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South Abaco Development Growth Linked to Stable Economy

February 10th, 2011

Residential and commercial real estate developments in South Abaco have expanded steadily over the past two years. Despite the residual effects of the global economic and financial downturn, The Bahamas’ domestic economic conditions stabilized during 2010, with the economy expected to grow by 2% to 2.5% in 2011, according to Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham, in his address to the 2011 Bahamas Business Outlook.

The past year clearly demonstrated South Abaco as an environment favorable to the strengthening and diversification of the nation’s economy:

With 90% of its infrastructure complete, Serenity Point’s environmentally friendly residential community is one of the many success stories of economic growth in South Abaco:

The community is designed for luxury using the latest in sustainable technology, with features such as:

  • Design techniques that save energy and preserve water
  • Solar-powered golf carts
  • Indigenous tropical landscaping

OceanHome Magazine highlighted Serenity Point as a Development of the Month, Publisher’s Choice. And The Bahamas Investor covered Serenity Point’s development as an example of the resurgence currently being enjoyed by Abaco—one of the fastest growing islands in The Bahamas.

With work steadily underway at Serenity Point and the neighbouring commercial center of Schooner Bay Village, the community is looking forward to another year of growth and prosperity in South Abaco.

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The Abaconian: Serenity Point’s Infrastructure is 90% Complete

February 3rd, 2011

Jennifer Hudson’s article in the December 15th issue of the Abaconian features Serenity Point’s builder’s program and notes that 90% of the infrastructure is already in place.

The high-end development of Serenity Point will offer its residents world-class facilities and, with the Builder’s Programme, homeowners have the option to either use their own architectural service and builder or engage the services of the pre-certified partners such as Chancey Design Partnership or Ryan Archer, a local partner on Abaco.

Mr. Walton Chancey, architect and managing partner of Chancey Designs, and his interior designer wife explained, “We promote a more contemporary design for how we live today. People are buying the view so we believe that the homes should be open with lots of glass tying the outdoors with the indoors … When second homeowners are in the market for a new home, they need the assurance that someone responsible is overseeing their entire project. We can provide that for them.”

The Serenity Point builder’s program package is available to parties interested in building a home at Serenity Point and features a variety of home options depending on the location within the community.

Read the Full Article [PDF Page 27].

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The Abaconian: South Abaco Growth Is Taking Off

January 17th, 2011

The December 15th Abaconian featured an article by Canishka Alexander about Serenity Point’s November 26 Open House and how Gustaf Hernqvist, senior sales and marketing director for Serenity Point, sees South Abaco’s future.

In general, South Abaco is an area that is really taking off, Gustaf said, as he listed the names of Schooner Bay and Delphi Club Fishing Lodge as well. “You’re looking at Schooner Bay, and they’re feeling that same enthusiasm. You’re looking at Delphi Lodge, which is obviously not a real estate development, but it’s business in general, and they are getting a lot more bookings. It’s just a positive feeling on Abaco,” he beamed. “Some things people may not like and so on, but at the end of the day there’s investment confidence, and that’s what we’re really looking for.”

“Our Open House is a bit of a reflection on that positive energy that we sense is coming out now,” he stated. “I get the same comments from everyone that things are really starting to move.”

Read the Full Article [PDF Page 18].

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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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Road less traveled: Abaco Islands

August 11th, 2010

The latest mention of Serenity Point appeared over the weekend in Road less traveled: Abaco Islands: Where Bahama mamas and papas go to relax by Ruth Bashinsky (NY Daily News, Sunday, August 8th 2010).

South Abaco Shoreline

Abaco, the third largest island in the Bahamas and the sailing capital of the world, is a prime destination for Bahamians looking to relax.

The 120-mile-long coastline, 20,000-acre nature preserve, and 17 Blue Holes makes Abaco a perfect destination for boaters, scuba divers, snorkelers, fishing enthusiasts, bird lovers and beachgoers. There is no shortage of short-term rentals, but for seasonal residents, second-home buyers and those looking for a permanent home in a safe, relaxed environment, South Abaco is a prime real estate location.

In addition to  Abaco Club on Winding Bay, a Ritz Carlton facility,  The Delphi Club, a new luxury bone-fishing lodge built in the style of an 18th-century plantation, and Schooner Bay Village, an urban, eco-friendly harbor village, there is Serenity Point.

Serenity Point Main Road

Another project gaining attention is the eco-friendly Serenity Point, a private beachfront community located on Schooner Bay Beach and developed by Canadian real estate magnate Alexis Nihon 2nd.  The multimillion dollar project includes 46 homesites built on beach, ridge or hilltop sites that start at $230,000. The exclusive community not only offers spectacular sunrise and sunset views but, a full-service beach clubhouse, an infinity pool, tennis courts and a concierge service that include private chefs, butlers, yacht charters and fishing trips.

Read the Full Article…

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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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The Abaconian: Serenity Point Holds Grand Opening

March 25th, 2010

Serenity Point’s opening was recently covered by The Abaconian. The article was written by Jennifer Hudson, one of our blog contributors.

Serenity Point Holds Grand Opening
By Jennifer Hudson
Monday March 15, 2010

Serenity Point…officially opened to prospective buyers at a gala celebration on March 6.

Invited guests…gathered on Serenity Point’s incredibly beautiful beach to enjoy a selection of refreshments with an island flavour and to learn more about this new development.

On arrival, guests were driven by golf cart along the impressive royal palm lined drive to the highest point of the property where they were offered a celebratory glass of champagne. The view from this point was already spectacular but the opportunity was offered to climb a lookout which gave an even more breathtaking view of the entire bay with its white sand and water which deepened from a light aquamarine to an intense azure highlighted by the pure white spume of some gently rolling waves. This is the view which will be enjoyed from the second floor of the homes to be built on the site.

A welcome to the development and an introduction to the Nihon family was given by Gustav Hernqvist, Senior Sales and Marketing Director for Serenity Point.

“This area is really starting to take off,” he said. “We have 24 lots available now and Phase 2 will be opening up very soon. This private community is right next door to the 220-acre development of Schooner Village which will be a self-contained community with 50 retail establishments, a clinic and a school and will be an excellent neighbour for Serenity Point.”

Hudson also mentions that one of the guests that she spoke to, an architect from Nassau who owns a second home in Treasure Cay, said that he would be interested in owning a home in Serenity Point. “The development has everything going for it – remoteness, being able to get away from it all, small size of the development and beautiful beach,” he stated.

Download the Full Article (PDF)

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Serenity Point Opens

March 19th, 2010

Many thanks to more than 100 special guests who attended our opening day celebration at Serenity Point on Saturday, March 6th.

Festivities took place from 1-4 pm on a gorgeous Bahamian day. Guests arrived through the main entrance and were taken by golf cart to the hilltop home sites to enjoy a reception with hors d’oeuvres and champagne. They delighted in scenic views from three viewing towers Serenity Point constructed to simulate the vantage points home buyers would experience in a typical home design.

With tours of the hilltop, ridge and beach front home sites complete, guests made their way down to the beach to experience some local flavors in music, art and food.


Along the pathways to the beach, Walt and Sandra Chancey of Chancey Design Partnership displayed various artist renderings and home designs, along with interior design materials and color palettes.

Passing along the beachfront home sites, guests were served conch salad and various cocktails in coconut-cups to enjoy while mingling on Schooner Bay Beach. (It was lovely to hear one guest proclaim they had never seen sand like this, “it’s like sugar!”.)

Alexis Nihon II, president of Anco Lands Ltd, and Gustaf Hernqvist, Senior Sales and Marketing Director, addressed the guests.

“For decades, we have shared a deep commitment to the growth of the Abacos. Today, Great Abaco continues to emerge as a highly coveted destination, for both real estate and tourism, and we are thrilled to contribute to the fabric of this island’s prosperity,” said Alexis Nihon II.

“Our goal is to capture the natural beauty of this spectacular location and create an exclusive community that offers residents the ultimate family retreat and long-term value,” continued Nihon.

In attendance were local businessmen, government officials, real estate agents, local and international press and prospective buyers from the Bahamas, North America and Europe.

The party wrapped up with a surprise junkanoo parade. Junkanoo dancers, singers and musicians made their way down from the hilltop to the beach where we enjoyed the revelry and Bahamian hospitality.

See more pictures of the event.

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Chinese Investors Eye Agriculture in Abaco

March 4th, 2010

A couple of months ago a delegation from China’s Shandong International Economic and Technical Cooperation Corporation and Shandong Hi-Speed Qila Build Group visited Abaco to finalize their plans for large–scale agriculture development on the island.

The Bahamas offers attractive features to the Chinese investors: a stable democratic environment, relief from personal and corporate income taxes, timely repatriation of corporate profits, proximity to the US with extensive air and telecommunications links, and a good pool of skilled professional workers.

The Government of The Bahamas has traditionally focused on foreign investment in tourism and banking, and it recently extended that interest to alternative energy, agricultural, and industrial investments.

The Chinese investment of millions of dollars will help boost production of locally grown produce – a move the government says would see food prices drop dramatically and create high-tech jobs for many Bahamians.

Bahamaislandsinfo.com reported the original story of the Chinese visit and their letter of intent to do large-scale farming in Abaco.

A team of experts from China’s agriculture-based Shandong Province visited Abaco last weekend to take soil and water samples and do further scientific studies to determine the capability of the land. They were hosted by Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) which owns about 10,500 acres of farm land in central and north Abaco.

Abaco has been home to a number of successful fruit and vegetables farms, and further canneries, factories, packing houses and facilities could be developed to complement food production as the project unfolds.

The article continued with a quote by Mr. Jingping of China’s Shandong International Economic and Technical Cooperation Corporation and Shandong Hi-Speed Qila Build Group:

“Abaco land is very beautiful,” said Mr Jingping through an interpreter. “It is beyond my imagination.”

The Chinese delegation visited farm sites, the Big Bird chicken operation, the ports, the proposed craft center and farmers’ market site, and the Treasure Cay Resort.

“We had a fruitful visit,” said Mr Key, the Member of Parliament for South Abaco. “They are talking about a very large project.”

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