Long Island Chief Councillor Ian Knowles said yesterday the announcement of the $250 million Calypso Cove development in South Long Island, is welcomed for that part of the island, which has laid dormant for decades.
Last month, the government signed a heads of agreement (HOA) with Azul Destinations and Calypso Cove Destinations Ltd. for the development of a cruise port terminal, marina and luxury residential resort in South Long Island, inclusive of a 200-room hotel, mega yacht marina facilities, interior pools and lagoons to support water park activities, a recreational lighthouse and a Junkanoo art plaza.
Addressing the Long Island Business Outlook, Knowles said the project will breathe new life into southern Long Island.
“As we look at the state of affairs on Long Island and the prospects for development, I am optimistic and excited in hearing of the multimillion-dollar project in Gordon’s (settlement), namely Calypso Cove. Since the closure of Diamond Crystal several decades ago, that part of the island has been on a decline and has never recovered. We have seen the closure of five primary schools, many dilapidated homes, closure of businesses, all due to the collapse of that company. The population has dwindled over the many years, and many have lost hope. This coupled with the worse hurricane of our lifetime, Hurricane Joaquin, further set back residents in that area, with some more leaving the island after losing everything,” he said.
“So, it’s indeed a pleasure to see that Calypso Cove is about to happen. Since the announcement of the project there has been a lot of chatter and the residents are elated to hear that finally something will be happening in the southern part of Long Island. We await the groundbreaking and commencement of the project.”
Knowles said there still remains many challenges on the island, particularly surrounding its main airport.
“It’s my hope that with this development we will begin to see some improvements, especially with our airlift. The international airport at Deadman’s Cay has been the talk of the town for the past five years, and even after being presented with a plan several years ago, we still remain hopeful,” he said.
“At present, the airports on the island remain inadequate, cannot accommodate commercial jets, and we still share flights with other islands via Bahamasair. There are no direct flights from any international markets. The terminal on Deadman’s Cay is a disgrace and leaves much to be desired.”
At the time the HOA was signed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper said plans were already in the works to upgrade the island’s airport and that the government intended to issue requests for proposal either later this year or early next year.
Developers said they hope to break ground on the project in late 2023 or early 2024, and promised 300 construction jobs once construction begins.