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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: 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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Ask a Local: Bryan Le Mar

June 24th, 2010

Ask a Local is a series in our blog that looks at life in Abaco. Today’s local is Bryan Le Mar, guitarist, producer and songwriter.

bryan-lemar

Throughout his career as a session guitarist, songwriter and producer, Bryan Le Mar has worked with numerous talents and directed many projects. He current lives between Abaco and Miami, and we managed to catch up with him for a quick interview.

Serenity Point: Bryan, tell us a little about what attracted you to Abaco.

Bryan: I think that the idea of owning a getaway home on a beautiful island is a wonderful dream to pursue, and I had been wanting to do it for years.

I visited a few of the islands in the Bahamas and found that they each have different characteristics, but when I came to Abaco, I saw that it had everything all in one place.

Not only is Abaco full of natural beauty, the island is easily accessible and has all the needed services including food, medical and transportation. Plus, it’s a haven for live music.

Serenity Point: We know that you’re busy in Miami with Merlin Studio. How much time do you get to spend on Abaco?

Bryan: My first time on Abaco was three years ago, I knew right away that this was where I wanted to be.

I split my time half and half. I do a lot of back and forth between Abaco and Miami. It’s really quite simple to jump a plane from Miami or Fort Lauderdale. The flight is less then an hour.

Serenity Point: What’s your preference, when is the best time to be in Abaco?

Bryan: Most would say September to June, but I have a mad passion for diving so I quite enjoy the ocean in July and August when the water is 85 degrees, and the afternoons are graced with soft showers and rainbows.

Serenity Point: Sounds idyllic! Any favorite destinations or road trips that you enjoy?

Bryan: There’s a lot of things to see and do around Abaco. I love driving to different spots on the island and exploring new things: beaches, blue holes, neighborhoods and the like.

I have no shortage of things to do. Plus, there’s a great ferry system that can take you to and from the nearby cays, which is always an adventure.

Sometimes I just enjoy spending time in the garden at the house, or swinging in a hammock.

But cooking sunset dinners for friends after a day of fishing, diving and beaching is always a pleasure.

Serenity Point: Local food is always a treat. Do you have any favorite restaurants or pubs on the island?

Bryan: That would be a long list. Closest to my home is Pete’s Pub, the quintessential island restaurant bar. It’s like Robinson Crusoe, and it’s solar powered! They actually have a bronze foundry where they do sculptures of sea life, with a gallery of original art and souvenirs . The food is great, with fish caught on their own boat, and it’s really beautiful there in Little Harbour.

little-harbour

Serenity Point: As a guitarist and songwriter, what do you think of the local bands? Is it easy to find live music?

Bryan: Live music is like a heartbeat in Abaco. There’s so many places that support the art. Curly Tails always has live music, and so does Snappas, but the list goes on … there’s Abaco Beach Resort, Hope Town Harbour Lodge, Abaco Inn, Sea Spray, Nippers, Grabbers, Pete’s Pub, Cracker P’s, and Pineapples. As for local bands, I always enjoy “Jim Fire and the Goat Peppers” every Saturday at Snappas Bar in Marsh Harbour.

Serenity Point: With no-shortage of great places to visit on Abaco, where do you like to take visiting friends and family?

Bryan: We go everywhere! It’s a non-stop tour with so many places that they always have to come back.

Serenity Point: Speaking of coming back, more people are choosing Abaco for their getaway home. What do you think of some of the new developments?

Bryan: Of course, I know of your development and what’s happening at Schooner Bay. I see that as the beginning of a new center for well-planned growth. I think it’s a great addition to the communities of Abaco.

The area of Schooner Bay and Serenity Point, is absolutely gorgeous. I often visit those beautiful beaches.

Thank you kindly to Bryan Le Mar for participating in Ask a Local.

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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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Our Architect, Walt Chancey

December 10th, 2009

At Serenity Point we want to build an oasis of residences at Schooner Bay that reflect elegance, modernity and evoke the Bahamian touch. As such, our emphasis is on homes more open to the Abaconian landscape. Homes that merge with their surroundings.

Home Design by Walt Chancey

To bring that dream to fruition, we teamed up with Chancey Design Partnerships for both the architecture and design of Serenity Point.

The firm has an impeccable reputation and the team has designed many beautiful homes in the region. The company has a sharp emphasis on personalized service, and a firm foundation in true design excellence.

Much of this is due to company’s Founder, Walton H. Chancey, AIA, who is also the Senior Managing Partner as well as the Director of Marketing. For over 20 years, he has been directly responsible for multi-family, mixed-use and commercial developments, hospitality projects, healthcare work, signature single-family residences and historic restoration projects.

In his personal life and his business pursuits, Chancey adheres to the same philosophy, “Work hard, work happy, and live every day with passion.”

This motto is evident in his commitment to the clients and projects he undertakes.

An Auburn University alumnae, he worked for several firms before deciding to move to Ybor City with his wife, Sandra. He and his wife established their business in the the historic neighborhood in Tampa, Florida in 1989. There, he helped revitalize development. Walt was so passionate about the neighborhood and about helping other area businesses prosper that he spent much of the first 5 years doing local renovation. His company eventually merged with designers and thus became Chancey Design Partnership.

Over the years, his team has won numerous awards and been featured in more than 40 publications. They have justly acquired a reputation for being able to interpret clients needs while creating homes that fit their location’s environment and lifestyle.

Because Chancey Design specializes in architecture, planning and interior design, they are able to take a project literally from the ground up. The company works from the land-planning through to completion of the finished residence.

“We believe that many projects lose a lot in the handoff between the architects and interior designers,” Chancey says. “We feel that we have a better, more holistic product because of an early interiors relationship. Our interior designers are not just decorators. They understand space planning, the layouts and they work with us in the early part of designing a project. Architecture and interior design are so important to each other.” (Source: ChanceyDesign.com PDF)

Chancey Design specializes in creating groundbreaking yet subtle island homes, homes that weave smoothly into the landscape they occupy, make them a perfect choice for our Serenity Point Builder’s Program.

Serenity Point Beach Club
Photo: Artist rendering of “Serenity Point Beach Club”

While maintaining the mass, scale and materials of the local vernacular, the houses at Serenity Point present a refreshing contemporary take on Caribbean Architecture, embracing how we live today. Designed with the topography of the site, each house creates a unique experience, maximizing views to the beach and water. Large expansive doors and windows offer an unparalleled view to the beach and water that begins to dissolve the threshold between indoor and outdoor living spaces. Although these elements have a more modern quality, materials like locally quarried coral stone, flat tile roofs and stucco add a traditional texture to both the interior and exterior spaces creating a warm and inviting palette that grounds the design in comfort and familiarity and blends harmoniously with traditional Bahamian architecture.

Only 24 luxury home sites are available at Serenity Point on Schooner Bay Beach. If you are interested in purchasing a property or participating in our Builder’s Program, contact us for more information.

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Get Hooked – Bonefishing in the Abacos

November 25th, 2009

bonefishing in abaco

Picture yourself wading in the warm waters of the Bahamas, your fly-fishing rod in hand. The wind eases, calming the ripples on the surface allowing you to catch sight of a shadow beneath the water. You cast into the gin clear water and your perfectly presented fly catches the eye of the fish you’ve been stalking. It turns its head and makes a beeline for your fly. This is it. The rush. The excitement. This is bonefishing in the Abacos.

The pristine setting provides the ultimate backdrop for flyfishing dreams. Seemingly untouched, the flats surrounding the Abacos and Schooner Bay are unlike anything else in the world. It’s no wonder those interested in bonefishing flock here – it simply doesn’t get any better. And Serenity Point is at the heart of the action.

Bonefishing is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, angling experiences in the world. Many claim that once you start, you’ll never stop. The water in this area is so clear and the coloration of the skittish bonefish matches the mix of the rippled surface and sandy bottom so well that catching one of these elusive creatures is one of the most precious jewels in your flyfishing crown.

For the most part, anglers choose to use flyfishing gear to catch bonefish, and the technique of wading in the shallows or using a push pole boat mean that human impact on the environment is minimal. Plus the catch and release nature of bonefishing ensures that this is a sport fishery that will stay in the Abacos for generations to come.

Serenity Point is ideally located near the hot spots of Bahamian bonefishing. Let’s take a look:

Schooner Bay: With inlets, flats, and islands dotting the entire bay, this area is home to bonefish by the hundreds. Don’t be surprised when you see the water come alive when the fish start feeding, throwing their tails in the air. Serenity Point sits right on Schooner Bay – you can walk out your door and find great bonefishing action.

The Marls: Only a short boat trip from Serenity Point, the Marls have reached mythic status in bonefishing circles. With its pristine waters flowing around mangroves, cays and shallows, it is a haven for bonefish (as well as permit, tarpon and barracuda) and professional guides with push pole boats will ensure you’ll find fish any time of the year.

Green Turtle Cay: This beautiful islet is surrounded by expanses of shallow flats, perfect for wading to find bonefish. You’ll need a good set of eyes to find the fish, assuming you aren’t distracted by the stunning views that surround you. A boat is needed to get to Green Turtle Cay – well worth the trip!

Cross Harbour: A system of flats near the legendary “Hole-in-the-Wall” that produces big fish and great angling opportunities. Its location is a just around the corner from Sandy Point, about 20 miles south of Serenity Point. Along with bonefish, generously sized permit also call this area home.

Moore’s Island: A quick boat ride across Schooner Bay and into the ocean you come across this idyllic spot where huge bonefish swarm the cays and shallows. This is a place of storybooks. Put your line in the water and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime – and to think you are only a half an hour away from your home at Serenity Point.

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