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Concerns mount over Treasure Cay future

By YOURI KEMP

Tribune Business Reporter

ykemp@tribunemedia.net

Opposition to suitor for the Treasure Cay resort mounts as more residents strike out in opposition to Dr Mirko Kovats, with one being a backup bidder for the resort.

Craig Roberts, a hotelier, hopes to buy the Treasure Cay resort. He has lived in Abaco for more than 31 years and developed the successful Banyan Beach Club and Bahama Beach Club Resorts.

Mr Roberts told Tribune Business he fears Dr Kovats, who is an Austrian-born billionaire with a home in Lyford Cay, will “land bank” the property and not redevelop Treasure Cay.

“That seems to be Mr Kovat’s trend,” said Mr Roberts. “Our tiny community is really hurting following Hurricane Dorian in 2019. We truly need the hundreds of new Bahamian jobs and millions of Ddollars in new spending an experienced developer would bring to this amazingly beautiful place.”

Francine Ojalvo Delarosa a member of the Treasure Cay Property Owners Association (TCPOA), is now saying that her earlier Facebook post directed at Dr Kovats and reported by this newspaper was “taken out of context” and that she in “no way supports” Dr Kovats buying the Treasure Cay Resort.

Ms Delarosa said: “I’m going to be careful with my words, Treasure Cay is at a critical point in its future. Actually, my family owns a second home there and we’re actually finished with our plans and ready to rebuild. But there is so much uncertainty with what’s going on at that resort that I am not entirely certain I want to commit to rebuilding and investing in a resort with an uncertain future.”

It’s nothing personal towards Dr Kovats, Ms Delarosa said, but it’s on the issue of all of the past controversies swirling around him that has her second-guessing his fit for Treasure Cay.

As the Tribune has reported Dr Kovats has been involved in controversial property deals at the old South Ocean property and the Love Beach area and this is just in The Bahamas.

He also has developed a reputation for piling up lawsuits from bankrupting businesses to accusations of damaging the reputation of company and harming its stock price by his business practices.

Ms Delarosa said: “Actually there is a lot of controversy with him and his potential purchase of the Treasure Cay resort. Basically what was misinterpreted from my quote, and this is the takeaway: what I wrote on Facebook was completely taken out of context. I didn’t say that I supported Dr Kovats purchasing Treasure Cay resort. I said that I was asking people, before saying that they are in favour or against his purchase, to do their due diligence and understand who he is and where he comes from and what his intentions are. I would have said that about him or about anybody else, but specially about him.”

Treasure Cay holds a “very special place” for Ms Delarosa and her family and she does not want it destroyed by someone who doesn’t appear to have a complete vision for the island. “I want nothing more than to see this community bounce back to what it was before or even better, I think this is an opportunity to improve, but I’m not sure if such a controversial individual is the right person to help us improve.”

Comments

lovingbahamas 6 months ago

This could be another white elephant just like Our Lucaya on GB. 4 years of legal wrangling, nothing happening and the poor people of Abaco will get to do the suffering. Looking at Kovats history this is a bad deal. Make whoever buys it put up a $5 million bond for development. That will get rid of the shadows. Time is of the essence. This new government seems to be taking care of business. This Our Lucaya was a disaster-don’t destroy North Abaco. This will be a good opportunity for the new government to shine.

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Maximilianotto 6 months ago

Craig Roberts the marijuana grower? DEA waiting 🤣🤣🤣

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Maximilianotto 6 months ago

Ever read the $100m+ development plans?

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benniesun 6 months ago

Just one slug calling another slug slimy, and jostling against each other to see who gets to feast on Dorian's detritus.

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Maximilianotto 6 months ago

This is unqualified. Facts please. Craig Roberts is marijuana grower and seller, that’s public knowledge. His sources of money are drug related. Back to Pindling times?

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Maximilianotto 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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familyoffice 6 months ago

May we release the following facts regarding your article's incorrect "landbanking" comments. We have better things to do than landbanking in The Bahamas.

  1. South Ocean Canadian Commercial Workers Pension Plan property

Following acceptance of all conditions set by the vendor's lawyer, Dr. Kovats delivered the signed purchase agreement to the vendor's lawyer in 2014, the vendor CCWPP never countersigned and returned. A $2,0 bn. development has been predesigned and submitted to the then Prime Minister Perry Christie and Town Planning, including hotel development. No answers, no comments, no decisions. The renewed project has been submitted in December, 2021

  1. Love Beach

Dr.Kovats financed the first building to the previous owner who did not complete the building. In 2014-2015 Dr. Kovats foreclosed the property, acquired adjacent parcels, and received all approvals by September, 2021 only. The building plans will be executed by first half of 2022, and, again, depending on approvals time schedule, construction of the residential project is slated to begin in 2022 immediately after having received building approvals.

  1. Treasure Cay

Dr. Kovats signed the sales and purchase agreement with the vendors beginning of 2021, in the midst of the COVID Pandemic. Following the complex due diligence, which is close to being completed now, closing is expected by beginning of 2022.

BIA asked for a development plan last week, which has been submitted within 2 working days, including significant investment. It took 8 unanswered emails to BIA starting August, 2021, to receive this request.

Following meeting with the DPM Chester Cooper confirming "removal of red tape and the most investor friendly government" we are confident of the "New Day" improvments.

I have written support and information letters about Treasure Cay to authorities interested in supporting The Bahamas in these challenging times, moreover expecting a very challenging 2022 ahead due to the recent Omikron spike.

All hands on deck are needed to support investment in The Bahamas, there is no time for "White Crab, Black Crab" games!

Dr. Wolfgang Groeger Kovats Family Office Vienna Austria

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Maximilianotto 6 months ago

This man is serious. Is able to explain his interests which would help the economy in 2022 Omikron year. Lockdown, no flights, no crews. Devastating comments about BIA. The New Day yet has to be proven. Better sit small, roll out the red carpet and be grateful a billionaire family office is ready to invest here. All others are just havenots and storytellers. Hopefully this embarrassing experience, precisely documented,doesn’t find its way into the Wall Street Journal read by all Bahamian lenders in the year 2022 when $2 bn debt become due. Another 9% refinance interest as proven by the previous government would be fatal, $600 or $700 m annual interest expenses of the Bahamas translate into $1 bn annual budget deficit. What this would mean doesn’t need to be explained.

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Maximilianotto 6 months ago

Note - which are the „institutions“ having been contacted with „support letters“ by the Family Office? Definitely not Rotary, neither Salvation Army nor Red Cross. Would be interesting to get the letters. Superficial journalism seems to get a big ball rolling.

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Officeaep 6 months ago

May we release the following facts regarding your article's incorrect "landbanking" comments. We have better things to do than landbanking in The Bahamas.

  1. South Ocean Canadian Commercial Workers Pension Plan property

Following acceptance of all conditions set by the vendor's lawyer, Dr. Kovats delivered the signed purchase agreement to the vendor's lawyer in 2014, the vendor CCWPP never countersigned and returned.

A $2,0 bn. development has been predesigned and submitted to the then Prime Minister Perry Christie and Town Planning, including hotel development. No answers, no comments, no decisions.

The renewed project has been submitted in December, 2021

  1. Love Beach

Dr.Kovats financed the first building to the previous owner who did not complete the building. In 2014-2015 Dr. Kovats foreclosed the property, acquired adjacent parcels, and received all approvals by September, 2021 only.

The building plans will be executed by first half of 2022, and, again, depending on approvals time schedule, construction of the residential project is slated to begin in 2022 immediately after having received building approvals.

  1. Treasure Cay

Dr. Kovats signed the sales and purchase agreement with the vendors beginning of 2021, in the midst of the COVID Pandemic. Following the complex due diligence, which is close to being completed now, closing is expected by beginning of 2022.

BIA asked for a development plan last week, which has been submitted within 2 working days, including significant investment. It took 8 unanswered emails to BIA starting August, 2021, to receive this request.

Following meeting with the DPM Chester Cooper confirming "removal of red tape and the most investor friendly government" we are confident of the "New Day" improvments.

I have written support and information letters about Treasure Cay to authorities interested in supporting The Bahamas in these challenging times, moreover expecting a very challenging 2022 ahead due to the recent Omikron spike.

All hands on deck are needed to support investment in The Bahamas, there is no time for "White Crab, Black Crab" games!

Dr. Wolfgang Groeger

Kovats Family Office

Vienna Austria

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BahamaFan131313 6 months ago

Anyone who knows Craig Roberts knows he's out for himself and his own bank account. He's the last person who should have any say over what happens in TC.

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Bahamas2022 6 months ago

This is very noteworthy. So the government is permanently interfering in commercial business transactions? Starting from $300 m stamp duty waiver for BahaMar shady bankruptcy executed by previous PLP administration? Did anyone benefit? Just asking…TheNewPunch coming in 2022? If correct, plenty of stuff to write of „New Day“. Be fast before the New Day is gone.

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Bahamas2022 6 months ago

Interesting. What happens next?

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sheeprunner12 6 months ago

This is the first time that I've seen a foreign investor respond in this fashion (to local newspaper comments). This is intriguing.

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CurrentBeachClubOwner 6 months ago

Good to push back on the fake news!

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Maximilianotto 6 months ago

Will not be the last time. Investors becoming increasingly disgruntled.

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