With tens of millions of dollars currently on the ground, western New Providence is seeing a rapid boom in commercial construction, which Bahamian Contractors Association President Leonard Sands said will change the landscape of the whole island.
While The Central Bank of The Bahamas has reported a significant decline in the total number of mortgage disbursements for new residential construction, the commercial segment saw growth in the last quarter. Sands said this is evident in the rapid pace of development throughout New Providence, particularly on the western end, where in excess of $30 million in development is taking place.
“What we see is there is increased activity in the commercial construction sector, especially in areas in western New Providence. In fact, if you just go from the Old Fort Bay shopping center to where the new school is soon to be opened on Southwestern Road, it’s incredible the amount of money and construction in that area. I mean you have two banks, the new improvements to the storage facility and the rental business in the front of it, and the school,” he told Guardian Business yesterday.
“That whole area is insane, there’s a whole lot of money being spent out there. We can also see there are a couple residential housing developments currently under construction, and a few proposed. So I think it is fair to say New Providence, because of its density in population, because of the demand for housing, I think we are starting to see this island become a little more like South Florida in terms of multi-level apartments and housing projects.”
There are several high-end condo developments currently under construction in western New Providence. Goldwynn, One Cable Beach and Aqualina on Cable Beach are nearing completion, and more are coming out of the ground further west.
Sands said in the next ten to 15 years he anticipates that part of the island will be built up to look like a metropolitan coastal community, with more and more multi-level, high-rise residential developments.
“The reality is, there’s only so much usable land on this island. When you take away the areas in eastern New Providence, which is pretty much already built out – outside of a small couple acres of land – you only have western New Providence. West of Blake Road there are acres and acres of land that’s available. The only problem is a lot of it is on the ridge of the island, which makes it expensive, but if you have the development dollars you can do so,” he said.
“Heading to Old Fort Bay you have that project called West End, there’s another high-rise development just starting on the water just past Love Beach. And not to mention, those condos they’re proposing (in the far west near Albany) that they haven’t even broken ground on yet and they’re proposing five buildings.”
Sands said condos, and the commercial centers to service the people living there, will soon litter the far western portion of the island.