Bahamian developers claim they are close to receiving final approval for a golf course resort near Harbour Island that would bring up to 400 new jobs to Eleuthera.
Located on a peninsula known as the "glass window", the site includes 600 acres of land perched on bluffs overlooking the Atlantic. The deal involves the purchase of Crown land and private holdings to supplement the developer's existing plot.
Dr. Leatendore Percentie, president and CEO of Glass Window Golf Resort & Ocean Club, said he has abandoned his dentistry practice in the U.S. to pursue this development.
"We have complied with the government's requirements. It is a challenge when it's a golf course, not just financially but in terms of expertise. So we have done our studies, submitted the business plans and completed the environmental impact study," he told Guardian Business. "There are really no challenges."
Percentie's comments came late last week at a Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association meeting (BHTA) at the British Colonial Hilton.
The Glass Window Golf Resort and Ocean Club would attempt to supplement Harbour Island, a well-established tourism destination for high-net-worth individuals. The developers hope to fill a void on Eleuthera for golfing enthusiasts.
Percentie told Guardian Business that the 18-hole course will "hopefully be PGA quality, although we expect professionals but also non-professionals to stay there".
Percentie is not the first investor to pursue a PGA-certified course. Cat Island Partners, a development team out of the U.S., has been pursuing such a course on Cat Island for years. They claim tens of millions have already been poured into the site through excavation and infrastructure.
In addition to the location, Percentie said the project is unique and should succeed because it is truly a Bahamian undertaking.
He “conservatively" estimated the total number of jobs at 300 to 400 once construction is complete.
"All indications are, in terms of how it will impact the area, this will create a whole new industry," he added.
The golf course would be joined by a 200-room boutique style hotel and spa. The developer is keen to build into the pristine geography of the place by keeping structures relatively low to the ground.
"There were other options on Eleuthera, but this place will have an impact. The geography is perfect. It's like the coastline of Scotland," he said. "When you view the land it is very much a spiritual experience."
Whether Glass Window reaches the home stretch remains to be seen.
Eleuthera Properties Limited, located five miles south of Rock Sound, signed on with Starwood Hotels & Resort in 2005 to develop a massive resort.
Since then, Cotton Bay Estates, which includes at least one golf course, has been struck by legal problems and the financial crisis in 2008. Developers at Cotton Bay said they have invested "eight figures" in the project and it will still move forward with the help of "some very deep pockets".
The Nassau Guardian
Published: February 11, 2013