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Realtor Calls For Review of Downtown

The President of C.A. Christie Realty, Charles Christie   is calling for a review of downtown Nassau.


In a press release Christie said the city of Nassau, from East Street to the Sir Sidney Poitier bridge is a stark reminder of the consequences of neglect.


“The area has steadily declined over the past 30 years to its current shameful state. Ninety-five percent of the of the buildings are unkempt and shuttered, with degraded exteriors adorned with a kaleidoscope of peeling paint and rotting wood,” Christie said.


He added that as a significant segment of key commercial areas in the downtown area remains under-utlized, he is  not surprised that the Bahamas has failed to maximize the potential of the millions of cruise passengers who visit annually.


“Instead of restaurants, shopping, art galleries and other creative outlets for locals and visitors to congregate and find entertainment, the deplorable state of the area screams – decay. No wonder our cruise passengers are opting to remain on-board and even when onshore are significantly under-spending in our destination, compared to some of our neighbours in the region,” Christie said.


He says that the fundamental problem is one of economics, as high land values, particularly on the waterfront side, coupled with the restrictive zoning, make any land redevelopment proposals almost impossible to make feasible for financing.


“Considering the the maximum square footage that can be accommodated under the present zoning, investment proposals are unlikely to meet the feasibility requirements for institutional financing. To turn around the situation and increase development immediately, new height restrictions (between 12 to 20 storeys) must be adopted to create more developable square footage,” Christie said.


If these changes are made, Christie says a number of advantages will emerge, including all property owners immediately gaining an appreciation in land values, which he says, will create a number of new millionaires.


He added that the entire area will become extremely attractive for investment, resulting in an increase in developable square footage and facilitating the rejuvenation of the area in to a modern city of Nassau within a decade.


“The charm and historic importance of the area extending west of East Street, from Government House to the British Colonial Hilton, should be preserved as ‘Old Town Nassau’ with the current zoning restrictions maintained. However, east of East Street would become a new, modern city centre, a perfectly feasible endeavor given the absence of any historic buildings in this area,” Christie said.


He added that what is needed is a way forward to enliven the city of Nassau, bolster new development, increase land values and inspire commercial, recreational and residential development in the desirable waterfront area.


“It is time to reclaim the beauty and charm of the city centre and rekindle the spirit of adventure, art, life and prosperity that has been allowed to decay for too long,” Christie said.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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