By Dana Malcolm
#TheBahamas, April 28, 2022 – What would have been the largest such project in the Caribbean, the billion-dollar, 1,000-acre Coral Harbor mega-hotel project, may be moving ahead, but only at a fraction of its original size.
The smaller plan is estimated to cost no more than $300 million, but the original, designed by Winstanley Architects and Planners for Bahamas Leisure & Resorts Ltd. President and CEO Aboudi Debs, was to have “Six hotels, Class A and Class B, offices, four marinas, two golf courses, more than 3,500 condominiums, lots and single-family estates, as well as commercial apartments and rental.
“Unfortunately, the same day Baha Mar entered Chapter 11, my client made a proposal for a multi-billion dollar project in Coral Harbour. There was absolutely no taste for a major project of this scale in that time and we all know the story of what happened at Baha Mar, and Christie will never get the credit he deserves in terms of resuscitating the Baha Mar project, but in terms of As far as the project in Coral Harbor is concerned, there just wasn’t an appetite for it,” Grimes said.
The Baha Mar project was another venture that would have been the largest in the Caribbean, but was plagued with controversy. After constant delays and delayed openings, the project finally filed for bankruptcy in 2015. Lead developers blamed the Chinese-based development company for consistently missing deadlines and delaying the opening so far that it became impossible to recover the money spent. It was resold in 2017 and opened on a smaller scale.
Since then, the Coral Harbor Harbor project has taken a more succinct approach.
Grimes said the developers had been evaluating and narrowing down to something that could be built in the “foreseeable future.” The approach appears to have paid off as the main proponents met with the Bahamian government earlier this month.
Grimes told the Tribune that the Coral Harbor development is months away from making a formal submission to the government.
“What they presented to the Bahamian government was their intention to introduce phase one, stage one, which is a much smaller, well-defined project.”
In terms of endorsements, Grimes said they haven’t reached that point.
“They are in the very preliminary stages of finalizing the plans so that an application can be made as such in a short time. It takes time to finalize the plans, then get the approvals, then start putting the shovels in the ground.
They wouldn’t apply, more likely for more than four months.
The attorney sought to refute any rumors that development was in the works, saying he and his clients had nothing to do with the leaked information. calling it reckless and irresponsible for anyone to spread this kind of information. He also dispelled rumors of a $9 billion transaction price on the resort, saying it was “untrue”.