A Bahamian group, headed by Dwight Smith, is seeking to purchase the Abaco Club at Winding Bay as part of a nearly $500 million Bahamian capital development project with big plans.
Mr. Smith, the head of the Police Staff Association, said he has secured funds from the Security Forces of the Bahamas Pension Trust – a pension plan established just under two years ago to cover members of the enforcement forces in The Bahamas such as police, immigration and customs officers. He said the fund would be used to supply mortgages for those seeking to buy homes throughout The Bahamas and make home ownership more affordable for Bahamians.
He said the project would also see the Abaco Club property redeveloped into one which includes an Olympic training facility and a stem cell research project.
Mr. Smith said he has established a competent management team leading the initiative and has received positive feedback from potential financiers in the United States.
A group of representatives from the Pension Trust has visited the Abaco Club property, which is now for sale as well as being the subject of a legal dispute after home owners sued the Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp over alleged breaches of duty relating to allegations of poor maintenance, among a variety of concerns, and say they have held discussions with the owners about purchasing the property which they believe may have prompted the homeowners decision to go public with their lawsuit.
The lawsuit also alleges that the homeowners are concerned about the owner’s plans to sell the property, which Marriott Vacations has indicated could be worth around $28 million, to a group which plans to undertake a large-scale re-development of the property.
An extensive report compiled by Randolph John of the Construction Services Group in The Bahamas indicated the full extent of the group’s plans and its likely cost, which is in the hundreds of millions.
Smith said that they spoke with a group of doctors who are interested in spearheading the stem cell facility, and believe the Olympic facility could create a reliable source of revenue for the group as they move ahead with their residential development plans.
There are plans to set aside $9 million in funding to establish a physical office for the Security Forces of The Bahamas Pension Trust from which it would offer a range of financial services for members.
Plans are to make the trust a public investment with Bahamians able to buy in through an initial public offering.
He said the intention is to make the development an inclusive one which addresses existing needs in The Bahamas and to do their best to help the country at large.
There has been no word from Marriot on how seriously they are taking the group and they have yet to release any official statement to indicate if there are other buyers interested.