0

‘All-Bahamian’ $30m hotel gets conditional go-ahead

New Bahama Grill Rendering

New Bahama Grill Rendering

By JEFAY SIMMONS

Tribune Reporter

jsimmons@tribunemedia.net

The Bahamian developer of a proposed $30m West Bay Street hotel was yesterday granted preliminary site plan approval for the project provided its “side setbacks” are increased to 15 feet.

The Town Planning Committee gave Gibson Development the conditional go-ahead for its seven-storey, 102-room King’s Court Hotel that will be built on the 1.39-acre site presently occupied by the Bahama Grill restaurant. The restaurant will be “reimagined” and incorporated into the resort.

The hotel’s construction will take between 18 to 24 months, and involve both the demolition of the existing Bahama Grill and several surrounding buildings also acquired by the developer to make way for the resort and 114 parking spaces.

Eric Gibson Jr, developer and proprietor of Bahama Grill, previously said the project will generate between 80 to 100 construction jobs and 150 full-time positions as well as sparking further development in the area.

“One of the significant things is it’s going to serve as a catalyst for development in that area. It’s going to restore it,” said Mr Gibson, brother of former Cabinet minister, Shane Gibson. “It’s going to be a place for the immediate local community that they can be proud of. It’s also going to be community-minded; it’s going to be a high energy-efficient building.”

Mr Gibson said the King’s Court Hotel plans to capitalise on a void, or gap, in New Providence’s mid-priced resort market and attract visitors who will explore the restaurants and activities in the surrounding area.

He added: “The significance of this project also; I don’t know if you notice that we have a lot of top-end [visitors] coming into The Bahamas. So we have Baha Mar going up to the top-end, Atlantis top-end, Four Seasons [Ocean Cub] top-end.

“Most of our tourism product is going after that top-end. It leaves a very huge void in that mid-market, and this is what we intend to capture. The advantage of this project is it’s going to spur more dollars in the community.

“So someone staying at a hotel like this will travel to the beach, and travel to restaurants. They would travel to shop. They will they will move around. They will not be confined to the resort. So that’s an advantage that a property like this will do.”

Mr Gibson said the tourism industry is mainly foreign-owned, but this “all Bahamian” project will inspire other locals to seek ownership opportunities in the country’s largest industry.

He added: “We don’t really own our tourism industry; it’s owned by foreigners. So this is a way to show other persons, and basically get them excited, about owning our product and basically being in charge of our destiny.

“Right now we rely on the foreigners to come in and invest the big dollars, and they come in, they bring the dollars, they bring the idea, they call the shots. They do whatever, they take the funds out. In an instance like this you have a Bahamian developing from the ground up, including the architects. Everything is Bahamian. This project will have an all-Bahamian lead.”

Comments

Sickened 2 months ago

That area could certainly use a boost. Now Premier needs to add some curb appeal to all of its buildings in the area.

BoopaDoop 2 months ago

Interesting that the connection to King Eric Gibson was not reported in the article. Also, will Paradise Games be one of the buildings affected?

JokeyJack 2 months ago

Its Bahamian owned. Govt make sure it sinks.

Sign in to comment