Pi Project's $40m 'Cinderella Story'

The developer of Paradise Island's One Ocean condominium project believes it has achieved "the closest thing to a Cinderella story", having generated $40 million in sales in under a year.

The 10-storey property at the eastern end of Paradise Island has been revived following its purchase by Replay Resorts, the Canadian-based developer and master planner of resorts and communities such as Half Moon Bay in Antigua, and The Lift Lodge in Park City, Utah.

The former Ocean Place project has been renamed One Ocean, with more than 120 construction workers now working on-site to finish residential units ranging in price from $1 million to $4.5 million.

A statement issued on behalf of Replay Resorts yesterday said more than two-thirds of the 79 condominium units are either sold or under contract, including four of the eight penthouses. Ninety-one per cent of the sales have been through Bahamian brokers and agents.

"The Bahamian real estate community has responded positively to the One Ocean product," said Christine Wallace-Whitfield, newly-elected Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) president.

"The units are beautifully finished, and the sales team understands the value of participating with local brokers and agents rather than going it alone. It's a win-win for all -for them because they reach a broader market, and for us because it adds a sophisticated upscale product to inventory."

Replay Resorts has had to overcome a troubled past that included outrage from One Ocean's Paradise Island neighbours, who questioned how the previous developer was able to gain permission for a 10-storey building that and dwarfs everything around it.

The project, and developer Al Ballard, hit financial troubles and CIBC First Caribbean (Bahamas) foreclosed with only 25 per cent of the units sold - some via deep discounts - and much of the building unfinished. In November 2012, following a court battle, the bank placed the property in the hands of receivers.

Replay Resorts acquired the unfinished 52 units in the distressed property in July 2015, and launched what sales director, Myles Newell, called "the closest thing to a Cinderella story that I have ever seen in the real estate world".

"The kitchens are from Italy, doors from Germany, designs by PXDI, Canada," Mr Newell said. "The incredible views are the prize, the undeniable selling point, and they are all Bahamian; sweeping views of Paradise Island, Nassau harbour, the city lights across the way.

"People who tour the property and go to the top floor, where we are re-doing the penthouses, are awestruck looking out over the greens and fairways of the Ocean Club golf course, the blue-green waters of the ocean and Montagu Bay across the way, Nassau harbour. I've seen people who talk incessantly; just turn speechless."

Of the 52 units purchased by Replay Resorts, some 40 were unfinished shells. Some 28 of these have now been sold, with 20 homes and four penthouses remaining available. Of the remaining available penthouses, square footage ranges from just over 4,600 to nearly 6,300, with prices from $3.2 million to $4.5 million.

Cavalier Construction is the general contractor on the penthouse project, and several other Bahamian firms and craftsmen work on the site daily. One Ocean has generated 120 construction jobs, 99 per cent of which are Bahamian, and it will have paid $4 million in Stamp Tax and Value-Added Tax (VAT) by the time additional residences under contract close.

"We are attracting buyers from as far away as Monaco, but we are also appealing to people who live in the Bahamas and have a real connection to community," Mr Newell said. "Our buyers plan to spend considerable time here and want to become part of the community.

"In addition, it's important to note that the money they will spend on an ongoing basis will provide continuing economic activity. I think in the end we will have delivered not just another pretty building, but another reason to realise that there is nowhere in the world quite like Paradise Island, where you have all the amenities of world-class resorts like Atlantis and the One & Only Ocean Club with all the dining, entertainment, shopping, recreation options, or the peace and tranquility of your own private oasis."


banker 2 years, 8 months ago

I'd like to know the list of politicians who got free units for the permit approvals. It was an eyesore -- it still is an eyesore, and a 10 story building doesn't belong on PI.


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