By Betty Vedrine
Bahamas Information Services
GREAT GUANA CAY, Abaco – Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie led a delegation of Cabinet Ministers and government officials on a tour of Baker’s Bay Golf and Ocean Club, April 23. During the visit, Mr. Christie met with the principal and some key stakeholders of the development. He said that he has been advised that an additional 250 Bahamians will be employed in construction of the expanding resort: the move was necessary in order to meet the demand for skilled workers, which exceeds the capacity of the local Bahamian workforce and local specialty subcontractors. He said that Bahamians actually make up 94% of all construction jobs and vast majority of full-time operational jobs.
“Employment is projected to expand from the current 796 construction and operational jobs to 911 by year end,” he said. “Of the 34 Bahamian construction companies employed here, 27 of them are local Abaconian companies.”
Prime Minister Christie said that Discovery Land Company (principals of Baker’s Bay) has ‘prioritized’ employing and contracting Bahamians both in construction and operations.
“The Discovery Land Company, headed by its Chairman and CEO Michael S. Meldman, has created the Baker’s Bay high-end residential resort, golf course and marina, which serves as a model of success in the Family Islands for ultra-luxury property owners and visitors,” said Mr. Christie.
Apart from the extensive club, golf course, marina facilities, amenities and infrastructure, 48 high-end residences were completed over the last two years. Currently, 35 homes are under construction at a cost of $150 million and another 30 are coming on stream this year. Ninety additional residences are forecast for 2016 and 2017.
During the site visit, Prime Minister Christie and his delegation toured several areas, including the proposed fuel dock, employee housing, BEC power substation, new Atlantic Club restaurant (which provided an additional 50 jobs for Bahamians at opening), Baker’s Bay hydroponics farm, and several multi-million dollar homes under construction.