There are endless opportunities for downtown Nassau now that the container port and other shipping companies have relocated to Arawak Cay, according to Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) President Franon Wilson.
While speaking with Journal Business recently, Mr. Wilson said there is so much land to be developed on Bay Street.
“There are still people who own the properties and there are only one or two properties for sale so whoever buys it will have a lot of options,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity because it is downtown and the fact of the matter is that there is a lot of property downtown. There are a lot of different things that can be done and there are a lot of people. It’s a great opportunity for entrepreneurs.”
He continued, “It really depends on the family that owns the property – whether they want to keep it or sell it or if someone else sees a business opportunity where there is a lot of properties and unique opportunities.”
The BREA president stressed that there can’t be one entity to go on the vacant land.
“It’s a lot of property. It’s not like we are talking one or two acres where someone could put their house on and they have a large yard. It’s way more property than that and so when you take all of that into consideration then the thing is – what do you do,” Mr. Wilson said.
The BREA president said some opportunities that could be explored are condominiums, the creation of a marina and even more hotels.
“We have hotels downtown right now. So it’s not farfetched to say, ‘Can we get another hotel downtown?’ If the Hilton could make sense why not another hotel? You can also do a condo-hotel so that there are different ownerships. There are many things that can be up in the air once you have that much land. The possibilities are endless as to what you can do with it,” Mr. Wilson said.
“It’s not going to be cheap mind you. For example, if someone wanted to buy the Hilton right now it wouldn’t be cheap. But around that hotel right now we have McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts and other restaurants. So if something were to go there… the next question would be, what would go around it?”
Now that the shipping port has moved, 30 acres has been opened up for development.
The Downtown Nassau Partnership (DNMP) is looking for local as well as touristic development from boutique hotels, retailers, restaurants, and especially residential areas.
Co-Chairman Charles Klonaris has said that it is a dream for the DNMP to get residents on Bay Street.
Mr. Klonaris said when people live in the city, they have opportunities to exchange ideas through social interactions and stimulate creativity.
“If we really want to create a living city, having residents live downtown is critical for the growth and for the vibrancy of this city. We want to create a friendly and vibrant entity, where residents live downtown, and also make it safe for pedestrians,” he said.
“Having residents come here, especially those who are employed downtown, it makes it easier for them. We live in an age where transportation is going to be very expensive and fuel charges are high, so it’s advantageous for people, we think, to come back and live within the city.”