Lindroth eyes partnership with National Trust
The Lindroth Development Company is considering a partnership with the Bahamas National Trust to develop a network of eco-friendly cabins as part of a novel push into eco-tourism.
Although still in the exploratory phase, discussions are underway between Orjan Lindroth, the developer behind Schooner Bay, and representatives from Bahamas National Trust and the Bahamas Hotel Association.
“We are working with Bahamas National Trust to come up with a model for the parks,” Lindroth told Guardian Business. “We want to put light imprint cabins with trails, made from materials in the park.”
The concept of modest eco-tourism is a growing trend on the international stage. In the U.S., for example, a company known as Tumbleweed Tiny House Company has been designing and marketing small, environmentally friendly, mobile homes with built-in wheels. A similar model could be adopted in The Bahamas, Lindroth said, and designed to suit a more tropical climate.
The ten-person committee behind the venture is attempting to turn a common misconception on its head – that remote bush cannot be a valuable tourism commodity.
“It would be cabins off the grid,” he said. “They would feature rain collection, solar panels … self-sustaining dwellings,” Lindroth told Guardian Business.
One of the main features of this eco-tourism is the appeal of isolation and having “100 acres that are only yours”. The aim would be to make use of the forest and parkland around Schooner Bay in Abaco. This area will serve as a valuable “testing ground” where models can be rolled out. If these prove successful, it may give birth to an entirely new form of tourism – the cabin in the woods.
“I think there are a large number of people who would be interested in this experience,” Lindroth said.
One option being discussed is trying to secure a grant from the Inter-American Development Bank to create the first tropical model that is sustainable.
Small, modest development that matches demand can be considered one of the mantras of the Lindroth Development Company. In a previous interview with Guardian Business, the company’s founder said most developers these days are seeking a rate of absorption that is “unrealistic”. With a few houses completed and a dozen or so in various stages of construction, Schooner, built around a man-made harbor, seeks to tap a real and deliberate demand.
Meanwhile, other developments are beginning to string up around Schooner, such has Serenity Point – a gated community that hopes to development 45 distinct lots.
“Schooner Bay is an open community, Serenity is a closed community. The closed community is benefiting from [the] open [one]. Our view is we are a regional center. We welcome all good development around us,” Lindroth said.
Schooner is presently accepting pitches for 12 core businesses in the rising community.
Lindroth anticipated, over time, it will become a “dense core” for south Abaco.
“From my point of view, we are a community that welcomes people to use the facilities,” he explained. “So I’m happy to have neighboring residents come to Schooner Bay. It will build our market base.”