|New owner for Nassau Palm Resort|
Guardian Business Reporter
Published: Jun 03, 2013
The Nassau Palm Resort, located in downtown Nassau, has a new owner and is expected to undergo more than $8 million in renovations in the coming months.
On Friday, Sunset Equities Limited (SEL), acquired the 183-room property, and will partner with local contractors in an effort to bring the resort back to its former “glory days”.
Khaalis Rolle, minister of state for investments, called the acquisition a “positive” one that will ignite the economy while providing employment for Bahamians.
"I am very excited about the purchase by this group which has tremendous capacity and the experience needed to revitalize the entire downtown strip with a well- known U.S. branded hotel. The property has been sitting for a very long time so this transaction will offer significant benefits, and will play a major role in creating an invaluable experience for our local and tourist markets,” Rolle revealed.
“We supported this group because of their ability to expand the tourism product beyond this one acquisition, with major international
partners, and anticipate a growing partnership that will create diverse sustainable opportunities for The Bahamas and Bahamians.”
SEL, made up of regional and international investors, is focused on acquiring hotels throughout the Caribbean region and strengthening the country’s tourism product. The hotel’s acquisition was funded by Sterling Financial Group Incorporated’s (SFGI) New Providence Income Ltd., one of its managed mortgage funds.
The SEL group plans to provide significant hospitality and customer service training across all departments, including executive level positions.
The law firm Lennox Paton provided legal advice and counsel throughout the transaction.
The Nassau Palm Resort, once a centerpiece in downtown Nassau, had been on the market for the past three years. However, renovations are scheduled to begin in a matter of months and the property is scheduled to open in November 2014.
More than 75 construction-based jobs will be created as a result of the project’s construction phase. Once the hotel reopens, there will be a need for nearly 70 permanent jobs.
Valentine Grimes, the attorney for Lehman Brothers which sold the property, pointed out the acquisition is a sign that the level of investor confidence in The Bahamas is high.
“The completion of this transaction is a good indicator of the high level of investor confidence in The Bahamas, its government and its people. The plans that the new investors have for the property, in particular to brand it, will significantly assist in the continued redevelopment of the downtown Nassau area,” according to Grimes.
Meantime, Grimes noted that all of the hotel’s former employees received severance packages, totaling $400,000, as part of Friday’s transaction.
Guardian Business also understands that SEL is currently pursuing other opportunities similar to this latest acquisition.