By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
A BAHAMIAN developer yesterday pledged that noise and other nuisances impacting Adelaide residents should be over by month’s end, and asserted his project will “bring great value” to the area.
Robert Myers, principal behind the Windsor Lakes development in south-western New Providence, in a messaged reply to Tribune Business inquiries apologised to neighbours in the Adelaide Gardens for any inconvenience but explained that “excessive rains” during late 2023 has forced the contractor to work longer hours to make up for lost time.
Pointing out that “large development work is never easy or quiet no matter where it occurs”, he nevertheless promised that Windsor Lakes when completed will be a “first-of-its-kind in The Bahamas” through offering home buyers - the majority
of whom are anticipated to be Bahamian - a middle to upper middle income lifestyle with amenities to match higher-end communities.
Responding to complaints voiced in The Tribune’s letters page by Linc Scavella-Ferguson, Mr Myers told this newspaper he was “aware” of most of the concerns and issues raised. “We are aware that our earthworks contractor has been in touch with him and the neighbours in Adelaide Gardens on several occasions,” the Windsor Lakes principal added.
“The earthworks contractor works 7am to 6pm and has, at times, worked longer hours to make up for lost time due to the excessive rains in August through December. All earthworks are scheduled to be complete by the end of February, after which much of the noisy and heavy works will end.
“Infrastructure works will follow the earthworks, all in accordance with the plans approved by all relevant departments. Large development work is never easy or quiet no matter where it occur, and for that reality we apologise.”
Flipping to what he described as the project’s positive attributes, Mr Myers said: “Windsor Lakes is proud to be a Bahamian-built development that is providing good paying jobs to many Bahamian contractors, trades and workers.
“The development is a first-of-its kind in The Bahamas and offers the overwhelming majority of Bahamian buyers a high quality, affordable middle high income community with unique amenities. This will be a community that will bring great value to the Adelaide area, an area we are proud to be a part of.
“Again, we apologise for any disturbance we make as we complete the heavy infra- structure works and we ask for our neighbours’ understanding as we complete these works through the rest of the year.”
Mr Scavella-Ferguson, in his letter, complained that Adelaide residents received no notice of when construction work was to begin. “Large earthmoving equipment began arriving through the streets of our community and in the nearby quiet neighbourhood of Adelaide Gardens, where at least 22 of the 29 government- constructed homes have a history of major structural damage as a result of the unstable ground very near to the wetlands of Adelaide,” he wrote.
“As work began clearing hundreds of pine trees and excavating the grounds on the Windsor Lakes project, some residents complained of the noise, pollution and feeling tremors in their homes..... Later, the digging of the lakes began with loud earth shattering noises emerging from the banging and excavations of the earthmoving machines from early morning and all through the nighttime 24/7 and even on holidays.
“Every effort was made to get the contractors to ease up the nighttime noises, but to no avail.” Mr Scavella- Ferguson complained that residents had received no help from Vaughn Miller, their MP and also minister of the environment and
natural resources, despite repeated efforts and accused the developers of “disrespect and a lack of consideration for their neighbours”.
“They operate their heavy earthmoving machinery and generators from night to morning, having no regard for the health risks to the community associated with the carbon monoxide emissions from their earthmoving machinery,” he added, while also voicing complaints about the dumping of fill and erection of a fence that has made it more difficult for vehicles to manoevere.
Tribune Business reported recently how Windsor Lakes has generated $15m in revenues from selling 35 percent of its available lots within five months. It was planning to imminently increase prices for the second time due to the heavy demand for lakefront living.
Ryan Knowles, founder and chief executive of Maison Bahamas Real Estate, who is marketing the project to prospective buyers, branded the community - located in close proximity to Albany and Adelaide Village - as “a truly unique product”. He dis- closed that buyer inquiries and actual sales since marketing of the project started in August last year have thus far exceeded expectations.
With around 60 of Windsor Lakes’ total 173 multi-family and single-family lots already sold, Mr Knowles told this newspaper that the development’s promotional website has received around 1,000 inquiries from potential purchasers during the first four to five months.
He asserted that the interest “signals the market has been waiting” for a community targeted at middle and upper middle income price points, with lot prices start- ing at $205,000 and going up to $400,000, and home packages costing between $895,000 and $1.2m.
And Mr Knowles also suggested that a lakefront gated community “has never been done in Nassau before on this scale”, with the closest comparison being the homes that border Lake Cunningham. He added that the lakes at Windsor Lake, which will be a central or anchor fea- ture for the community, are scheduled to be completed by the end of February 2024.