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News : Grand Bahama Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Old Bahama Bay owners clarify the situation on land ownership and responsibilities in West End developments
By Keen i Media Ltd
Nov 10, 2011 - 2:58:39 PM

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WEST END, Grand Bahama Island — Seeing tremendous growth and development potential, the resort property owner and developer in West End, Grand Bahama, Lubert Adler’s Old Bahama Bay resort (OBB Resort) property continues to lay the groundwork for productive and effective relationships with key stakeholders in the area.
Properties surrounding some of those owned by OBB Resort have been the focus of recent foreclosure actions, primarily those residential properties now under control of G-LA Resorts Holdings (Bahamas), Limited. The OBB Resort properties have been unaffected by these actions, as they were outside of the loan default that caused the residential sectors to be recently transferred to new owners.
OBB Resort is the owner of 225 acres of the prime resort and commercial property in West End. The new golf course property is also part of the OBB Resort land, adding another 294 acres to their total resources.
Senior Project Manager Derek Gape explained where the OBB Resort sectors lie: “The familiar  Old Bahama Bay resort property, including the water and sewerage systems, marina, and running along the north shore to the West End settlement, all of the new golf course which surrounds the airport and extends along the new canal systems, and the large central future resort land that includes a stretch of prime beach. This last portion,” Mr Gape said, “is the image that so many people have seen in artist renditions of the high-rise hotel, casino and commercial development planned for that area.”
While the OBB Resort property may be smaller in total acreage than that of its neighbours, its significance and potential is tremendous.
“The primary high value portions of the entire development area are where our attention is focused,” Mr Gape said. “With the Old Bahama Bay condo hotel and marina as the existing anchor property, we are working to extend that success along the north shore beach land. That’s the natural and obvious path of progression for the property,” Gape explained.
The project manager emphasized the importance of Old Bahama Bay as the central hub of the resort areas. “Many people see Old Bahama  Bay as just a small hotel out here in West End, and certainly it has proven to be a very desirable getaway in a natural setting for the boating and yachting people looking for a tranquil retreat.” But, Mr Gape said,  Old Bahama Bay is not only a resort destination, but is the gateway to the future of all of the development going on there.
Commenting on the entities involved, Mr Gape explained: “Lubert Adler and Old Bahama Bay have teamed up with The Crave Group, which is an established real estate investment, management, and development firm based in Montreal, Canada. Their expertise in moving this project forward, especially as guardians and administrators of the entire master plan, has been and will continue to be instrumental in moving the entire development forward.”
President and CEO of The Crave Group Lorne Bassel said that the West End region is now a community of developers, not just a single entity. “What that means is that present and future property owners can take comfort in the diversity of expertise and the concentration of focus,” Mr Bassel said. “We’re happy to see other developers and investors involved. Anyone who understands this industry knows that having more participation from distinct contributors is beneficial to the entire effort, especially in today’s market.”
Mr Bassel is a guest panelist at the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit that will be held this week at Atlantis, Paradise Island, where he will discuss  Old Bahama Bay and the future of Caribbean development.
G-LA has responsibility for the peripheral lands around much of the OBB Resorts-controlled golf course and resort hub. Rather than viewing these delineations as competitive, Mr Bassel stated that his team understands the importance of working together. “We know that the G-LA group has been on the ground assessing the properties and appear to be laying their plans for action, and we’re excited to see some movement there,” Mr Bassel said.
OBB Resorts already has an effective working relationship with the WERL (West End Resort Limited) Group, which owns property in the Pine Island and Isles subdivision, and the condominium owners in the Old Bahama Bay facility. Mr. Bassel noted that allowing each of the stakeholders the opportunity to manage their own areas of responsibility is critical to the success of the projects on the table.
“This new community structure allows all other stakeholders to assume control of their lands rather than rely on one company for all services,” Mr Bassel stated. “Many resorts have moved away from a ‘one ownership’ structure and become extremely successful. There are simply more people to carry the load.”
The investment executive said that he knows statements made in recent press articles created some confusion, and while that can cause uncertainty among investors and the general public, he is confident that the OBB Resort group’s continued involvement will bring clarity and stability to the situation.
Newspapers in the Bahamas mistakenly ran photographs of the Old Bahama Bay property alongside articles about the G-LA Resort Holdings (Bahamas), Limited and Credit Suisse companies, when in fact the Old Bahama Bay resort is not owned by or affected by the lender groups.
“Just like the rest of the Caribbean region, it’s time to re-invent ourselves to fully grasp this opportunity,” Mr Bassel said. “Coming together to unlock the great potential of this project is now our primary focus.”

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