By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
THE Treasure Cay resort potential buyer has responded to concerns surrounding his intentions for the property and the island saying “there is no time for ‘White Crab, Black Crab’ games.”
Dr Mirko Kovats, who has been revealed as the front-runner to purchasing the Treasure Cay resort, has faced heavy criticism from residents who essentially have called him a bad fit for the island and its future, citing former controversial land deals he was involved in in The Bahamas.
One such controversial deal was with the South Ocean property purchase from the Canadian Commercial Industry Workers Pension Plan (CCWIPP) in, 2014, where concerned residents voiced opposition to his intention to purchase the property next to five acres he already owns in the South Western portion of the island and next to the Albany development, saying Dr Kovats has a penchant for buying land and doing nothing with it.
Dr Wolfgang Groeger, a representative purporting to be speaking on behalf of the Kovats Family Office in Vienna Austria, in an emailed statement to Tribune Business, wrote: “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 CCWIPP never countersigned and returned.
“A $2bn 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.
“We have better things to do than land-banking in The Bahamas.”
The second controversial property deal was at Love Beach and “The View Love Beach” project in 2019 where Dr Kovats faced similar opposition as to the South Ocean development, Dr Groeger said: “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.”
Regarding the Treasure Cay resort, Dr Groeger said: “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 (Bahamas Investment Authority) asked for a development plan last week, which has been submitted within two working days, including significant investment. It took eight unanswered emails to BIA starting August, 2021, to receive this request.
“Following a meeting with the DPM (Deputy Prime Minister) Chester Cooper confirming ‘removal of red tape and the most investor friendly government’ we are confident of the ‘New Day’ improvements.
“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 Omicron spike.
“All hands on deck are needed to support investment in The Bahamas, there is no time for “White Crab, Black Crab” games.”
Maximilianotto 1 year, 2 months ago
What is „controversial“? Trying to invest $2 bn in the Bahamas? I miss precise comments. Is Albany owning the island? Building residential apartments at Love Beach? Developing Treasure Cay having been for sale since 30 years? I miss serious comments from serious persons, more than the marijuana dealer from Treasure Cay - but maybe he overlooked greasing palms? after costly elections? Or is the country back to drug money investors? Colombians on Eleuthera? So many unanswered questions. The s..t will hit the fan soon. Then a New New Day might come. 2022 will be interesting. Interesting comments about BIA appointment, if true. A New Punch needed, but BP could report more details how appointments are made and which qualified personnel is in charge. Finally, an investor with deep pockets comments on the reality of this island. He must really like the place. Bahamas better sit small.Wondering about these „letters to institutions“.Tribune should ask. Why did the Family Office mention this?
benniesun 1 year, 2 months ago
@Maximilianotto Some brown nosers seem to have developed permanent layers of crusts on their noses and they are attracted to deep pockets like flies to s**t. There are very few righteous billionaires, and all the rest of them are evil. Also the modus operandi these days is to bring in foreigners or hire the 'Hishun dem' crews for construction; then give the locals some low level low paying jobs such as maids, janitors, security, cook, etc... all the while bringing in foreigners for the jobs with any worth. My motto is that brown nosers are sellouts aka traitors.
Baha10 1 year, 2 months ago
It would seem Kovats is all about “business”, which “should” be what an Investment Friendly Country dependent upon Foreign Investment is all about also, not entertaining the minority voices of Special Interest Groups that have their own Self Serving Agendas that do not align with those of the Country in terms of economic development and most importantly Job Creation … indeed, it is clear from our current disastrous international financial standing that entertaining such Special Interest Groups over the years has done us no favors and our people have as a result … suffered greatly.
Anyway, as Others are commenting … it is “A New Day” … so let us see, as I reckon a lot of other potential Investors are watching how this plays out … hopefully the Red Carpet for the World to see … and not more Crabs coming out of their Holes to cause mischief at the expense of our Country and in tun, our People.
LastManStanding 1 year, 2 months ago
Treasure Cay was a loss making entity for a very long time. The only way to ever turn a consistent profit on the investment would be to put a beachfront hotel and casino on the 40 acre parcel included as part of the deal. The problem is that doing so is going to ruffle many feathers among the second homeowners, and will make this guy's life very difficult. Treasure Cay has not been a resort in the true sense of the word for a very long time, it has been dominated by second homeowners for a while now. Going that route was a one way street that will be difficult to turn back from.
The whole deal smells rotten to be honest. This guy will need tens, if not hundreds, of millions to put in a hotel, rebuild the marina which was completely destroyed in Dorian, rebuild restaurants, fix up the golf course, build a proper commercial center, and get everything else up to speed. He will not make the money back in his lifetime. None of this is even considering the impact that COVID has had (and will continue to have) on the tourism market, something that omicron is making known again.
Maximilianotto 1 year, 2 months ago
It’s so simple. Let the market speak. Who believed in Lyford Cay or Albany? It’s his money so let him invest. I wouldn’t worry as long as Abaco benefits. Marina, Beach Hotel, commercial center, golf course, condos, restaurants marijuana free, why not another Bakers Vay? Like or dislike, Investment counts and created jobs, and politicians better be supportive as they only can talk but otherwise broke.
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