More than $110 million is being injected into the economy by way of foreign direct investment in the real estate and hotel sectors, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced yesterday.
Those investments, the prime minister said, are expected to add more than 1,300 jobs to the workforce this year.
Sandals Royal Bahamian resort on Cable Beach delayed its reopening to complete renovations. During his wrap up of the 2021/2022 budget debate, Minnis said the $37 million in renovations are expected to be complete by November.
“Preliminary work has begun. The projected timeline for completion is early November, 2021. When Sandals on New Providence reopens in a few months, they are expected to engage 1,000 workers. The Bahamas is on its way back,” he said in the House of Assembly.
“As another example, the well-known Rock House Hotel and Restaurant on Harbour Island, which closed at the start of the pandemic, is set to reopen under new ownership. The hotel is a 12-room boutique accommodation. It will reopen this coming November 15th, employing 30 Bahamians.”
The prime minister also pointed to another $75 million development set for Cable Beach. Calling it a sign of confidence in The Bahamas, the Aqualina high-rise development east of One Cable Beach, adjacent to the Baha Mar resort, has recently been approved by the government.
“This development will be operated by Aristo Development, the management company for several successful, modern, high-rise condominium projects inclusive of One Cable Beach Development and Thirty Six Ltd. to name a few. Aqualina will comprise 27 large three- and four-bedroom residences, each with an ocean view,” he said.
“Aqualina has completed all preconstruction and design work and is presently under construction with a full complement of Bahamian contractors. At peak construction, approximately 300 Bahamians will be employed. Aqualina is scheduled for completion in 2023.”
A recommendation by the Economic Recovery Committee was the establishment of Invest Bahamas, which is expected to reform the current investment framework in The Bahamas to allow for a more streamlined approval and governmental support process.
The prime minister called these and other foreign and domestic investment projects important to the goals of government in achieving that reform.
“Royal Caribbean’s plans for a beach break destination on Paradise Island, namely Royal Beach Club, includes a $50 million investment that will generate an extra $26 million per year in visitor spending,” he said.
Minnis also announced the government’s approval of the new Discovery Bay project in Grand Bahama.
“The Weller Group intends to develop a mixed-use resort consisting of a 25-key boutique hotel and restaurant, 30 residential estate lots, 12 townhouses, 12 bungalows, a beachfront rental pavilion, a 30-slip marina to be situated in the existing canal system, and a back of house facility. It is estimated that this investment at the end of all its phases will exceed $100 million,” he said.