Big changes are coming to the small, sleepy island of Barbuda. The government has just approved a large new development by actor Robert De Niro and billionaire James Packer on the island, located in the Eastern Caribbean north of Antigua.
De Niro and James Packer’s Crown Resorts have partnered on development deals in the past. For instance, when Crown Resorts paid over $100 million for 20 percent of Nobu, which is owned by De Niro chef Nobu Matsuhisa and film producer Meir Teper.
But of course, not everyone is happy about De Niro’s plans. Neighbors fought the development, which completely transform the island, according to Forbes. However, the team argues that the project will revitalize Barbuda stunted economic growth.
“Once they start construction of the hotel (phase one is 77 rooms, a spa and four restaurants), then they would have access to an additional 140 acres, within but no later than 36 months,” Ambassador Gilbert Boustany said in a statement. “They will have a beautification project for Barbuda, where they are in process now of creating a donkey sanitary, and refurbishment of the Government house to be used as a museum. Paradise Found also offered to have a Sustainable Development Plan done for Barbuda at their cost.” [Forbes] – Christopher Cameron