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Major Albany expansion gets conditional approval

Major Albany expansion gets conditional approval
Guardian Business Reporter

Published: Oct 21, 2013

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In principle, the government has approved Albany’s proposal to expand its luxurious south western New Providence property, Guardian Business can confirm.

Prime Minister Perry Christie recently revealed that they are currently looking to “clean up certain aspects” of the project before a final approval is given. But once that is complete, he said the government intends to move forward with Albany “very quickly”.

“When they presented [the idea] to us, they knew that we were excited about it. Albany is a very good development for the country. Over the years, it has been recession-proof and has just kept on developing,” he said.

He also believes the expansion, which has been described as large scale and “multi-faceted” would not just impact New Providence but the entire country.

“We have some of the world’s most exciting personalities building homes in Albany and that’s something that we want to encourage,” the prime minister said.

Guardian Business understands the expansion will focus on four areas of growth: health and wellness, education, sports and finance. Last month, this newspaper revealed that a new medical facility, “The Albany Medical Center” will be part of that expansion, offering local patient services as well as medical tourism opportunities. Albany has donated 10 acres of land on its eastern boundary to allow for the development.

The new hospital, accessible via the Frank Watson Highway and directly through Albany, would have advanced surgical, medical, preventative and rehabilitative care, state-of-the-art facilties for patients, families and visitors, specialized cosmetic and plastic surgery, a wellness and anti-aging clinic, sports medicine, stem-cell advances and research and a medical concierge program for patient recovery. Next to the Albany Medical Center, there are plans to construct a Sports Education Center that is expected to rival the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. That facility has been designed for teenage golfers and tennis players to pursue a four-year program incorporating academics with a desire to become a top professional athlete. And in the area of finance, Albany plans to build the “Albany Financial Center”. The Financial Center has reportedly already gotten committments from several major financial institutions that previously were not committed to The Bahamas.

If Albany’s developers are given the “green light” soon for this proposed expansion, 260,000 square feet will be added to the Marina at Albany in the first quarter of 2014 as part of its phase 2 expansion. The hospital would start in the second half of 2014 and the Sports Center and related events would in 2015.

To date, the $1.3 billion project’s overall scope has included between 450 and 600 residential and resort units, an 18-hole championship golf course and golf clubhouse, a world-class marina for mega yachts up to 240 feet, shops and cafes, a spa, fitness center, equestrian center, tennis course, an expansive water recreational facility, a beachside social area and a dining club.

Since the project broke ground in 2008, the project ha been steadily building out throughout the economic downturn. The latest phase of construction began last September,which is the development of its marina residences.

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