0

PI resort proposal expands units 46%

THE proposed Paradise Yacht Club hotel on Paradise Island.

THE proposed Paradise Yacht Club hotel on Paradise Island.

  • Seven-storey hotel eyed for Paradise Harbour Club site
  • Developer seeks rezoning for 74-place parking solution
  • Raising rooms from 69 to 101 after earlier plan ‘quashed’

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

The former Paradise Harbour Club’s proposed redevelopment is being expanded to a seven-storey hotel featuring a 46 percent increase in units compared to earlier plans.

Architects for HotelConsult Bahamas, owner and developer of that southern Paradise Island site as well as the ex-Columbus Tavern, revealed to the Department of Physical Planning in a March 5, 2024, letter that the revised proposal calls for a one-storey increase in the hotel/apartment building’s height compared to previous plans submitted to the regulator in April 2023.

And 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. HotelConsult has also requested that the Town Planning Committee approve the rezoning of one of its land parcels from residential to commercial to facilitate a 74-space parking facility.

The Committee, in a letter dated March 11, 2024, one day before it made its March 12 decision, said it had deferred providing HotelConsult with the requested preliminary site plan approval to allow for a public hearing and consultation on the project, to be called Paradise Yacht Club, that will be held on Monday, April 8, 2024.

Documents filed with the Department of Physical Planning, and which have been reviewed by Tribune Business, reveal that the proposal submitted last year was granted “preliminary support” on August 9, 2023, only to be “subsequently quashed” in November last year. No explanation was given for the latter decision, and HotelConsult has now come back with a larger proposal for the site over-looking Nassau harbour.

Brent Creary, principal with ArchVenture Ltd and the project’s Bahamian architect, told physical planning chief, Charles Zonicle, in a March 5, 2024, letter that “the primary structure of the project sits on the site of the former Paradise Harbour Club and former Columbus Tavern”. The location was described in accompanying documents as “land currently in a state of disrepair and unused”.

“The project consists of a seven-storey hotel/ apartment building of approximately 101,370 square feet with primary parking housed within a two-level structure on the adjacent portion of lot 13 of Paradise Island Colony Development (PICD),” Mr Creary wrote.

“The Paradise Yacht Club consists of 101 units, which range between 372 and 1,004 square feet located across the six upper floors of the structure. The project will comprise of a mix of serviced apartment and hotel rooms. Each unit is provided with a balcony with harbour views. The total conditioned area is 72,920 square feet with non-conditioned areas totalling 28,450 square feet.”

Details such as dollar figures for the total investment and the number of jobs, both construction and full-time, were not included in Mr Creary’s letter. However, a comparison with the previous April 14, 2023, submission to the Department of Physical Planning show that HotelConsult’s ambitions have expanded over the past year despite the original approval’s quashing.

“The redesigned structure shall replace the existing Paradise Harbour Yacht Club Hotel building as well as the former Columbus Tavern building,” Mr Creary wrote last year. “The new Paradise Yacht Club shall contain 69 units across four levels, with parking on the lowest two levels.

“The six-storey L-shaped building will be 166 feet and seven inches by 60 feet, and 151 feet and nine inches by 65 feet and two inches in size. The structure will be accessible via a two-way access road off Paradise Island Drive. Additional guest parking, if required, will be available on the adjacent Lot No.13, which is owned by the developer.”

The difference between the two letters suggests that, while the scope of HotelConsult’s plans may have changed, the overall concept of what it is proposing for a location immediately adjacent to the One Ocean condominium complex has not. The changes indicate the project is fluid and retains sufficient flexibility to make any adjustments deemed necessary.

However, Mr Creary’s letter last year identifies Nash Worldwide and PYC Ltd as the developer entities, not HotelConsult. Yet besides Mr Creary, the other common link between the submissions is that they both name Michael Paddon as the developer’s representative, indicating the project’s principal(s) remain unchanged.

“The ground floor houses typical amenities including a restaurant (with indoor and outdoor seating), a retail area and a yacht crew lounge area,” Mr Creary added of the current proposal for the 1.6 acre site. “An outdoor gym, swimming pool with jacuzzi, as well as back of house administration spaces are also located on the ground floor.

“A small roof-top bar will occasionally be operating from the fifth floor and would cater to small groups of no more than 25 persons.” He said the proposed parking lot, located at the intersection of Cloister Drive with Paradise Island Drive, will feature 37 spots on both the ground and below grade levels for a total of 74 spaces. A further 15 places will be provided at the main project site for a total of 89.

“Staff will be given the option to use a company-provided shuttle service collecting from multiple locations around New Providence,” said Mr Creary, adding that the project will use utility services provided by Paradise Island Utilities and local communications providers.

“Preliminary conversations with Paradise Island Utilities have successfully occurred to ensure projected demands are available to the site,” he added. “To meet the project’s goals for sustainability, the roof will be equipped with photovoltaic panels to supplement power consumption.”

Mr Creary added, though, that the project’s parking strategy and needs depend on “extinguishing” the covenant governing its proposed 74 parking spaces site and rezoning this from residential use to commercial. This was emphasised in a separate letter from Mr Paddon to Mr Zonicle on March 5, 2024, regarding the 12,990 square foot parcel.

“We submit that the project, consisting of a seven-storey hotel/apartment and on-site amenities, proposes to construct a two-level parking facility on the subject property,” Mr Paddon wrote. “With this in mind, we seek your department’s approval for the rezoning of the subject Lot 13 for commercial use to facilitate the parking requirement.”

March/April 2016. In the aftermath of the acquisition’s closing, it said then that it planned to invest $7m to develop a new resort on the property, which would open in 2017, while the Columbus Tavern - closed since 2012 - was to be transformed into an 80-seat restaurant.

“It is such a nice area. You have the marina, the harbour and the hotel. We want to redevelop the area as one and create a boutique resort and a new, modern restaurant,” said Chris Illing, who was described as HotelConsult Bahamas chief executive, said at the time.

“We are going to offer everything an Out Island resort would offer and give a personalised service to our guests. We want to offer a customised feel without breaking the bank. Paradise Island is very attractive for tourists – you have so much beachfront, the peace and quiet, it is accessible, clean and safe. People see it as a large gated community.”

Documents accompany- ing the latest Department of Physical Planning filing show HotelConsult Bahamas paid Paradise Harbour Ltd some $2.4m to acquire the property. The conveyance, though, was only lodged for recording with the Registrar General’s Department’s deeds and documents section some six years later on August 23, 2022.

And HotelConsult only received its Investments Board permit to acquire the property on March 12, 2020. The permit, issued under the International Persons Landholding Act, was said to “validate the conveyance dated March 30, 2016”.

This newspaper’s research also revealed that HotelConsult Bahamas appeared three years ago in a March 2021 report by the Central Bank on new foreign direct investment (FDI) projects. It was said to be behind a $35m project involving the construction of a hotel on 107 acres of land purchased for $10.3m”.

The project was to include a restaurant, bar, five bungalows, pool lounges, cabanas and the expansion of an existing dock and marina.

It was expected to employ 100 workers at peak development, plus a further 80 “incremental workers”. Tribune Business sources said this project was targeted at the research found that HotelConsult Bahamas acquired the Paradise Harbour Club and Columbus Tavern some eight years ago in site of the former Ritz-Carlton Rose Island development, which HotelConsult Bahamas had acquired.

Comments

temptedbythefruitofanother 3 months ago

I'm certain that the jetski criminal thug gangs will find a way to disrupt this establishment as they have countless other businesses and private homes on PI with their lawless behaviour, beating and raping tourists on a daily basis

Sign in to comment