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The New South Ocean Development and the Albany Luxury Resort Project in Southwest Nassau Bahamas - Are Welcomed
Related to country: Bahamas

The New South Ocean Development and the Albany Luxury Resort project in southwest Nassau are welcomed by the rank and file of peoples of nearby communities in particular - and the Bahamian community in general. They are on time, as the area has been in a state of economic decline for a long time.

South Ocean and its profitable potential have never been as potent as they are with these two proposed projects. It is opportunity knocking, and this writer is prepared to embrace what looks to be a once in a lifetime break for the bright future of southwest Nassau, Bahamas.

From what has been proposed by the developers, it is obvious that an economic revolution is in the making that is already appreciated by businesses in the surrounding vicinity, and entrepreneurs to be.

It is anticipated that the unemployment situation in Adelaide, Gambier and Mount Pleasant Villages – will be eradicated in short order. In other words, who will not be working, really does not want to work or can’t.

Jobs will come in abundance and variety. Vacancies will exist for managers, accountants, engineers, plumbers, electricians, and the lists goes on.

Yes, the South Ocean Development like Albany’s – makes all the sense in the world to approve in my view. The People are ready to work, and the developers are all excited about getting started.

This supporter of the developments in question trust that our new administration embraces wisdom, and be timely in delivering what the people wants; employment and real entrepreneurial opportunities.

The South Ocean proposals are loaded with prosperity for so many ambitious Bahamians. Let’s get on with them, and be proud to be party to commonsense and good judgment.

August 30, 2007 | 9:18 AM Comments  {num} comments

Albany Development In Southwest Nassau, N.P. Bahamas - Endorsed By Webmaster/Blogger Dennis Dames
Related to country: Bahamas

The recent town meeting on the Albany Development at St. Paul’s Catholic Church hall - is one that was appreciated by many of the surrounding residents present. This writer was in the front row, and was indeed attentive to the business at hand.

It is my view that our new administration should give the developers its full blessings to proceed, as the project is indeed exactly what the doctor ordered for southwest Nassau. It’s a decent one in my opinion.

I am fully aware of the economic impact on the nearby communities when South Ocean Hotel was in full operation over the years. It made restaurant and bar owners, shop keepers too - happy and busy in Adelaide Village – for example.

The Oasis on Adelaide road was also lively with tourists, so was the Mom and Pop Shop in Mount Pleasant village. The Car rental business there -was also bustling.

Let’s not forget the Western Transportation that use to be loaded on every run from South Ocean to down town. It was their bread and butter base for many years. Lots of taxi drivers too, were greatly motivated to make South Ocean Resort their stand, because of its active and lucrative customer base. The Albany project with its sophisticated concept is good news and friendly in many respects for the working class of west New Providence Island in particular.

The small strip of uneven sentimental way that’s proposed to be diverted – in order to make this luxury resort community a reality, is a minute price to pay for a project that will contribute at least $3,000,000,000.00 (Three billion dollars) to the Bahamian treasury and workers over the next fifteen years. It’s a small cost when compared to the enormous employment opportunities that will come along, as a result of Albany’s vision.

Familiar drivers of the proposed diverted strip of road are cognizant of what it’s like when flooding occurs. It is not a good road as it’s a seasonal and - unreliable passage so to speak. Neighbors in South Ocean could attest to the brutality of that piece of road in question when it floods.

It is costly to struggling families’ cars among others, as constant flooding results in dangerous pot-holes and cruel uneven surfaces that seem to be an eternal punishment. A lot of accidents have been instigated by the dangerous curves of this controversial path, coupled with its deadly perpetual uneven base. Its blind qualities have caught even the best drivers off guard – no doubt.

A new cut with its accompanying business and residential concept will create a fresh Bahamian entrepreneurial class that will complement the vision of the developers, and contribute in so many positive ways to the Bahamian economy in the short and long terms.

Let the record reflect therefore, that Dennis Dames and family of Mount Pleasant Village - wholeheartedly supports the Albany development in southwest Nassau, Bahamas.

August 28, 2007 | 11:45 PM Comments  {num} comments

The Proposed Albany Project In Southwest Nassau, Is Likened To That Of Kerzner International’s $2 billion Atlantis Resort
Related to country: Bahamas

$2 Billion Injection:
Nassau, Bahamas:

Developers of a $1.3 billion mixed-use luxury resort, yesterday likened their project’s expected economic impact to that of Kerzner International’s $2 billion Atlantis Resort.

"I do not want to frighten people in terms of the magnitude or impact, but what the Kerzner development did for the country, I believe Albany is going to do that again, in a real serious way in the southwest," said one of the project’s managers, Dr. Tyrone McKenzie.

He made the comments while he appearing on the Love 97 flagship programme Jones & Company.

Developers project that Albany would inject roughly $2.7 billion into the economy, over a 15-year period. That money would primarily come from taxes and duties paid to the government, wages paid to employees and local expenditures.

Intended for New Providence’s southwest, Albany is projected to be a 565-acre new development inclusive of a 50 to 60-room boutique hotel, 350 private residences, a golf course and marina, and separate centers for horse riding, fitness and beach activities.

Financial impact aside, Dr. McKenzie noted that Albany’s social impact on the island would be "immeasurable."

"The commercial aspect of it is well planned out and will happen. When you talk about where the next hospital is going to be and what have you, certainly, medical facilities will be there," he said.

Dr McKenzie noted, that one cannot drive development unless those necessary components of a self-sufficient community – schools, police and fire stations – are established.

Jason Callender, another project manager, said if Albany were able to clear all of its permit hurdles within a month, construction could start within 32 days. The first project would be the golf course and marina.

During the first stage of construction, $800 million is expected to be pumped into the local economy.

According to Mr. Callender, time is of the essence.

"We have made commitments to a lot of people who have expressed high interest in becoming involved in Albany and we told them that we would open by the middle of 2009. If we can’t meet that deadline it would make it very difficult for us to commence," he said.

Dr McKenzie added: "The period of time that it is taking to execute this project – in business time – is long, and time is money, whether you like it or not. But, I don’t think you can minimize the complexity of the challenges or issues as it relates to the area."

The Heads of Agreement for the Albany resort was signed ten months ago under the former Christie administration.

Through a series of public meetings, developers are attempting to convince Bahamians that the project’s benefits far outweigh any drawbacks.

Perceived negative aspects of the project include the proposed creation of a new road that would shut off a portion of a major thoroughfare, concerns over beach access and the preservation of a historical artifact – a fisherman’s house – located on the site.

Although the re-routing of the road is included in the Heads of Agreement, it is still subject to approval by the Ministry of Works.

"The diversion of the road is in concert with a plan devised by the government and their planners to improve the road network on the west end of New Providence," said Mr. Callender.

"What we are trying to do is lay the foundation for a better network so when the development of the west end of Nassau happens, you won’t have the congestion and the problems that occur in other parts of the island."

Addressing the concerns over beach access, Mr. Callender said there is presently no access to the beach in front of Albany and there is limited access to the beach at Adelaide, he said.

"We are actually acquiring a 100-foot lot to allow the public to obtain better access to the beach to the east of Albany. To the west, we’ve actually coordinated with the developers of South Ocean whereby the Bahamian public would be able to have beach access to the beach west of Albany," he said.

"Whereas, before there was limited access to Adelaide beach and the beach in front of Albany, now there is going to be better access to the beaches."

With regard to the historical ruins, Mr. Callendar said the only artifact on the site was the foundations of what was "a Conchy Joe fisherman’s house."

He said the ruins are hidden in the bush, with no public access and very difficult to locate.

Mr. Callender said Albany has plans to celebrate the ruins by creating a park around it.

The Albany project comprises 100 percent privately owned land. No crown or government-owned land is involved in the development.

Internationally renowned golfers – Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and the Tavistock Group founded by investor and long-time Bahamas resident, Joe Lewis, are backing the project financially.

27 August 2007

August 27, 2007 | 12:41 PM Comments  {num} comments

Christopher Annand - Managing Partner Of The Albany Project - On The Positives Of The Billion Dollar Albany Resort
Related to country: Bahamas

Developer Touts Positives Of Billion Dollar Resort:
By Darrin Culmer -
Nassau, Bahamas:

A representative of the billion-dollar Albany Resort slated for southwest New Providence moved Thursday to calm the fears of concerned residents that the 565-acre development will reduce access to beaches in the area, disrupt travel through the area due to the re-routing of a road and otherwise disrupt their lives.

On the contrary, the mixed-use resort will generate over $2.6 billion in economic activity during its first 15 years, improve access to area beaches and make currently inaccessible historic sites available to residents, the project’s managing partner, Christopher Annand, said in a conference call with local media.

The news conference came the day after a town meeting was held at St. Paul's Church Hall, Lyford Cay for residents to air their concerns about the Albany project.

Another town meeting was held last night on the South Ocean development.

With regard to the economic impact which the Albany development is expected to have on the Bahamian economy, Mr. Annand said the project’s contribution could be divided into five major categories, specifically, tax revenue, salaries associated with direct and indirect employment, spin off revenue for area businesses, real estate commissions and revenue generated from a major golf tournament and other promotions planned by Albany.

Over the next 15 years the project is expected to produce stamp tax paid on the transfer of property, import duty paid on materials brought in for residential construction and property taxes amounting to roughly $550 million; $1.1 billion in salaries; over $660 million in revenue for area businesses; over $200 million in commissions; and $100 million in revenue from promotions, Mr. Annand said.

Currently, less than $400,000 in tax revenue is generated by Albany’s land holdings, he said.

Elaborating on the potential economic impact of the Albany development Mr. Annand estimated that a guest staying in a hotel would spend around $3,000 for a one-week stay whereas a homeowner would spend around $75,000 per year maintaining the home.

Over the next 10 years the project would employ between a minimum of 600 and a maximum of 1,000 construction workers every year, he said.

"What’s interesting about this is that, economically, this is a much better way to develop the construction industry than, say, massive hotel projects because what tends to happen with massive hotel projects like Atlantis is that you have such a heavy need for labour for such a short, intense period of time…and then (the jobs) disappear," he said.

"One of the problems that creates this is that the Bahamian labour force isn’t strong enough to deal with those demands, which is why, I think, a lot of imported labour comes in to help deal with that short-term problem that the developer has."

The project would likely hire about 1,000 workers by the end of this year.

Additionally, the Albany is projected to create 600 direct, full-time jobs and indirect employment for roughly 500 people, he said.

In response to the many and passionate concerns articulated by a number of residents, particularly during Wednesday night’s town meeting, Mr. Annand said Albany officials want to establish a public body to oversee efforts aimed at addressing residents’ concerns.

"What is proposed for Adelaide and Cave’s Beach we would rather eliminate those projects and turn the decision-making over to a group of residents that are elected to sit on these foundations," he said.

"I hope that people that were there last night to appreciate that they do make a difference and I hope that the government will support us in creating this board."

The Albany project comprises 100 percent privately-owned land, Mr. Annand said, emphasising that no Crown or government-owned land is involved in the development.

The original owners of the 565 acres upon which the Albany will be situated were the Chalopin estate, which held the 77 acres enclosed by the well known long pink wall in the Adelaide area, and the Nassau Development Company, which contributed 488 acres of land to the venture.

The Albany project is co-spearheaded by three principals, namely, the Tavistock Group, and golf standouts Ernie Els and Tiger Woods.

The Tavistock Group is the principal holding company of Lyford Cay resident Joe Louis.

Albany will be a mixed-use resort including both a hotel component and a private, residential component.

24 August 2007

August 26, 2007 | 10:11 PM Comments  {num} comments

The Proposed New South Ocean Development In Southwest New Providence Island - Battle Lines Have Been Drawn At Town Meeting
Related to country: Bahamas

Battle lines are drawn at meeting:
By KRYSTEL ROLLE, Guardian Staff Reporter -
Nassau, Bahamas:

The battle lines were drawn Thursday night at a town meeting on the proposed New South Ocean development.

The resort development is expected to pump millions of dollars into the local economy and provide more than 2,000 jobs.

Bahamians packed the St. Paul's Parish Hall in Lyford Cay on Thursday night – for the second time in as many days — to voice their concerns to project developers and government officials. Environmental issues, employment opportunities for Bahamians and entrepreneurs, and beach access topped the list of concerns.

Minister of Works Earl Deveaux, who hosted the meeting along with South Ocean managing director Roger Stein, faced a tough audience.

One resident said Stein's responses to questions regarding how the development would affect the environment were unacceptable. Stein referred several persons to the project's web site, which he said could possibly provide residents with a better answer to their questions.

"He should have brought in the persons who could answer the questions," the resident said referring to Stein. "Because right now I'm sure that there are many people who agree with me that it's not enough."

However, according to Deveaux, senior government officials will make sure that all concerns are addressed in the best interest of The Bahamas.

"They are the custodians of our national prosperity. They are the ones who safeguard the things that you feel so strongly about. The developer presents to the government a proposal for an investment, and the government approves it in principle based on sustainability, national policy and existing laws. The officials at BEC (Bahamas Electricity Corporation), Water and Sewerage, BEST (Bahamas Environment Science and Technology) Commission, housing, lands and surveys, make determinations on your behalf and on the government's behalf as to whether the proposal makes sense, is legitimate and is legal. They check them out," Deveaux explained.

The New South Ocean Development is one of two projects proposed for the southwestern New Providence. (The billion dollar Albany Golf and Beach Club has already been approved.) Once completed the South Ocean development will include a 500-room, four star hotel, a casino, 130-slip marina, 180 timeshare units, 48 fractional villa units, 73 second home lots, an 18-hole Greg Norman golf course and approximately 35,000 sq. ft of meeting space.

Leader of the Worker's Party, Rodney Moncur, one of the more vocal critics of the project, demanded that the government properly scrutinize the proposed contract.

"I want the contracts to be re-examined. I want to know where they came from. I want to make sure that the land what they propose to build on is not my poor cousin's land. I want a guarantee and I am holding you all personally responsible," he said referring to Deveaux, and the Minister of State for Public Utilities Phenton Neymour, who also attended Thursday night's town meeting.

While most members of the audience shared their concerns about the project and how it would affect The Bahamas, Moncur's concerns were primarily about the developer.

"My next question is, who is Mr. Stein? Where was he born? Where does he come from? What does the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations) say about him? Who is this man?" he asked.

Meanwhile, George Maillis welcomed the developers. He said he was "delighted" to have someone come in and do something with the beaches and bring some economic relief to the country.

"We need to look out for the people and jobs. We need a harbor and a marina," he said.

Another audience member implored the government to let the development go on, adding that all Bahamians would be able to benefit from the project.

Before the government gives developers of the New South Ocean project the final okay, they will to take into account the concerns of the citizens, said Deveaux, who urged those who objected to the project to file their concerns quickly, as the developers were eager to get started.

"We don't necessarily set a time frame on that but the quicker you get your comments in the better. We are a fast moving, decisive government and they are anxious to get started once they take into account the points that you have raised. We would like to have these behind us within 60 days," Deveaux said.

According to Stein, over a 20-year period South Ocean is expected to generate $1.8 billion in government revenues, $230 million in casino wins and floor taxes and $490 million in occupancy taxes.

"In addition to the financial benefits, The Bahamas will benefit from the enhanced reputation, increased tourist presence, public relations, and activity that a world class resort development brings to its host country," he said.

The development has been predicted to directly create 1,358 full-time jobs and a total of 2,042 jobs overall, supplying $1.5 billion in local wages and salaries over a 20- year period. Operations are expected to generate $3.7 billion in Gross Domestic Product.

August 25, 2007 | 11:30 AM Comments  {num} comments

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