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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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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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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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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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Destination Abaco: Marsh Harbour

March 10th, 2010

Destination Abaco is a new magazine serving as the official guide to Abaco, Bahamas. Its February-July 2010 issue features an article by Jennifer Hudson, one of our blog contributors.

Serenity Point, Schooner Bay Beach

Marsh Harbour and its Southern Environs

Approximately twenty-five miles south of Marsh Harbour on the Atlantic side of the island work has begun on two more major developments. Serenity Point is planned as a private community for the discerning home-owner. It sits at the water’s edge on Schooner Bay, a beach which has been deemed “phenomenal” by Conde Nast Traveller. Home-owners will enjoy an infinity pool, lush indigenous landscaping, a full service beach clubhouse, tennis courts and a host of luxury lifestyle services. Of the twenty-four home sites, seven are on the beach and the remainder are hilltop or elevated with beach views. This development is directly adjacent to the amenity-rich, authentic harbour village of Schooner Bay which is currently underway.

The site of the Schooner Bay Development offers the only harbour opportunities on the Atlantic coast for twenty miles in either direction and boasts sweeping views of the ocean. Schooner Bay has been planned as a model for the future growth of Abaco, redirecting the trend from sprawl towards environmental and community responsibility. It will meet the highest standards of sustainability with beach buffers and landscaping using natural species.

Hudson also mentions that “tucked away off the beaten track just north of Serenity Point is the hidden treasure of the luxurious Delphi Lodge,” which offers a great experience for fishermen looking to fish the world-class bone fishing flats of the Marls and Cherokee Sound.

This area of Abaco, between Serenity Point, and Delphi Lodge, caters to non-fishers too who can enjoy beachcombing the incredible white sand beaches, snorkeling, bird watching, or just relaxing and watching the beautiful sunsets.

In closing, Hudson adds, “these new developments will offer Bahamians, second homeowners and visitors even more options for island living than ever before.”

Read the full article.

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Globe and Mail: Builders on the Beach

February 26th, 2010

Canadians are flocking to the Bahamas in a growing demand for luxury sand-side digs. What’s hot right now is a winter—or even year-round—mini-palace in the Bahamas. The Globe and Mail recently featured Serenity Point.

Serenity Point Beach Club

by Terrence Belford
Published on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010

Read the Full Article.

Why this sudden interest in the Bahamas, that chain of 130 large and small islands just off the coast of south Florida? Two chief reasons, say the developers: lifestyle and taxes.

Taxes first: Anyone who qualifies as a resident from Canada or several European countries under taxation laws in both the Bahamas and their own home country are exempt from income taxes on money earned in the Bahamas. Perhaps even more important, they are exempt from taxes on interest income from most places in the world, says Mr. Kosoy [chairman of the Sterling companies], who is now a Bahamian resident himself.

As for lifestyle, Mr. Brennan [of Toronto’s JF brennan Design/Build], who has had an office in Palm Beach as well as Toronto for almost two decades, says Florida’s sparkle has been tarnished for the very well-to-do.

“It has become so commercial,” he says. “The Bahamas, however, offers the lifestyle you could enjoy in Florida 40 years ago. You can have a home right on the beach and enjoy some seclusion not surrounded by traffic.”

Aerial View of Marsh Harbour

Read the Full Article.

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OceanHome: Development of the Month, Publisher’s Choice

February 24th, 2010

oceanhome

OceanHome magazine calls Serenity Point the Development of the Month, Publisher’s Choice.

Serenity Point, Abaco, Bahamas: Interview with Alexis G. Nihon, Vice-President of Anco Lands Ltd.
Published February 19, 2010

Serenity Point is a luxury real estate development on Abaco with 24 occeanfront and ocean view home sites available.

We want this community to represent a highly desirable location for second homeowners also searching for a sound investment in the Caribbean right now. To that end, we’re creating a very high-quality product with significant growth potential built into it.

What we are offering will appeal to buyers looking for significant value, strong appreciation potential and, of course, a glorious lifestyle.

Serenity Point’s official launch is March 6. Contact a representative regarding the homesites, Builder’s Program and launch through the contact form. Or visit the website for an overview.

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Ask a Local: Bill Albury, Estate Agent

February 22nd, 2010

Bill-AlburyAsk a Local is a new series in our blog that looks at life in Abaco. Today’s local is Bill Albury, Estate Agent, Damianos Sotheby’s.

Bill Albury is a fifth generation Bahamian who has spent his entire life in the Bahamas. In 1999, after visiting the Abacos for more than 20 years, he slowly divested of his Nassau businesses and moved his family to Marsh Harbour. We started our interview by asking Bill about moving from the big city to Abaco.

Serenity Point: Bill, you were running successful businesses in Nassau and had established a base of contacts and support, what inspired your move from Nassau to Abaco?

Bill: I was drawn to Abaco for the still unspoiled beauty of the Islands and its people. Nassau has become far too commercial, congested and developed for an island of its size. The people have also lost touch with their “roots” and what made us such a warm and friendly nation.

Marsh Harbour SunsetSerenity Ponit: As a 5th generation Bahamian, tell us a little about your family and what brought them to the Bahamas.

Bill: My Dad’s family migrated from England originally and settled in Harbour Island, Eleuthera. Harbour Island (or “Briland” as it is called) was the home of the original Capital (Dunmore Town) of the Bahamas. That was five generations ago and our family home (The Battery) still stands perched on a hill overlooking the bay.

Shipping was the pursuit of my Grandfather and he would import and export goods between the Islands and the United States. The love for the sea has passed down through the generations and is still my passion today.

Serenity Point: We noticed in your agent bio on the SIR Bahamas site that you’re also passionate about sports, rugby and football in particular. So much so that you’re a founding member of Bahamas American Football Association?

Bill: Yes, the Bahamas originally being a British Colony, until achieving Independence in ’73, brought much British influence to our shores. We were taught in school by very proper-speaking English teachers, and our sporting activities were likewise of British origin. So cricket, soccer and rugby were the games of choice.

I took a liking to contact sports in later years and gravitated to rugby. This eventually evolved (many years later) into a few of my friends playing around with the idea of American football. This quickly gained traction, as we were being influenced more and more by our American neighbors and US television. So the Bahamas American Football Association was born with three teams, and it reached a peak of six teams five years later.

With corporate sponsorships and the likes kicking in, we were able to bring in coaches and mentors from major universities and even the Pros. The highlight of our achievement was when three players from our league were invited to try out for the Washington Redskins.

Serenity Point: As for other activities, boating and fishing are very prominent activities on the island. Do you get to spend a lot of time enjoying the water?

Bill: Over the years in Nassau, there were various national and international Powerboat racing events, which gave birth to my own interest in powerboat racing.

These days though my boating is purely for pleasure, as Abaco is the “Boating Capitol” of the Bahamas. Its mainland is protected by a barrier of outer cays that make for some of the best boating anywhere. Each cay (island) is completely unique and offers a little something for everyone. I boat almost every weekend (weather permitting) and venture off overnight on Holiday weekends, it’s food for the soul.

Serenity Point: Speaking of food, any favorite places? Or favorite spots, in general, for boating, hanging out, relaxing?

Bill: As I mentioned, there is such diversity that it is hard to pick a favorite spot. The places we most frequent though are Elbow Cay (Hope Town) by Tahiti beach, Guana Cay (Fishers Bay) and on long weekends Green Turtle Cay.

As for restaurants, there is a good variety in Marsh Harbour, from casual simple to more formal elegant. If it’s casual island style and entertainment you’re looking for, it’s “Snappas Bar and Grill” on the water harbourside, or The Jib Room across the harbour on pelican shores. More formal would be Wally’s or Curley Tails, all within walking distance of each other.

Serenity Point: Having such well-rounded knowledge and experience of Abaco, both in terms of living here and working as an estate agent, what’s been the biggest change you’ve seen in terms of real estate development?

Bill: The biggest change I have seen with real estate development in the Abacos is the scale of some of our newest developments. Until recent years, most developments were relatively small in size and nature, with the exception of Treasure Cay. Now we are seeing projects being built like Winding Bay, a Ritz Carlton resort, and Bakers Bay by Discovery Lands, both of which include 18-hole championship golf courses and encompass large tracts of land.

The most recent developments are now taking place down south on the mainland, where the beaches are stunning and previously very little infrastructure existed. That is now changing with the opening of the Delphi Fishing Lodge, the coming of Schooner Bay, a completely self-sufficient boating Village and Township (once completed) and neighboring Serenity Point. These will act as the catalyst to development of the southern parts of Abaco in the years to come.

Thank you kindly to Bill Albury for participating in Ask a Local.

Bill can be found at the Damianos/Sotheby’s office in Marsh Harbour.

Damianos/Sotheby’s is also opening a new office in Treasure Cay, located in the Bahama Beach Club.

For more on Damianos/Sotheby’s, visit:
Lyford Cay Homes
Damianos/Sotheby’s on Facebook

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