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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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Robb Report: Vacation Homes: Sweet Serenity

November 23rd, 2010

This month’s Robb Report features an article by Bailey S. Barnard about luxury resort developments in South Abaco, including Serenity Point.

The Abaco Islands are downright deserted compared with some Bahamian destinations. But over the last few years, the laid-back Abaco chain—a pristine collection of islands and cays in the northeastern Bahamas, about 200 miles off the coast of Florida—has become one of the Caribbean’s hottest locations for luxury resort developments, the latest of which include three exclusive vacation-home communities.

The newest of the Abacos’ private communities, Serenity Point, overlooks a five-mile stretch of beach on the archipelago’s largest island and hub, Great Abaco. The 40-acre community opened sales earlier this year for its 46 inland, hilltop, ocean-view, and beachfront homesites, which range from about a half acre to more than 1.5 acres and are priced from $230,000 to $1.2 million. Buyers can work with their own architect (following community guidelines) or use one of the island-contemporary designs conceived by Chancey Design Partnership of Tampa, Fla., specifically for Serenity Point.

Read the Full Article.

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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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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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Style At Home: Buying Vacation Property Abroad

August 17th, 2010

This month, StyleAtHome.com is helping readers learn what to consider when buying vacation property abroad through a focus on Serenity Point.

Serenity Point Main Entrance

Read the full article: Style at Home, “Buying vacation property abroad” by Lauren McPhillips.

Buying vacation property abroad

Summers in Canada are associated with cottage life and living by the water — but what happens when summer turns to winter?

A minority of us plow cottage roads or winterize our summer houses, but many of us do a few jaunts to sunny destinations throughout the snowy months, and a growing number of Canadians are actually buying second properties abroad.

The planned community [at Serenity Point in Abaco, Bahamas] is nothing short of fabulous — buying a property here would make anyone feel like they are on an eternal vacation. So whether you’re buying the land for a winter escape or as a retirement property, Serenity Point is a place of relaxation and island-living — a nice departure from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Create your dream home on the beach

Customization is a priority for home owners, and it should be no different for your vacation home.

One of the great things about the homes at Serenity Point is that they are custom designed to your liking. The developers have combined forces with Chancey Design Partnership to allow buyers to design their dream home on the beach. Whether you have a budget or want all the luxuries they have to offer, the designers create a space that works for your lifestyle.

Home Design by Walt Chancey

Equally important when considering buying vacation property abroad is access to amenities.

Serenity Point, a 40-acre gated community on Schooner Bay Beach, offers miles of pristine beach, tennis courts, a club house, a neighboring village full of restaurants and other services, plus all the amenities of home.

Style At Home writer Lauren McPhillips rightly recommends that readers research things like water treatment, internet access, air conditioning, and other needed amenities. Many islands have less than favorable services, but Serenity Point offers all the necessities and plenty of luxuries — personal chefs, bone fishing, pre-arrival shopping service, private golf lessons, and a maid/butler service to name a few.

McPhillips’ 5 Things to Consider When Buying Vacation Property Abroad include:

1. Chose Your Location.
Off the beaten path, with plenty of activities, Abaco is only a 50 minute flight from the coast of Florida, making it a quick escape.

2. Research amenities.
Know what home utilities are available, including internet access, but also consider your day-to-day needs. Abaco’s international airports, international banking services, hospitals, gas stations, markets, and schools make Abaco one of the top 20 global real estate markets.

3. Understand the culture.
For example, on Abaco there is an intense respect for natural resources, “a factor that the Serenity Point developers have taken into consideration through working around vegetation and natural sand dunes when building.”

4. Work within your budget.
Vacation property on Abaco ranges in value on the island from $200,000 USD to $1 million plus. As a luxury property, Serenity Point prices depend on the home site location: beach front, ridge, or hilltop.

5. Maintenance.
Be sure to take into account year-round maintenance care, including the costs of gardening, lawn care, housecleaning and damage control.

Read the full article at StyleAtHome.com for all the details.

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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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The Bahamas Investor: Serenity Point, Great Abaco

June 28th, 2010

Serenity Point was recently covered by The Bahamas Investor.

Serenity Point, Great Abaco
July 2010
By Catherine Boal

Although luxury is obviously a major concern to buyers, the environmental footprint of their homes is also important to a generation of more eco-conscious investors. The company’s responsible attitude toward the local environment and its wish to have the least possible impact on the surrounding natural ecosystems are becoming increasingly attractive selling points.

According to Nihon III, water conservation is particularly important, and the site will feature a comprehensive irrigation system using reservoirs capable of holding up to 100,000 gallons of rain water. Lot owners will also be compelled to keep one 20,000 gallon tank on their properties.

“This will save millions of gallons of water yearly, substantially reducing the energy burden on the government to supply our community with water–an increasingly scarce resource in The Bahamas,” he says.

Developments such as Serenity Point, and neighboring Schooner Bay Village, are part of an overall resurgence currently being enjoyed by Abaco—one of the fastest growing islands in The Bahamas and the country’s third largest economy after New Providence and Grand Bahama.

Private developers and government initiatives are helping to bolster the region, with new projects such as the Delphi Lodge—an upscale bonefish fishing lodge, which opened at the end of 2009—and The Abaco Club, which was bought by luxury hotel chain Ritz-Carlton in 2008, both opening in tandem with a redevelopment of the Marsh Harbour International Airport.

Read the full article.

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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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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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