and
- The halting of application processing to final decision for CBI applications currently submitted to the CBI Unit, that has stopped the cash flow for the completion of the Project.
Q. Based on projections, what is the likely economic loss to Grenada if this project cannot continue from this point due to Government actions?
THE ECONOMIC LOSS TO GRENADA IF THE KIMPTON KAWANA BAY PROJECT IS NOT ALLOWED TO BE COMPLETED IS SEVERE. With construction of the fourth and final building accelerating and the outfitting of all buildings continuing, the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project would have employed approximately 200 construction workers. Once open, the hotel was expected to provide 300 direct jobs and the spin-off factor would provide for another 700 indirect jobs. This at a time when Grenada’s unemployment rate remained in excess of 15%, prior to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic being taken into account. If it were allowed to continue to completion, the Kimpton Kawana Bay project would contribute in excess of EC$117m to the Government of Grenada by way of fees, taxes and duties.
Q. How have the public negative statements by the Prime Minister impacted the project?
Distressingly, the baseless government statements implying wrongdoing by the developer have created serious negative perceptions about the Kimpton Kawana Bay Project which inevitably have and will result in a flood of withdrawals by current and potential CBI applicants who intended to invest in the project. The anticipated withdrawals and the lack of new CBI applicants will likely be the death knell for the Project and an unfortunate, self-inflicted setback for the Grenada CBI Programme and for Grenada’s economy. The Government of Grenada has already inflicted significant damage to the project, to its developer, and to CBI and other investors, and the Government must be held accountable for its actions.
Q. Has the CBI Committee been forthcoming about the status of pending CBI applications submitted by Kimpton Kawana Bay CBI applicants?
NO. The CBI Committee has refused to reply to the developer’s repeated requests for updates on the status of CBI applications submitted by Kimpton Kawana Bay CBI applicants. Therefore, we were not able to assess the extent of the harm being done to the Kimpton Kawana Bay CBI applicants. It is very upsetting that the Government of Grenada thought it right to prejudice CBI applicants who have fully complied with the CBI requirements under the laws of Grenada, for reasons that appear to be connected to some misguided perception of the developer of Kimpton Kawana Bay. This is one of the reasons that the developer could wait no longer to take legal action (click here).
Q. If a Kimpton Kawana Bay CBI applicant has any questions in respect of their CBI application, their purchase of a condominium interest in Kimpton Kawana Bay or the status of their Grenada Citizenship who should they contact?
The Kimpton Kawana Bay CBI applicant should contact his or her Local Agent in Grenada.