$110m marina project in ‘accelerating’ sales


Tribune Business Editor


A $110m southern New Providence marina development says wet and dry slip membership sales “continue to outpace expectations” with construction work having begun ahead of the official ground breaking.

Rodney Chamberlain, vice-president of marina developments for Legendary Blue Water Cay Marina, told Tribune Business via a series of written answers to e-mailed questions that the sales pace is expected to

“accelerate” as the project starts its build-out phase.

“Sales have been strong and accelerating through the initial roll-out. As we move into construction, we envision the sales pace to continue accelerating,” he said. “Membership sales continue to out pace expectations, as the membership sales programme has brought international interest from America and Europe.

“The dry storage building will have as many as 700 slips, and the wet marina will have as many as 120 slips.” Mr Chamberlain added that Legendary Marina believes its dry boat storage facility, which will be constructed to ensure it can withstand Category Five strength hurricanes, can give it a competitive advantage over all rival Bahamas-based marinas.

“Legendary Marina at Blue Water Cay will be the first world-class dry boat storage facility in The Bahamas. The dry storage building will provide hurricane-rated protection against winds up to 185 miles per hour, giving our members worry-free boat storage,” he added. “This is a welcome development as it will satisfy the hurricane plan requirements for most boat insurance carriers.

“Legendary Marina will provide concierge services which will allow members to request their boat to be launched days, weeks or months in advance, with additional provisions such as fuel, water, ice and the boat will be ready and waiting in the water when the member arrives. Hotels, beachfront villas, restaurant, tiki bar, retail shopping will all combine to make this marina stand-out in The Bahamas.”

Tribune Business understands that Legendary Marina, which will be located almost due south of the Freedom Farm baseball field and can presently be reached by driving due south past Checkers’ Fox Hill outlet, is due to hold its official ground-breaking this week with Prime Minister Philip Davis KC likely to attend.

The developer, in a just released sales brochure, says it obtained all the necessary planning and environmental approvals earlier this year, with the Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) arriving in May 2023. The project’s first phase is now expected to open in spring or summer 2025, with membership pricing ranging from $330,750 to $1.35m

Explaining the project’s rationale, the developer added: “Several challenges have kept most boaters from making the journey across the Gulfstream to the islands on their boat, whether it’s the distance, concern for the weather or the seas, or not having a marine service centre in case of a mechanical problem, many boaters have opted to instead visit The Bahamas on a cruise, by plane...... or not at all.”

Pledging to solve these challenges, it added: “This was the vision of the founding partners of Legendary Marina Resort at Blue Water Cay, William Pizzorni and Peter Bos..... The idea to create such a destination - truly the first of its kind in The Bahamas – was the result of a fortuitous meeting in March 2021.

“Realising how impactful a dry stack marina would be to the boating market in The Bahamas, a partnership was created to boldly attempt what had never been done before. After the technical aspects like creating a partnership and closing on the land was completed, the real work began in land planning this ambitious project.

“After meeting with several ministries and regulatory agencies, the Legendary team realized this would be a unique entitlement process.... Step one was introducing the Legendary family to the decision makers and explain how the project that we envisioned could truly change boating in The Bahamas,” the Legendary sales brochure said.

“By allowing the new and current boaters to experience so much more of The Bahamas, including the Out Islands, more boaters will discover the unique charm and the virtually unlimited water and beach experiences that were previously only available to a few or the experiences of others....

“As the project was introduced to the various ministries, government officials commented on the need to demonstrate how this project will benefit the Out Islands.... When it was explained how Legendary Marina Resort will bring tourism to the outer islands through our centralised location and proximity to Lynden Pindling Airport, officials and residents alike began to really understand the rationale and support the project.”

Legendary Marina, in previous submissions to government agencies, pledged to transform “a hazardous location” blighted by trash dumps and stolen boats via a project that will create 220 permanent jobs at full build-out. It is forecasting that its 20-acre site will attract 16,500 extra annual visitors to The Bahamas once the phased nine-and-a-half year construction process is completed.

The April 2022 economic impact assessment for Legendary Marina Resort, prepared by Tourism Economics (Oxford Economics), calculates the project will have a total $789m economic impact and boost annual Bahamian gross domestic product (GDP) by $483m over a 25-year period. This translates to an average total annual impact of $31.56m, and GDP effect of $19.32m, over that period.

The assessment also predicted that the marina, and associated amenities including hotel, condominiums, mixed-use retail/office facility, boat storage, fuel and Customs/Immigration post, will boost Bahamian worker income by a cumulative $154m over that same 25-year period and create “an average of 375 additional full-time equivalent jobs” both directly and indirectly. When the 25-year average is calculated, the wage impact is a more modest $6.16m per year.

“Government revenues from the additional economic activity would total $158m (in 2022 figures) and would outweigh proposed concessions by a factor of 2.4,” Tourism Economics calculated. The study showed that, over Legendary Marina’s first 25 years, the developer estimates that it will receive tax breaks totalling some $66.3m, consisting of $38.2m in waived real property tax payments and $28.1m in foregone VAT and import duties on construction materials.

It then argues, though, that this will be more than offset by increased revenues elsewhere that the Government will not otherwise gain, including $47.8m worth of VAT and some $74m in Stamp duties.


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