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Govt Signs Heads Of Agreement For $400m Jack's Bay Project In Eleuthera

The Jack's Bay Heads of Agreement signing took place Friday morning at Cabinet Office. Pictured are Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, centre, with Developers Franklyn Wilson, left, and O.A. T. 'Tommy' Turnquest. (BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)

The Jack's Bay Heads of Agreement signing took place Friday morning at Cabinet Office. Pictured are Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, centre, with Developers Franklyn Wilson, left, and O.A. T. 'Tommy' Turnquest. (BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)

By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT

tsmith-cartwright@tribunemedia.net

THE government signed a heads of agreement with Eleuthera Properties on Friday for the development of the Jack's Bay Resort, Golf Course and Marina project in South Eleuthera worth some $400 million.

The project is being chaired by Sir Franklyn Wilson, of Jack's Bay Developers, and is set to employ hundreds of Bahamians. The property, sitting on about 1,200 acres on the beach, promises luxury lifestyle opportunities that are said to be unmatched anywhere in the region, with development currently underway on a 10-hole short course designed by Tiger Woods’ TGR Design.

The business model is that of a private members club and residential community. It is said that Eleuthera has not seen this level of development in 40 years.

At Friday’s signing, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis noted that the development was good news, especially for South Eleuthera.

“Jack’s Bay takes advantage of the stellar and spectacular beauty of Eleuthera, and will offer an iconic Bahamian experience, from everything from its architecture and design to culinary experiences,” Dr Minnis said.

“With the Jack’s Bay project, the Disney project, and other developments on the horizon, Eleuthera, including South Eleuthera, is about to go through an economic renaissance. For many decades South Eleuthera has struggled to find sustainable development projects. A new era is on the horizon for the people of Eleuthera, a dream long in the making, finally coming to fruition.”

Dr Minnis said this project, along with others, will help the country’s national economic recovery, post the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently, a resort in the Abacos came under heavy fire for bringing in 300 Mexicans for construction purposes. Dr Minnis was asked how many work permits will be issued for the Jack Bay’s project.

“We will always put Bahamians first and we will look to ensure that we have Bahamians qualified to do the job and once they are not then we will issue work permits because the project must come to completion,” the prime minister said.

Dr Minnis also said the project was a long time in the making and has employed more than 200 people before March.

“Our vision includes a diversity of tourism and sustainable development projects by Bahamians and international investors, with a variety of Bahamian experiences throughout the archipelago,” he continued. “This project has been a long time in the making and is a unique Bahamian experience, including Bahamian ownership and a team of mostly Bahamian managers.

“The investment to date is in excess of $100 million. Sustainable employment was in excess of 200 people prior to March 2020. One hundred employees were retained during the lockdown period and the number of employed will increase again when the project opens up to further construction.”

Phase one of the project, which is said to be substantially completed, includes among other amenities: a main entrance, roads, landscaping and infrastructure; 10 hole par 3 Tiger Woods Golf playground; playground clubhouse, restaurant and retail; club lodge (main clubhouse) and pool area; tennis courts and 18 club villas.

Dr Minnis said the completion of phase one has allowed the recent opening of the club and the presentation of the residential product to the marketplace.

Comments

DDK 1 month, 2 weeks ago

How much did they pocket for that one??? And the beat of corruption goes on and on and on. Not worth inking ya finger every five years. Face masks don't hide corrupt government pretense of doing it for jobs for the people while the real objective is exploitation of the locals, exportation of profits and the lining of the pockets of the politicians in power. WHEN are Bahamians going to finally realize that they are being swung? I guess when they stop aiding and abetting the chief gangsters for the crumbs..

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Clamshell 1 month, 2 weeks ago

There is no document in the world that holds less value than a Bahamian “Heads of Agreement.” There are dozens of “Heads of Agreements” for projects on Eleuthera that never got built. Dozens. Each of them came with the same windy, glorious, empty promises from politicians and developers. This is just one more. I would dearly love to see proof of such wild claims as Amazon having invested with Franklyn Wilson on this property. Bullshyte.

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hrysippus 1 month, 2 weeks ago

What does a SSSSlithering noise sound like coming from the cookie jar?

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tribanon 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Snake doing what he does best: Blowing nothing but a hell of a lot of hot air!

Tommy T is no match for Snake so we know Sir Orville's pockets will end up being much lighter by the time this project fades away like so many other of Snake's much hyped South Eleuthera development projects.

And how is it Minnis can make time for such promotional photo ops, but can't make time for regular press conferences to answer important questions from reporters about the pandemic that is currently ravaging our country and has all but destroyed our nation's economy? It's as if Minnis is insensitive to the fact that so many Bahamians now go to bed at night hungry, wondering where their next meal will come from.

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Clamshell 1 month, 2 weeks ago

... and let’s not forget the time he got caught trying to steal land from the locals for one of his ill-fated South Eleuthera schemes. And then he goes all teary-eyed about how he’s trying to help them. Uh ... yeah, sure.

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Topdude 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Tribanon there you go again expressing your frustration with being voted out of office. Stop it.

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RealTalk 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Things that make you go hmmmm....

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Call_me_crazy 1 month, 2 weeks ago

To see that picture gives me hope. Minnis is as much a Wilson cynic as anyone, so that Heads of agreement must be bullet proof. I like the fact that they're not trying to put up a hotel that employs a couple hundred people for a year or two only to close down when people then relocate permanently.

As far as the comments about someone thiefing, there's nothing to thief, we broke. You see NIB can't pay their claims! That's probably the only reason Minnis approve this project :) I don't understand that rationale. The government isn't spending anything. The deal is a hundred million has been spent by the Wilson Group and 300 million is going to be spent to complete the project. But the skeptics are right, we've bin down this road a few times, so I definitely can't blame them for those comments.

I'll tell y'all, don't sleep on Tommy, he's probably the only person in this country that could have gotten those two together. Let's wish them well. I have a good feeling about this one because as I mentioned previously, Minnis probably check this out inside out and upside down, this gatta be bullet proof!

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BONEFISH 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Sir Orville Turnquest and Sir Franklyn Wilson have been business partners since the mid-seventies.They have been in numerous business ventures together.

Arawak Homes,FOCOL and now this Jack's Bay venture. Tommy Turnquest is merely representing his father and family's interest in this venture.It was the late Sir Lynden Pindling who suggested this partnership,I was told.This is not the first heads of agreement signed for this project.The media should ask what the first agreement had in it.Also what new conditions and concessions are in this new agreement.

The media here in the Bahamas don't ask questions.They do a poor job in keeping the average Bahamian informed of what is going on in this country.

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Cobalt 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I don’t have a problem with black Bahamian businessmen conducting lucrative business deals. As a matter of fact, we need more of them. But I can’t help but notice that 400 million dollars is actually enough to build a brand new hospital. Just saying. But anyway..... congratulations guys.

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K4C 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Asking for a friend, how is that Grand Lucayan Purchase deal going ????

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sheeprunner12 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Far cheaper too .......... Why did Minnis not arrange for some of these wealthy Bahamians to buy off Grand Lucayan????? .......... Or is it the GBPA that is blocking progress?????? ........... Time to tear up the HCA (1955).

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