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Nygard Eyes $30m Stem Cell Facility

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Construction work at Nygard Cay.

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

Fashion tycoon Peter Nygard is planning to invest between $25-$30 million in constructing a stem cell research-focused medical facility at his Lyford Cay home, Tribune Business can reveal, a project that could employ between 100-125 Bahamians in the construction phase.

Confidential minutes of a meeting between Mr Nygard and Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA) officials, which have been obtained by this newspaper, detail the Canadian multi-millionaire’s plans to add commercial uses to his Simms Point/Nygard Cay home.

It appears he has already begun to put those plans into action, as recent photographs of Nygard Cay taken by members of the Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay show that construction work has begun on what looks like a spa-type building (see picture here).

But, while Mr Nygard’s plans received a big boost last week from the Government’s decision to table legislation that aims to provide a regulatory framework for stem cell research in the Bahamas, his activities are again likely to trigger potential conflict with his neighbours.

Lyford Cay is zoned as a residential, not commercial, area, and the medical/stem cell plans are likely to give its Property Association and neighbours - including hedge fund magnate, Louis Bacon, with whom Mr Nygard has been embroiled in an ongoing feud - cause for further unhappiness.

And Fred Smith QC, the Callenders & Co attorney and partner, also made the organisation’s concerns plain when contacted about developments by Tribune Business.

The Coalition is already engaged in a public campaign to pressure the Government to act on its previous demands for Mr Nygard to cease alleged land reclamation activities at his home, and Mr Smith warned the Christie administration not to give the Canadian fashion mogul the Crown Land grant/seabed leases he was seeking as a ‘trade off’ for the medical facility.

“The Coalition will expose any secret deals about to give Mr Nygard Crown Land or a lease of the seabed,” Mr Smith pledged.

“Neither will the Coalition tolerate a manoeuvre by the Government to promote stem cell research and then give Mr Nygard permits for Crown Land and to ‘grandfather in’ his past and current activities.

“Lyford Cay is a residential neighbourhood, and is not a commercial/medical tourism spot.”

The proposed stem cell/medical facility thus appears likely to act as the latest flashpoint in the increasingly public dispute between the Coalition and its members (including Mr Bacon) on one hand, and Mr Nygard and his supporters on the other.

The meeting between Mr Nygard and his team, which included Carlos Mackey and Melissa Hall, and the BIA officials took place on June 19, 2012, just over one month after the general election.

The BIA officials present included Sir Baltron Bethel, described as a ‘senior policy adviser’, and then-permanent secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, David Davis.

The meeting, according to the report, was held so Mr Nygard could brief the Government on plans to restore the parts of Nygard Cay destroyed by fire, and to “introduce the concept for his proposed Medical Spa Facility which will specialise in stem cell research and treatments”.

The report added: “With respect to the overall vision for the proposed project on Nygard Cay, Mr Nygard explained that he intends to invest approximately $50 million - $25-$30 million designated to restore Nygard Cay, and $25-$30 million will be invested in building the medical/health spa facility.”

The BIA notes said clients for the medical facility/spa would “flow from all over the world”.

It added: “The concept is to introduce anti-aging, age reversing treatments using stem cells. He [Mr Nygard] opined that stem cell treatment could also assist with many incurable diseases....

“Mr Nygard mentioned that his vision would be put together in an environment where the Bahamas can practice the most advanced medicine in the world, and do it within the regulatory lines of the Government.”

The BIA report said Mr Nygard promised the facility would host “top doctors” providing treatments not found in the US, once it was licensed.

“Within this facility will be offered stem cell banking and the banking of body tissue for medicine and treatments,” the notes added.

“Nygard noted that this facility would combine research and treatment. As a result of the investment, he could provide a revolutionary treatment facility.... The proposed project will introduce the concept of collecting stem cells and expanding them to replenish and re-boot the body a minimum of four times a year.”

The BIA report revealed that the stem cell/medical facility would be based “in the same location as Nygard Cay”, and that its owner “envisioned the Bahamas would be a magnet for medical tourism”.

The Canadian fashion mogul, according to the BIA report, said work permits would be required for Chinese construction workers to build the facility - a requirement that will be interesting going up against the Government’s new work permit policy.

Some 100-125 Bahamian construction workers would also be required, the report added.

Comments

Collin 6 years, 5 months ago

The PLP is looking for Nygard to bury them with this nonsense.

My first consideration that such a facility is planned it certainly will not be constructed and operated in Lyford Cay and certainly not at someone's home.

Further, the Government of the Bahamasrecently passed zoning regulations that such a commercial construction will be in direct breach in a residential area.

Tribune, you are on the right path...dig a little deeper there is more to this story than you have unearth thus far. There is a major devil in this detail!

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TalRussell 6 years, 5 months ago

OK I'm familiar with start-up from home businesses but not one where you plan on operating a major medical business? OK maybe running a one chair nondescript beauty salon out of your spare bedroom, but never a medial lab employing 125 workers?

What in the hell did I miss or read incorrectly that wants to make me go..."What you Say?

The residents of Lyford Cay must have more neighborly patience than any other neighbored in Bahamaland.Try the foolishness the media has been reporting go'in on over there, anywhere else and your ass would quickly become the grass and your unfriendly neighbors would be the lawnmowers?

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by TalRussell

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 5 months ago

B Bethel already told him he could build a clinic for giving aging rich people stem cells from aborted baby...whats he going to say now ,,i paid them and they swing me ,,the funnel has left the building

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 5 months ago

Nygard already meet with the bag man ,,,,,,before 2012 i thought PGC was honest but not tough enough ..well PGC has been tough as nails at putting bag men and funnels all around our money ,,geez just dig up Nine Rolle and Bannister again

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USAhelp 6 years, 5 months ago

That is the way to get our land for free.

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PKMShack 6 years, 5 months ago

He have the money and the PLP have their hands out.

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SP 6 years, 5 months ago

Mr. Nygard has proven that he cannot be trusted...We do not need Nygard involved in ANY BUSINESS in this country.

No thanks Mr. Nygard!!

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 5 months ago

yeah yeah all foriegners out ,then we can eat grunts ,grits and gravey ,till there is no more grunts ,,why don,t you give your anti foriegn ,anti white rhetoric a rest ..although you say we had 40 yrs of bad governance , i and many thosands of others have benefited and progress since majority rule ,,quit blaming your lot on life on foriegners ,the poverbial straw man ,your a Bahamian living in a majority ruled country ,,go get you some of the sweetness ,,,we got to make bed and serve drink ,its what we got ,,and a certain mumbers of us will do that and save and set up a little business ,or we can be doc, lawyers ,etc ,,quit blameing whitey and go get you some of what majority rule has offered us ,,or do you thin k you should go to the bank with a business plan on a napkin ,no assets ,and the goverment should make the bank give you 2 / 300.000 iin financing cuase you a bahamian w/ a good idea ..geez why you don,t live in the real world ... DFI is what we sell ,,sand sea and smiles ,,

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jackflash 6 years, 2 months ago

Did I miss something here?

work permits would be required for Chinese construction workers to build the facility

He is bringing in Chinese to build it??

No Shame, he has no shame...

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