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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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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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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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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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The New York Times: Serenity Point Beach Development

March 23rd, 2010

The New York Times‘ “Breaking Ground” section covers projects, planned or under construction, that include weekend or vacation homes. “Breaking Ground” recently featured Serenity Point.

Serenity Point Beach Club

By Nick Kaye
Published on March 18, 2010

Read the Full Article.

This new development, not far south of Marsh Harbour on the island’s eastern coast, covers 40 gated acres with 24 homes on lots that range from about half an acre to more than one and a half acres. Seven of the lots front the beach; the rest overlook the Atlantic from hills.

After selecting a site, buyers can choose either to have houses designed by the development’s architectural partner — Chancey Design Partnership, based in Tampa, Fla. — or to commission designs independently while adhering to guidelines…

The beach club, which will include an infinity pool, is expected to be completed this year, and a concierge service will arrange for butlers, private chefs, yacht charters and fishing trips.

Schooner Bay Village, an area of restaurants, shops and inns that will also include a marina, is currently under construction adjacent to the development.

Read the Full Article.

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South Abaco Developments on the Move

March 15th, 2010

South Abaco Developments on the Move
The Nassau Tribune
Published Tuesday, March 09, 2010
By Noelle Nicolls

Great Abaco’s south side is primed for a major economic boost with groundbreaking on two beach-side sister developments on the five-mile long Schooner Bay Beach, Abaco.

With the unbroken stretch of beach as a prime draw for potential home owners, Serenity Point has taken measures to ensure a light development footprint.

According to Eric Carey, Bahamas National Trust president, the beach is not only lovely for human activity, it is a prime turtle nesting ground. Hence, “[Serenity Point] has committed to keeping lights off the beach. They have also committed to using as much native vegetation as possible; taking out the few casuarinas that are there. They say they will commit to keeping the dune intact because this beach profile is entirely dependent on this dune being intact,” he said.

The article notes that the same commitments were secured from the neighboring Schooner Bay development, which ensures that this whole area is sustainable and environmentally sound.

In addition to the shared beach, both projects have one major element in common. They are fully self-financed by private investors.

Regarding Serenity Point, the Nihon family has owned large tracks of land in Abaco since the 1960s. Asked about the timing of the development, Mr Nihon II said: “We have a wonderful team, so we are going to gradually grow. It is going to take time, so watch what will happen in the next two or three years.”

Read the full article.

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Millions of Dollars of Investment into Abaco

March 11th, 2010

The Nassau Guardian reported that two government contracts have been given the go ahead, which brings into Abaco and Freeport millions of dollars of investment.

For Abaco, that contract is for the construction of a $19.2 million 64,390 sq.ft. government office complex. Almost 300 construction jobs are likely to result from this project which will also create additional spin off jobs in the economy.

Director of the National Insurance Board, Algernon Cargill, which has financed both the Abaco and Freeport projects, said that the developments represented a sound investment by the national fund.

Abaco and Freeport contracts to bring 100s of jobs
Nassau Guardian
Monday Februray 22, 2010
By Scott Armstrong

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham travelled to Marsh Harbour, Abaco, to witness the signing of the contract to build the new National Insurance Board headquarters, part of a wider plan to kickstart the economy of the area.

At that ceremony he said: “We determined to place this new administrative complex on a green site so as to represent the commencement of the development of a new township in Central Abaco.

“We expect that the concentration of government offices, and hence services in this location will spur the development of commerce making the area the principal point of commerce in Central Abaco.”

Read the full article.

In addition to the government administrative complex, space is allocated for the development of other important public facilities including a police and fire station, a community hospital, a court complex and a public library. Plus, commercial space is set aside to accommodate a bank and other commercial facilities and enterprises.

Keeping with Abaco’s sustainable interests, the new township will have ample, open, green space, with areas reserved for passive enjoyment, as well as recreational activities.

“As Abaco’s economy continues to strengthen and grow I expect that persons from around The Bahamas will continue to come to work and live among us here in Abaco,” said the PM.

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Multi-million dollar Abaco development opens

March 9th, 2010

Serenity Point’s March 6 opening was covered by The Nassau Guardian.

Multi-million dollar Abaco development opens
By Inderia Saunders ~ Guardian Business Reporter
Monday March 08, 2010

Developers of the new multi-million dollar Serenity Point second-home development in Abaco officially opened the community’s gates to prospective buyers over the weekend.

“For decades, we have shared a deep commitment to the growth of the Abacos [and] 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, president of Anco Lands Ltd, during the development’s opening ceremony. “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.”

Read the full article.

In a lively, Bahamian celebration, Serenity Point entertained guests and prospective property buyers with local music, art and food, and offered private tours of the 40-acre gated community situated on Schooner Bay Beach.

Situated just 180 miles off the Florida coast, Serenity Point is easily accessible by daily direct flights to and from the United States into The Abacos at two international airports, and a modern FBO airport for those traveling by private aircraft. With ninety percent of the infrastructure already in place, the project has generated great interest among buyers in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

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