Multi-million project aiming to revive ‘forgotten’ east Nassau

• Mixed use development targets 74 residential units

• To cover 160k sq ft behind Bamboo Shack, Marco’s

• Developer seeks to end ‘west more luxurious stigma’


Tribune Business Editor


THE developers behind a “multi-million” dollar mixed-use project to the Solomon Springs Plaza’s rear yesterday voiced optimism it will help revive a “forgotten” eastern New Providence if approved.

Richie Goodman, who is spearheading the 7.54-acre development on behalf of a Bahamian family who he declined to name, told Tribune Business that “a driving force” behind the development is an ambition to end “the stigma that the western end of the island is a lot more luxurious than the eastern end”.

The project, which will be located at the rear of an existing plaza on eastern Prince Charles Drive that is already home to Bamboo Shack and Marco’s Pizza outlets, is currently designed to feature 74 residential housing units - town homes and apartments - on the second and third floors plus nine commercial spaces on the ground floor.

Mr Goodman told this newspaper that there will be 67,000 square feet of total commercial space alone, and he added: “The whole project will be over 160,000 square feet....

“We’re just trying to bring something fresh to the arena. I feel as though there’s a lack of housing options for young professionals and a need for more commercial premises. Those needs aren’t really being addressed in the eastern part of the island.”

Noting that most commercial real estate development is occurring in western New Providence, as Brickell Management Group builds-out its $200m Venetian Village project and GoldWynn progresses towards starting its $100m Goodman’s Bay penthouse, Mr Good- man added: “We aren’t as big but we want to bring a sense of modernisation to the area.

“We feel the country, with its development, is ready for it, so that’s why we felt it was time to execute this project..... I think it’s needed, especially because the east is always forgotten in terms of being an area of the island. There’s a stigma that the western end is a lot more luxurious than the eastern end.

“You have developments like Palm Cay and Port New Providence, but in this area of the island it’s been forgotten, so we’re trying to bring a unique sense of richness back to this end of the island and that’s a driving force for this project.”

Mr Goodman said the total number of construction jobs that will be created is still being determined, along with the size of the required investment. He added that if all necessary approvals are obtained, construction will take two to three years to complete with work starting before end-2024.

“We don’t have the exact number of construction jobs based on where we are at the preliminary stages of the project,” Mr Goodman added. “But we don’t feel we’ll be using any foreign labour to accomplish this job. We feel The Bahamas has the correct number of skilled labourers to accomplish the job for us.

“It’s a multi-million dollar project. I can’t go into details but we are working on the numbers to get a final estimate. This will be a phased approach. We’ll start with the first phase and, based on what we learn from that, move to phases two and three.

“As far as timelines, we see this project taking between two to three years and hope to start ground breaking by the end of this year. That’s subject to the various government agencies and the approvals that they have to give.”

Asked about the likely selling prices for the residential real estate, Mr Goodman replied: “We don’t have finalised price points as yet. We’ll be work- ing with a Bahamian real estate company to establish price points and, more than likely, they’ll lead the charge to establish price points for us.”

The Town Planning Committee is due to hold a public consultation and hearing on the eight-building project, which is earmarked for a rectangular-shaped strip of land at the existing plaza’s rear to the west of East- wood Estates, on Thursday, March 7. Amenities include roof terraces, co-working spaces, barbecue stations and a clubhouse, along with commercial kiosks.

Mr Goodman, in a letter to the Department of Physical Planning’s chief planning officer, Jehan Wal- lace, said: “The proposed mixed-use development would consist of several residential and commercial units. The residential units would be designed to meet the growing demand for housing in the area, while the commercial units would provide much-needed space for local businesses.

“The reason for this development is to meet the changing needs of the community. The area surrounding the property has experienced significant growth in recent years, with an increasing number of people moving to the area for its proximity to transportation routes and employment centres. As a result, there is a need for more housing options as well as additional commercial space to support the growing population.”

Setting out the project’s virtues, Mr Goodman added: “We believe that the proposed mixed-use development will be a significant asset to the community, providing a range of benefits including meeting the growing demand for housing in the area.”

Other benefits, he added, included “creating job opportunities in the commercial sector which will contribute to the economic growth of the community”, plus “enhancing the overall vibrancy and livability of the area by providing a mix of residential and commercial uses”.

“We believe that the proposed mixed-use development will be a valuable addition to the community,” Mr Goodman said. The same section of eastern Prince Charles Drive has recently seen other shopping plaza-related development, with the project anchored by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Starbucks opening several hundred yards up the road.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment