Royal Caribbean Cruises’ (RCC) Vice President of Private Destinations James Boink said Wednesday evening that all of the terms of the cruise line’s Paradise Island beach club project have been agreed to with the government and the company is awaiting final signatures.
Boink was part of the Town Planning Committee’s obligatory public meeting on Royal Caribbean’s Royal Beach Club project, to be built on the western end of Paradise Island by the end of the year if approved.
The project is already under intense scrutiny, as part of RCC’s development acreage includes Crown land that overlaps with a plot of Crown land being sought by Paradise Island Lighthouse & Beach Club, owned by Toby Smith.
Smith has taken the government to court over the acreage, which he says he was granted a lease for.
Smith, who was also in the virtual meeting Wednesday evening, said Royal Caribbean’s development boundary overlaps the land he said he has sought by almost 200 feet. He directed his ire toward Boink and other RCC executives on the call, saying they have refused to negotiate with him. Smith contended that the disputed property cannot be developed by RCC as his matter is in court.
Boink, answering the questions of another participant, said the disputed piece of beach is important to the beach club experience the cruise line is attempting to develop.
“Our plan is seven acres and it is an integral part of our project that is a world-class pristine beach that offers a fantastic guest experience,” Boink said.
When asked by Smith if they have a signed Crown land lease, Boink would only say, “All of our terms have been agreed upon with the government and we are pending signature of the final execution version of the contract.”
He said that contract included a Crown land lease.
In all, RCC plans to develop 20 acres on the western side of Paradise Island, seven acres of which is Crown land.
The beach club is designed to cater to 3,500 “guests and residents”.
Boink said when RCC first approached the government about the land they wanted the entire end of the island, but were negotiated down to seven acres.
The project is expected to bring $1 billion into The Bahamas over ten years and employ 250 Bahamians.