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PI hotel project’s 100 ‘permanent’ job pledge

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

A development that aims to be Paradise Island’s “first new hotel for many years” yesterday said its project will create 100 permanent jobs and a similar number of construction posts.

HotelConsult Bahamas, developer of the proposed Paradise Yacht Club, which will occupy the site of the former Paradise Harbour Club and Columbus Tavern if approved by the regulatory authorities, pledged that it will generate up to 30 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources.

Speaking after this week’s Town Planning Committee public hearing on the project, which saw various Paradise Island residents and neighbours voice concerns over the resort’s scale, rezoning of a residential lot for a 74-space parking facility, traffic congestion and overall impact on quality of life, the developer promised to “breathe new life” into the tourism product.

Brent Creary, managing architect of Archventure Ltd, the project’s architects, said: “The project will revitalise a derelict site, create around 100 permanent jobs and focus sustainability through the use of renewable energy and modern building materials and techniques.”

Paradise Yacht Club will feature 101 units overlooking Nassau Harbour, with HotelConsult Bahamas saying it will create some 100 permanent jobs and the same number during construction. “The Paradise Yacht Club project represents more than just a development; it is part of a vision for a sustainable future,” said Joshua Brooks a representative of HotelConsult Bahamas.

“We’re proud to breathe new life into this site, transforming it into a vibrant destination that not only provides opportunities for employment but also respects the environment.” He added that the project will aim to generate more than 30 percent of its power through renewable energy.

“Our sustainability efforts include the use of low U-value insulation and glazing; a passive design to minimise solar gain; using the direct power of the sun for water heating; a waste recycling programme with on-island partners; rainwater harvesting from the roof; a compost programme; recycling of grey water for landscaping; and a commitment to support local farming partners,” Mr Brooks said.

The project will feature a seven-storey main building with a footprint of around 19,000 square feet. The 101 units, ranging from approximately 370 to more than 1,000 square feet, will each have a balcony with harbour views. The ground floor will host amenities such as a restaurant and retail areas, along with an outdoor gym and swimming pool.

“Our goal is to create a boutique hotel with a charming restaurant that captures the essence of Bahamian hospitality,” Mr Brooks said. “Paradise Yacht Club will provide a memorable experience for the local community and tourists and also serve as a source of pride for the community.”

The project’s neighbours, though, on Monday night voiced concerns over the extra traffic it will generate in a residential area of Paradise Island. They also expressed opposition to the proposed rezoning of one of HotelConsult’s land parcels, lot 13, from residential to commercial to facilitate a 74-space parking facility.

A resident of the Shangri-La Condominiums said the planned resort should not be given permission to convert the lot as its commercial use will devalue neighbouring properties.

He also argued that the project is not financially beneficial to the residents of Cloister Drive, who are mostly Bahamians, adding that one property owner should not make the entire community “suffer”. If the resort proceeds, he warned the developers will “leave us no choice but to take legal action”.

“It will not financially benefit the residents of Paradise Island Colony Subdivision; it will benefit someone [else],” he asserted. “I’m sure at some point someone’s going to ask, if you don’t already know, who are the ultimate beneficial owners of that property. And does a portion of one lot within a community dictate that everybody else should suffer?

“For example, if you have a home and there’s a lot built on it next door to you. And they tear it down and they decide, well, we’re going to build a parking garage. We’re going to build a mechanic shop and then everyone and their mother is going to bring cars to it, and they’re going to be on cement blocks. Your value of your home is not what it was the day before. This is why we are here.

“We bought this, we are no different to you as individual residents. Most of us, like you, are Bahamian and we spent hard-earned money to make a difference for our families. I do not believe, and I could be corrected, that the developer is Bahamian, and I do not believe that that development is for the benefit of Cloister Drive nor for the benefit of Paradise Island Colony subdivision. And you will leave us no choice but to take legal action…”

It is understood that the project’s principal is a Bahamas resident. Another Paradise Island resident, meanwhile, argued that the parking garage will attract extra traffic volumes that will negatively affect the quality of life of neighbours.

He said: “Cloister Drive east and west is a residential area. Children ride their bicycles; we walk unhindered on Cloister Drive. I’m very concerned about lot 13 and the new entrances being proposed for the parking garage at the top of lot 13. That is of concern to me. And the quality of life of those of us who live on Cloister Drive can be very affected by that particular concern.”

Plans submitted to the Department of Physical Planning revealed that the project is being expanded to a seven-storey hotel featuring a 46 percent increase in units compared to earlier plans. The number of hotel rooms and apartments, which will be spread across the upper six floors, is being increased by 32 units - from the 69 cited last year to 101 in the latest version submitted to the planning authorities.

An architect’s rendering of Paradise Yacht Club, a proposed hotel that will create around 100 permanent jobs and aims to boost sustainability through using modern building techniques and materials.

Comments

Dawes 3 months, 1 week ago

Ahh the old create X number of jobs. If they had said 300 jobs they maybe allowed to build half way across to New Providence.

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