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Abaco’s Development Continues

November 9th, 2010

The latest editions of the Abaconian (PDF) and The Tribune featured lots of exciting news about development in Abaco.

Revised Airport Terminal Plans
Revised airport terminal plans were presented to stakeholders, with a bigger and more expensive terminal than the initial plans. The new airport will be 39,000 square feet, with the terminal accounting for about 32,000 square feet – 10 times the size of the current terminal. It will cost $15 million, an increase of $3 million from the initial plans. The new plans also include 2 restaurants, 4 kiosks, 4 car rental booths, 7 retail areas, and a VIP lounge next to the check-in area. Construction on the terminal starts at the beginning of 2011.

Abaco’s Growth Was Featured at “Business Outlook”
The 7th annual Abaco Business Outlook was held on September 22 on the topic Strengthening Abaco’s Economy. Presenters came from government and the private sectors and all were positive about Abaco’s growth.

  • Plans were revealed for a $12 million shopping mall that will be built near Central Pines in Dundas Town. Construction on the mall will start mid 2011.
  • According to Abaco’s Tourism Minister, Abaco Tourism is working to reduce airfare to Abaco from the United States. He also noted that visitors to Abaco were up 12 percent from the previous year.
  • The Tourism Minister announced that Tourism is employing branding strategy that is designed to set apart each Out Island as its own destination.

Robin Hood’s $30- $40m growth plan
Robin Hood, the popular discount supermarket, has revealed that their expansion plan includes investing a further $30-$40 million over the next four years to expand the retailer’s total Bahamian store portfolio from the current two to six. Sandy Schaefer, in an interview with Tribune Business said, “We’re looking for another four to five acres to build our own shopping center, probably somewhere in the south … Our logical next step will be Abaco.”

Family Islands Transport Enhancement Project launched
The Bahamas Government in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) officially launched the Family Islands Transport Enhancement Project during the opening ceremony for a workshop for stakeholders on October 14. Part of the project includes a technical assistance grant of $37,000 from CDB to facilitate preparation of feasibility studies and designs for new commercial ports in Abaco and a road link between Little and Great Abaco.

Progress continues at Schooner Bay
Phase One of Schooner Bay is well underway. In particular, the excavation of two large basins is complete. One will be used to provide the community fresh water and the other will be used as a composting heap for The Commons (Schooner Bay’s agricultural sector) and residential landscaping. Other developments include the harbor opening to the ocean in Winter 2011, and a local artist, Antonius Roberts is working to develop an art center. He is hoping to create an interest in art and maybe even encourage art tourism in Abaco.

Broad Creek Restoration Project
Friends of the Environment partnered with Dr. Craig Layman and his research team from Florida International University to restore a vital tidal creek and wetland area near Serenity Point. A total of 510 students and adults assisted in reclaiming approximately 28 acres of wetlands that had been fragmented by the road.

This project would not have been possible without the generosity of Ministry of Works, Big Cat, Adele and Timmy McDonald, The Nature Conservancy, Schooner Bay, and Serenity Point. The participation of FIU was made possible through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Overall, excellent, positive news about Abaco’s growth.

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Growth and Prosperity in Abaco

September 15th, 2010

Abaco’s growth and prosperity continue to climb in yet another noteworthy series of development milestones.

Airlift acquisition targets Out Islands
Bahamas Tribune
US-based AvStar Aviation is hoping to open up airlift to Abaco from West Palm Beach by year-end, in a bid to expand the operations of recently-acquired Twin Air Calypso, which has serviced the Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale for more than 50 years … the new service—frequently travelled by West Palm and Abaco residents—could deliver 100 individuals to Abaco four days per week through scheduled service.

Abaco to get community hospital
The Freeport News
The Ministry of Health is placing greater focus on the medical needs of family island patients and plans to construct two new state-of-the-art community hospitals on Abaco and Exuma. The community hospital on Abaco will make it much easier for residents to gain access to medical care and in many cases, avoid having to travel to New Providence.

Maxwell’s Grocery re-opens in Marsh Harbour
Bahama Islands Info
When the popular Maxwell’s Grocery burned down on the night of July 21st 2008 many wondered if this was the end. But on August 13th a brand-new, sparkling, and spacious Maxwell’s re-opened in Marsh Harbour to rave reviews.

38% Crown Land revenue increase
Bahamas Tribune
“The Parcel Information Management System (PIMS) is fully being implemented and will contribute to the efficient functioning of the local land markets in support of private sector development, including facilitation of foreign investment, thereby contributing directly to the objectives of the bank’s strategy for the Bahamas,” the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said. “Geographic profiles of Andros, Inagua and Abaco represent a good point of departure for land use and natural resources management.”

Travel Off the Cuff – Expect the Unexpected on Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island
The Province
Like fly-fishing southern Alberta’s Bow River, flats fishing off Great Abaco, the Bahamas’ third-largest island, is also world class, says avid Calgary fly fisherman Dave Byler … Excellent fishing is just one reason the retired Suncor Energy vice-president and wife Carol decided to invest in emerging Schooner Bay Harbour Village in southern Great Abaco.

Contract signed for architectural design of Marsh Harbour Airport Terminal
Nassau Guardian
Public Works and Transport Minister the Hon. Neko C. Grant signed a $600,000 contract with the Architects Incorporated Company for the architectural design of the Marsh Harbour Airport terminal building and fire/crash facility. The current 3,315 square foot building will be replaced with a new 24,000 square foot single-storey terminal and fire crash facility immediately west of the existing terminal.

Walker’s Cay dream gets green light as Bahamas Investment Authority approves plans
Bahamas Island Info
A multi-million dollar bid to revive the once-famed Walker’s Cay fishing and diving resort, which would create “a minimum” of 200 jobs for Bahamians, has been approved by the Bahamas Investment Authority.

Furniture Plus announces the opening of its beautiful third home in Abaco
Bahama Islands Info
The walls are freshly painted. The furniture boutiques are all in place. Shiny rows of appliances stand at attention. And the doors to the newest Furniture Plus location at Maxwell’s Plaza in Marsh Harbour are open … With all newly-hired Abaconians manning the richly appointed 20,000 square foot showroom and shoppers excitedly streaming in, there is no sign of an economic downturn anywhere to be seen.

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Bahamas Real Estate Ranked Top 20 Globally

September 1st, 2010

Chancey Partnership Design Home: Deck and Pool“A long-term investment in Bahamian real estate is considered one of the best options in the world, as the country is listed as one of the top 20 places to purchase property,” reports Jammal Smith, in the Guardian.

GlobalPropertyGuide.com, one of the largest real estate websites, notes that Bahamian advantages include a “stable economy and government, pro-landlord rental market, minimal property taxation and moderate rental yields.”

The Bahamas is the only Caribbean nation to receive a four-star rating on long-term investments.

The country, renowned for its celebrity crowd, including Shakira, Johnny Depp, John Travolta, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey and Eddie Murphy, reports the most athletes and other famous individuals purchasing homes in the country.

Former President of the Bahamas Real Estate Association William Wong notes that the country is an ideal location for potential home buyers because of its location, “it’s next door to North America and [not far] from New York and Toronto.”

An estimated 200,000 passengers pass through the Marsh Harbour airport every year, and more is expected as the new architectural design and expansion are brought to completion.

The Marsh Harbour airport project follows completion of a new 6,100 ft jet runway, conversion of the original runway into a jet taxi-way, and installation of new signage and lighting.

Infrastructure developments as well as real estate developments continue to stimulate more interest from foreign investors and tourism-related construction projects.

Related articles:
•  The Bahamas Investor

Multi-million Dollar Abaco Development Opens

Investment Incentives for Canadians Buying Luxury Property in the Bahamas

Bahamas and Canada Sign Tax Information Exchange Agreement

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Rare Beachfront Opportunities at Serenity Point

May 4th, 2010

Situated at water’s edge on Schooner Bay Beach, home owners on Beachfront Lots 1 to 7 will enjoy a view that is unique to a fortunate few.

beachfront-sites

Key Aspects of the Beachfront Lots

  • Lot sizes range from 21,041 to 47,391 square feet.
  • Beach frontage per lot ranges from 90 to 112 feet.
  • Residents have direct access to a 200-300 foot wide, 5 mile long beach.
  • Schooner Bay harbour village is a 5-minute stroll away.
  • A stroll to the north brings you to Serenity Point’s full-service Beach Club, then to miles of pristine, untouched beach.

The beach at Serenity Point remains relatively untouched by development, and its beauty and sand quality rival the best known beaches of the islands. The dunes, beachfront and associated vegetation are not only picturesque but form an ecosystem that is critical to the health of the shoreline and the nesting grounds of the island’s turtle population.

Serenity Point’s commitment to the sustainability of Schooner Bay Beach means that the community plan adheres to practices that will best protect the dune and waterline.

  • Lot owners may create a winding path to the beach.
  • Existing vegetation may be minimally trimmed to establish and maintain views.

Owners also benefit from the well-planned nature of this community. Each lot has a proposed driveway location, front and side setback, 2nd story building zone and beach setback.

Serenity Point’s pre-approved architectural and building professionals are available to create custom home designs. Or home site owners may select from pre-approved home plans in Serenity Point’s Builder’s Program.

Preview Lot 4

Exterior Rendering of Lot 4

Exterior Rendering of Lot 4

lot4

For more information on Serenity Point’s beachfront lots download the Full Siteplan (PDF) or visit the Interactive Siteplan.

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Serenity Point and Sustainable Development

April 14th, 2010

Azure Waters and White Sands of Serenity Point, Schooner Bay BeachAbaco is the fastest growing island in the Bahamas and, as such, real estate is a major industry. Many North Americans and Bahamians are drawn to the peaceful, laid-back existence, the absence of traffic jams and the environmentally conscious nature of the island’s residents.

Sustainable development is a major concern on the island, and one that Anco Lands took seriously when undertaking its real estate development. Serenity Point is devoted to preserving the breathtaking beauty of its location; ensuring that the ocean, air and land are natural extensions of the each home; and designing for luxury using best practices in sustainability.

Serenity Point’s architectural guidelines mandate design techniques that significantly reduce energy use and encourage water preservation, such as a 25-thousand gallon rainwater tank for each home site.

Responsible green choices for this low-impact, residential community include:

  • Solar-powered golf cart for each home site
  • Recyclable waste disposal
  • Rainwater holding tanks
  • Low-impact irrigation system
  • Solar-panel-powered clubhouse
  • Indigenous tropical landscaping

Solar-Powered Golf Carts
golf-cartFully charged by the sun, solar-powered carts can run up to three hours. And, of course, with all the sunny days on Abaco, you’ll never run out of juice. Solar-powered carts are carbon free, which means zero greenhouse gases emissions.

Recyclable Waste Disposal
Recycling is the norm for those who understand the effects of non-recyclable waste disposal on our environment. Concern about waste disposal practices for Serenity Point and its surroundings is an important issue to all island residents and local governments.

Rainwater Holding Tanks
Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting and storing rainwater for use as an alternative or supplemental water supply. It is considered the worldover as an energy and water saving environmental enhancement because it reduces reliance on municipal water supplies, reduces storm water runoff, and is great for gardens as it is low in minerals. Serenity Point is building three rain water holding tanks for the community that will collectively hold up to one hundred thousand gallons of water.

Low-impact Irrigation System
Low-impact irrigation systems use smart controllers that either monitor the conditions of the property (such as soil moisture) and set irrigation accordingly, or base the irrigation schedule on pre-set timing or, in more sophisticated models, on weather data received from satellite, radio or internet feeds. In all cases, the system prevents over watering and water waste.

Solar-panel-powered Clubhouse
Solar energy reduces local air pollution, offsets greenhouse gases, and conserves energy. In short, we couldn’t think of a reason not to power the clubhouse with solar power.

Indigenous Tropical Landscaping
Serenity PointOnce established, indigenous grasses and flowers function much like a natural system – they sustain themselves because they are have already adapted to local environmental conditions. In addition, if you let the natural process of indigenous growth happen, the native plants balance the eco-system and control pests, which eliminates the need for pesticide and therefore maintains the water quality at the property by preventing pollutants from entering the water supply.

These are just six of the many steps Serenity Point has taken to protect the environment and to ensure a sustainable development site.

Attention to the environment amongst developers in Abaco is a key differentiating factor for the island, and one that has received attention from residents, visitors and even the prime minister.

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Serenity Point Construction Update

February 3rd, 2010

Serenity Point officially opens on March 6, 2010, and a lot of work has happened since our last construction update.

Initial landscaping commenced in December, and will continue over the next several months.

New Grass

Landscaping Begins at Serenity Point

The water transmission line has been fully installed and received final approval by government. This is feeding our irrigation system and fire hydrants, which are now in place and fully operational. Additionally, the installation of our first 30,000-gallon rainwater holding tank is now completed, with a second 40,000-gallon tank currently under construction.

Putting in Water

The entire electrical grid has been completed, and electricity is now available within all of Serenity Point. As such, our 28 twin-head street lights are now also fully operational. (A standby 150 KW generator is also installed and operational.)

Road Paving

Street Lamps

The roads and drainage are completed, and a final asphalt paving will be applied upon completion of other works.

Roadwork at Serenity Point

Final plans for the construction of the Beach Club House are now completed and approved. Construction of the Club House will commence in early March.

Serenity Point Beach Club

Finally, security guards are now on duty 24 hours a day and the first pod of golf carts are currently on their way to Serenity Point.

Overall, construction is proceeding on pace, our site team is working in good synergy, and, as Serenity Point continues to come to fruition, we are energized by what we see unfolding.

Please stay tuned for further updates!

The Serenity Point Team.

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Building for the Future

December 2nd, 2009

From The Nassau Guardian
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
By Scott Armstrong ~ Guardian Business Editor ~ scott@nasguard.com:

More than $40 million of government contracts representing hundreds of jobs for Bahamians are soon to be decided as bids go in for two major projects in Abaco and Freeport.

Yesterday bids were being submitted by a number of pre-cleared contractors for the chance to build the $25 million National Insurance Board headquarters in Marsh Harbour, Abaco. This is a project which will have several government departments under one large roof.

Algernon Cargill, director of the National Insurance Board, said: “This is a multi-million project which will house several government departments on which we hope to be breaking ground very soon.

“A number of pre-qualified contractors were invited to submit their bids, the next step is for us to evaluate these tenders and then make a recommendation to the Prime Minister’s office, based on the information contained within those bids.

“The benefit of having these different departments in a single complex is greater efficiency, reduced costs, and greater convenience for the public.

“Plus of course before it even opens there is the stimulus to the local economy, this work will represent hundreds of jobs within the construction industry.

“I understand that the Government has plans for major expansion for the town and the Marsh Harbour area and this project is simply the first.”

Bids have also already been submitted to construct an $18 million multi-government department building in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Departments to be housed there include Bahamas Customs, Immigration and Passport officers.

It is hoped that a recommendation to the Prime Minister’s office about the preferred contractor will be made this week.

Read the full article.

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Serenity Point Construction Update

November 10th, 2009

Serenity Point at Schooner Bay Beach is well under development.

Serenity Point’s roads will be fully paved with streetlights fully operational by mid-December.

Curbing the Roads

The planting of beautiful indigenous plants is set to begin in two weeks.

Serenity Point

Construction of Gate House at Serenity Point now completed, with front wall nearing completion.

Serenity Point Construction

Serenity Point hill top lots offer elevated views of the ocean to the east and west on one of the narrowest points on Great Abaco island.

Aerial view of Serenity Point, Schooner Bay Beach

Each home site at Serenity Point will include a solar powered golf cart. The 20,000-acre Abaco National Park is 10 minutes south of Serenity Point, waiting to be explored. The Black Fly Bonefish Beach Club will be located directly adjacent to us at Schooner Bay Village, and has just announced that they will be opening a bar and grill as part of their front pier. The Delphi Club, 3 minutes away, is working closely with Serenity Point to offer daily fishing expeditions to Serenity Point residents. Stay tuned for more updates soon.

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The Abaconian: Where Is Abaco Headed

November 9th, 2009

The Abaconian November 1st editorial by David Ralph notes that despite the sluggish world economy and a slower Bahamian economy, recent and proposed developments on Abaco show a more resilient market and a confidence in the island’s future.

abaconian

Editorial for November 1st

Where Is Abaco Headed

The world’s economy may be sluggish,
The Bahamian economy may be slow.
But for developers looking at Abaco,
The mood seems to be “Let’s go.”

A broad view of the world’s economy is distressing. Businesses are
retrenching, employees are being laid off and homeowners are
defaulting on their mortgages. The big picture is rather bleak.

Yet, here on Abaco the view is somewhat different. Although some
projects have scaled back a bit which is painful to those workers laid
off, we seem to be holding our own. Bankers, developers and government
observers constantly express the view that Abaco is holding its own
better than most of The Bahamas.

Even though some of Abaco’s recent projects may have slowed a bit, the
trend seems to be continued investment and expansion …

Serenity Point, just north of Schooner Bay, is offering ocean front
and interior residential lots on paved roads with utilities in place.
It is well on the way to offering fully serviced lots to the public.

Read the full editorial for November 1.

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