Sterling Global Financial's executives met with the Ministry of Works to review plans for their $250m redevelopment of Paradise Island's Hurricane Hole property.
Desmond Bannister, minister of works, and Melanie Roach, director of public work, reviewed draft proposals for transforming the 13-acre Paradise Island site into a mixed-use tropical/urban landscape with residential, retail, professional office space and dining overlooking a renovated marina and Nassau harbour.
The meeting with the Ministry was the first in a series that Sterling plans to schedule as part of its commitment to collaboration, environmental sensitivity and consultation, as it heads towards January 2019 groundbreaking for the largest development on Paradise Island since Atlantis's Phase IV.
The 300,000 square foot project is expected to be built in three phases over a five-year period, a schedule that Sterling Global Advisors' managing director described as "very ambitious". Khaalis Rolle, the former investments minister, said the project will provide hundreds of construction-related jobs and multiple entrepreneurial opportunities.
"We are working extremely hard to deliver a first-class development where you can live, work and be entertained," said Mr Rolle. "I want to assure you that we will commit sufficient human and capital resources to ensure that this project is executed to world-class standards. We will cut no corners in protecting the environment or in the quality of our construction."
"Sterling has been working quietly in the background and, quite possibly, is the largest provider of both debt and equity funding for projects under construction in The Bahamas right now," said Stephen Tiller, its president.
"We have provided funding for One Cable Beach, The Marriott Courtyard on West Bay Street, THIRTY-SIX on Paradise Island, Beach House Villas, Matt Lowe Cay in Abaco, Sky Beach in Eleuthera, Ocean Terraces on West Bay Street, and we are currently financing projects in London, Boston and Miami, but we are really excited about this project on Paradise Island because it is home for so many of us at Sterling."
Both the Minister and Ms Roach encouraged Sterling to engage the government and its agencies in discussions regarding its plans, and identified some of the areas where it will have to satisfy regulatory requirements to begin construction.
Local Paradise Island residents have been greeting Sterling's plan with great interest since it was introduced just over one month ago. The promise of new restaurants, shopping and residential options topped the list for several long-time residents.
The development will include mixed-use, multi-storey buildings with retail on the ground floor, office space on the second and residences with harbour and marina views on the top floor. It will not compete with Atlantis, but instead complement the resort's offerings.