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.”