The Department of Infrastructure has announced that it will shortly be re-advertising a major commercial development opportunity on behalf of the Isle of Man Government.
Fresh expressions of interest will be sought to develop the Lord Street and Parade Street sites in lower Douglas.
The Department successfully advertised the sites last year and a preferred bidder was selected on the basis of the bid submitted. However, while the proposed development scheme appeared to offer significant benefits to the Isle of Man economy and to the taxpayer, detailed negotiations revealed procedural issues in respect of revisions to the original bid now required by the preferred bidder.
Consequently, the Department has had to reject the revised bid on the basis that it does not comply with established procurement practices. The development opportunity will be re-advertised in April and interested parties will have up to three months to submit their proposals.
Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne MHK said: ‘It is incredibly disappointing and frustrating that after many months of detailed negotiations we have no option other than to reject the revised bid because the developer’s approach is inconsistent with the procurement process. The only way to be certain that the sites achieve the best possible value for the taxpayer is to start the process again.’
The Minister added: ‘This is an opportunity to develop a prime area in Douglas fronting the inner harbour and marina and close to the main shopping streets. We are seeking to encourage significant new investment in the town to support the Government’s national priority of growing the economy.’