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$45m Deal Signed For Harbour Island Resort

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE government signed a heads of agreement yesterday with Michael Wiener, principal of 4M Harbour Island Limited, to develop a $45m world class tourism resort on Harbour Island.

Mr Wiener is an American who, Dr Minnis said, has a proven track record in real estate development, having developed projects in Hawaii and Texas, among others.

Up to 150 people will be employed during the construction stage of the project, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said, adding 72 permanent positions are expected to be available when construction is complete.

The developer has committed to ensuring a Bahamian work force of at least 70 per cent on the project, Dr Minnis said.

He stressed that the signing of the agreement at Cabinet Office yesterday was “the real thing,” not a “ceremony”, alluding to the controversial agreement signing involving Oban Energies that has dominated headlines in recent weeks.

Dr Minnis rebuffed questions about that oil storage and refinery project yesterday, insisting he will address it comprehensively during his mid-year budget communication, which is expected to take place next week.

He expressed confidence that due diligence has been performed on the proposed Harbour Island development.

“This project has been completed in its totality,” he said, referring to due diligence efforts. “I spent the entire last night making sure I went over every line myself...but don’t twist that to say I didn’t go over Oban. I know how you will have headline tomorrow, ‘PM did not read Oban.’”

It is not clear when construction is expected to begin on the project, but Dr Minnis said it will take two and a half years to complete.

“Today confirms my government’s commitment to accelerate the growth of the economy of the Bahamas and in so doing uplift the living standards of the people of the Bahamas, particularly those living in our Family Islands,” he said. “This is part of our desire to provide greater opportunities in the Family Islands. It will serve to encourage Family Island residents to remain on the island of their birth, enjoy a sustainable future and provide for the needs of their families.

“The $45m Harbour Island resort and marina development, due to be completed in two and half years, will enhance the natural attributes of Harbour Island, invigorate and stimulate the economy of Harbour Island and the surrounding Eleuthera communities.

“Mr Wiener’s vision for the transformation and revitalisation of the vintage property will bring a unique appeal to the southwest coast of Harbour Island. The marina property will be redesigned into a world class, state of the art luxury mega yacht based resort community with a wide array of amenities consisting of a marina, club house, restaurants, a retail and a resort residential community to include single and two-story town homes with a total of 28 guest rooms, ten villas and a swimming pool.

“The 55-slip marina and resort will be distinctly different with an architectural loyalist style design reflecting the historic roots of the Dunmore Town settlement and will enhance the product offering on Harbour Island,” Dr Minnis said.

“I am advised that the project, in particular the marina component, has received the approval of the relevant government agencies, inclusive of the Ministry of Transport and Local Government and the Ministry of the environment. I am happy to say that Mr Wiener has committed to a 70 per cent Bahamian work force on this project for both construction works and business operations. It is expected that 150 persons will be employed in construction positions and 72 permanent positions will be made available for business operations. The employment will be enhanced by on the job employee training.”

Dr Minnis added: “Entrepreneurial opportunities for local residents of Harbour Island are expected to flourish through tender bids which will be offered to Bahamian contractors. Mr Wiener will over the course of the development work closely with local government and resident government offices to ensure maximisation of Bahamian employment and training. From a cultural perspective, entrepreneurial opportunities in the marina village will be made available to Bahamian entertainers, musicians, artists and artisans.”

Dr Minnis said some Harbour Island residents have already been consulted on the project.

“I am pleased to say,” he said, “that the Harbour island residents have voiced their overwhelming resort for the 4M project at a public consultation meeting held in Harbour Island on the 16th of November 2017. The residents are enthusiastically receptive to the development and eagerly await the potential economic developments.”

An environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the project has already been performed. Dr Minnis said the Bahamas Environment Science and Technology Commission (BEST) has reviewed the project. He said the heads of agreement for the project will be tabled in Parliament when he speaks.

Comments

stillwaters 1 year, 7 months ago

Okay, the FNM has hit their learning curve..........I hope.

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 7 months ago

My God ......... why are they still building more resorts on this little filthy rock???????

Why can't Minis re-direct these investors to other islands????

Briland doesnot have anything more special than other islands ........ smt

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DDK 1 year, 7 months ago

Pink sands? LOL I hear you though, building up some of our other islands would be a plan, especially those with a bit more space! I suppose Briland is a tried and proven destination....

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stillwaters 1 year, 7 months ago

Filthy rock???? Jeez, man..............stop.

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Sickened 1 year, 7 months ago

I went there a couple of years ago with the kids. Most of the streets downtown I didn't drive down because of the amount of fellas hanging out and talking loud. The island isn't as tranquil as it used to be. Spanish Wells is now far superior and getting better every year.

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stillwaters 1 year, 7 months ago

I went down there too, a couple years ago, and loved it!!!!!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 7 months ago

It is certainly not what it used to be and, like many Bahamians and tourists alike, I stopped visiting the place several years ago. Too many other much nicer places to visit in our family islands.

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licks2 1 year, 7 months ago

I went down there a few times. . .it takes getting used-to. . .a town that never sleeps. . .friendly people. . .laid way way back. . .makes you want to take off all your clothes and sit out on the dock. . .which I did one time. . .sit out on the sea side that is. . .and low and behold, a little red hen and she lil biddies them came right up and passed feet away from me! I thought the chicken said " a good morning to you"! A chicken and she biddies them down town? And she looked at me like I een been there. . .hell them biddies them een pay no mind to me either! I remember that "at home" feeling. . .was asking to buy property down there. . .nobody want to sell. . .not even that big old dutty building the government owns down there. . .nobody wants to sell. . .I loved the place!

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 7 months ago

The FNM did not learn anything from the past governments ........ Look at what over-development and inappropriate development has done to PI, Nassau, Bimini, Briland, Exuma etc. ...... The time has come for the Ministers of Finance & Tourism to create an Out Island blue-print for optimum sustainable eco-friendly tourism development ....... and if it currently exists, then spread the joy around to ALL of the islands ........ Can you imagine what two or three FDIs can do for six or seven depressed Out Islands like Cat Island, S.Andros, Long Island, Acklins, Crooked Island and Mayaguana????????? ........ But we cannot keep fattening the same sacred cows year after year.

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 7 months ago

Ryan Pinder was there I am sure he tried to help doc. doc needs all the help he can get.

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Porcupine 1 year, 7 months ago

Did Minnis really say, "I am pleased to say,” he said, “that the Harbour island residents have voiced their overwhelming resort for the 4M project." ?

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TalRussell 1 year, 7 months ago

My trusted street corners Comrades have on good authority Ryan Pinder be appointed Upper Red Chamber on route to cabinet. My same street Comrades says they've seen picture of Papa Hubert and Loretta taken on cellphone camera at a meeting held discuss Minnis's longevity as PM which was attended by at least two inner circle red MP's with one being from Grand Bahamaland, who do not appear in the cellphone's picture. If not appointed to cabinet will be appointed to head Bank of Bahamaland?

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licks2 1 year, 7 months ago

Do you really think we non-political care if he goes? Child please. . .May 10 started a new day round here. . .we don't care who is the PM. . .I don't think it matters really. . .but it will never be a PLP again. . .that's the word on the streets. . .lol!

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realfreethinker 1 year, 7 months ago

I hope the right person signed the document

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realitycheck242 1 year, 7 months ago

You see how close Minnis watching him in the picture....no need to wonder ....he sign it with the right NAME !

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licks2 1 year, 7 months ago

It really don't matter what name is placed there. . .only thing is that the signee is an owner or an agent of the owner. . .perfect. . .its legal! Only in the Bahamas that concept seem to have problem for persons to understand that point in business! Must be in the water here. . .lol!

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 7 months ago

If doc read the OBAN contract and he signed it. what it means is he is worse than we can imagine.it means either he can not read or he does not understand. just the same the Bahamas is in deep trouble

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 7 months ago

Who are the lawyers for OBAN were their names mentioned.??

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licks2 1 year, 7 months ago

I heard one big PLP was the inside man . . .don't forget that was a PLP project. . .and they will not give anybody DNA, FNM or any kind of m anything that smells of money!! Bird you don't want to start "digging" in that yard. . .ya boys them brought this project to our nation. . .don't you ever forget. . .and you know how corrupt yinna can be. . .so chill before ya don't shoot one of ya boys down and cause them go to jail!!

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 7 months ago

My God ......... why are they still building more resorts on this little filthy rock??????? Why can't Minis re-direct these investors to other islands???? Briland doesnot have anything more special than other islands ........ smt

Even the other Briland hotel owners agree with me ........ read the NG story for yourself.

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