A clearer picture of the development's future is starting to take shape. Going forward there are two intertwined developers on the property, Replay Resorts on behalf of the Resort Holdings (aka Credit Suisse Lending Group / G-LA Resorts) and Crave Real Estate Ventures on behalf of LRA OBB Resorts (Lubert Adler) / West End Resort (WERL).
Replay manages all the red areas in the map above (larger map), which include:
- Existing unsold lots
- Majority of the undeveloped land, specially on the east side of the property.
- Gate House and Beach Clubs
Crave manages the other areas (excluding West End Settlement), which include:
- Golf Course (dedicated to the use for all owners)
- The "Core" and North Shore next to Old Bahama Bay
- Water and Sewer Utility Plants
- Old Bahama Bay Resort and the connected residential development
With the land holdings intermingled, it is important that both teams agree on a unified vision for the development and work in tandem to offer complementary services and amenities. This is fairly common in the development of properties as large as West End.
Lorne Bassel, President of Crave, told the Bahamas Weekly 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. 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.”
He expanded, “This new community structure allows all other stakeholders to assume control of their lands rather than rely on one company for all services. Many resorts have moved away from a ‘one ownership’ structure and become extremely successful. There are simply more people to carry the load.”
Bassel acknowledged to the Tribune that investor confidence in West End had been undermined by "the involvement of so many parties, together with uncertainty over division of land/responsibilities and the protracted process for the Credit Suisse-led lending syndicate to take control," but added that clarity will be restored.
While both developers are still tuning their plans, it is clear that the previous mega resort concept is a "a thing of the past." Instead expect a more sustainable, eco-friendly development with an authentic feel.
Basset told the The Nassau Guardian that "the concept of a hotel and casino has been placed on the back burner." To The Tribune he added that they "are doing what we can to stimulate interest [with external investors], and it'll come when the market and the financing is available. We are talking to different groups. We are making sure the opportunity is known internationally, but we aren't pushing too hard."
Instead, Crave plans to first build 25-30 homes on the western tip of Harbor Island (behind the OBB marina) through a partnership with West End Resort and slowly expand from there.
Derek Gape, senior Project manager for OBB Resorts told the Bahamas Weekly that “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."
Replay has not announced plans for their parcels yet, but is actively seeking input from existing lot owners through surveys and phone conversations.