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Old Bahama Bay view point from an Owner

Old 01-20-2019, 10:11 AM
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Default Old Bahama Bay view point from an Owner

Hello everyone, I am a new member to THT however many of you may already know me from years of fishing this area or other legacy fishing sites. I am also an owner of two condos at OBB and I see a lot of threads here related to the recent events. From what I read on the many threads here there are a lot of questions and assumptions. I will try to provide some insight and clarity to the active situation as often as I can. I will start with some bulleted facts of whats going on then I will check back with new information or answer questions as applicable.

Summary as of Jan 20, 2018
  • OBB consists of 73 privately owned condos built in 3 phases over time
  • Each of the phases have their own HOA and the 3 HOAs form a larger legal entity called IVRC
  • IVRC manages the resort with 100% Bahamian employees mostly from West End village. To date we have about 95 employees that support the Resort, Marinas, restaurants, maintenance, landscaping, security, management, pools area, recreational activities, catering, special events and so on. Many we consider more than employees, we consider them family.
  • The common areas of the resort are owned by a US company (I think based in Philadelphia) called LRA (Lubert Adler) that consists of the Marina, Pool, front office, restaurant, fitness center, etc.
  • After the Ginn Project went bankrupt, LRA decided to lock the doors and move on, that is when the IVRC was formed and we entered into a long term lease to manage the resort and support the local community.
  • IVRC has successfully managed the resort, marina, reopened the airstrip and has gainfully employed 100% Bahamian staff while steadily increasing occupancy each year that at one point was at an all time low in single digits.
  • A Canadian company called Skyline has offered to buy the entire ($2B) Ginn Mega Resort Property plus the LRA holdings that included the common areas of OBB
    • Their approach has been considered somewhat hostile by both employees and owners with their demands versus negotiations.
    • Skyline has missed 8 closings over the past year and now are suspected not to have the funding they claimed per a newspaper article dated Jan 18, 2019
      • (as a new THT user I can not post a URL so here is the address without the url)
      • thefreeportnews.com/opinion/editorial/skyline-investment-west-gb-project-jeopardy
    • Skyline has made sideline offers to owners to buy owner units below market value to gain control of the HOA board and implying that it will not be good for us if we dont sell.
      • I can say this as I received an offer with a walk away price for each of my units by one of their representatives
  • LRA is working with Skyline to gain control of the resort marina and common areas by selling or leasing to them while we still have a lease in place
  • LRA and OBB IVRC have been in and out of court over the legality of our long term lease with them.
    • LRA sent security guards on sight in early December and changed the locks of the front office, and attempted to close the marina
    • IVRC filed a lawsuit in Nassau to keep the resort open
    • LRA is once again trying to close a functional marina with guest in dock slips for no real reason (other than intimidation in my opinion)
    • LRA this weekend put up signs to close "their docks slips" from use by OBB residents or guests on Monday Jan 21, 2019
    • The legal aspect will resume in court in Nassau on Tuesday.
  • Another entity friendly with OBB has stepped up through all this and purchased the seawall, fuel dock, marina bath houses, customs building and all the land that from the marina to the first canal and out to the guard house including an existing 2nd marina basin
    • This seawall area of the marina will remain open and a new marina will be constructed on the existing marina basin on the first canal that was dug out during the first phase construction.
Personally, I support and encourage someone buying the Ginn Mega Resort Property and finish the project on the south beach to start adding value to the West End versus shutting down the functional facilities and amenities, seems counter productive.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:42 AM
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Here is the URL
Mark good luck, We have spoken over on th FS forum

Skyline Investment West GB project in jeopardy? - The Freeport News
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:48 PM
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Thanks for the clarification..

Doesn’t make sense, why wouldn’t Skyline just assume the lease from LRA and continue as usual until they have a functioning resort or sell it at some point to IVRC?

Has IVRC tried to buy LRA out for OBB?

I’ll believe this development happening when I see it even started yet alone finished.

I fly over Grand Bahama all the time to Abaco, plenty of canals and homesite developments that have gone nowhere!
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:19 PM
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Good luck...y’all have done great things at OBB the last 5 years and hope it works out for you.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ychtcptn View Post
Thanks for the clarification..

[bold]Doesn’t make sense, why wouldn’t Skyline just assume the lease from LRA and continue as usual until they have a functioning resort or sell it at some point to IVRC?[/bold]

Has IVRC tried to buy LRA out for OBB?

I’ll believe this development happening when I see it even started yet alone finished.

I fly over Grand Bahama all the time to Abaco, plenty of canals and homesite developments that have gone nowhere!

The IVRC is made up of owners and is a volunteer unpaid role. To have Skyline buy the lease from LRA and run the place would (A) be redundant to the IVRC role and (B) add a layer of "For Profit" management and "For Profit" funding for their other expansion plans. Not sure how this would impact us or our guests (the local boating community) as they have not disclosed their intentions however I can only assume that it would increase costs.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark Wilson View Post
Hello everyone, I am a new member to THT however many of you may already know me from years of fishing this area or other legacy fishing sites. I am also an owner of two condos at OBB and I see a lot of threads here related to the recent events. From what I read on the many threads here there are a lot of questions and assumptions. I will try to provide some insight and clarity to the active situation as often as I can. I will start with some bulleted facts of whats going on then I will check back with new information or answer questions as applicable.

Summary as of Jan 20, 2018
  • OBB consists of 73 privately owned condos built in 3 phases over time
  • Each of the phases have their own HOA and the 3 HOAs form a larger legal entity called IVRC
  • IVRC manages the resort with 100% Bahamian employees mostly from West End village. To date we have about 95 employees that support the Resort, Marinas, restaurants, maintenance, landscaping, security, management, pools area, recreational activities, catering, special events and so on. Many we consider more than employees, we consider them family.
  • The common areas of the resort are owned by a US company (I think based in Philadelphia) called LRA (Lubert Adler) that consists of the Marina, Pool, front office, restaurant, fitness center, etc.
  • After the Ginn Project went bankrupt, LRA decided to lock the doors and move on, that is when the IVRC was formed and we entered into a long term lease to manage the resort and support the local community.
  • IVRC has successfully managed the resort, marina, reopened the airstrip and has gainfully employed 100% Bahamian staff while steadily increasing occupancy each year that at one point was at an all time low in single digits.
  • A Canadian company called Skyline has offered to buy the entire ($2B) Ginn Mega Resort Property plus the LRA holdings that included the common areas of OBB
    • Their approach has been considered somewhat hostile by both employees and owners with their demands versus negotiations.
    • Skyline has missed 8 closings over the past year and now are suspected not to have the funding they claimed per a newspaper article dated Jan 18, 2019
      • (as a new THT user I can not post a URL so here is the address without the url)
      • thefreeportnews.com/opinion/editorial/skyline-investment-west-gb-project-jeopardy
    • Skyline has made sideline offers to owners to buy owner units below market value to gain control of the HOA board and implying that it will not be good for us if we dont sell.
      • I can say this as I received an offer with a walk away price for each of my units by one of their representatives
  • LRA is working with Skyline to gain control of the resort marina and common areas by selling or leasing to them while we still have a lease in place
  • LRA and OBB IVRC have been in and out of court over the legality of our long term lease with them.
    • LRA sent security guards on sight in early December and changed the locks of the front office, and attempted to close the marina
    • IVRC filed a lawsuit in Nassau to keep the resort open
    • LRA is once again trying to close a functional marina with guest in dock slips for no real reason (other than intimidation in my opinion)
    • LRA this weekend put up signs to close "their docks slips" from use by OBB residents or guests on Monday Jan 21, 2019
    • The legal aspect will resume in court in Nassau on Tuesday.
  • Another entity friendly with OBB has stepped up through all this and purchased the seawall, fuel dock, marina bath houses, customs building and all the land that from the marina to the first canal and out to the guard house including an existing 2nd marina basin
    • This seawall area of the marina will remain open and a new marina will be constructed on the existing marina basin on the first canal that was dug out during the first phase construction.
Personally, I support and encourage someone buying the Ginn Mega Resort Property and finish the project on the south beach to start adding value to the West End versus shutting down the functional facilities and amenities, seems counter productive.

How did LRA go from "locking the doors and moving on" to trying to close the marina? I think there's some there. If they "locked the doors" -- how were they open? I think the devil is int he details, and each time I hear it spun a different way it make less sense.

Did LRA lease what they walked away from? Does LRA still own it? Is LRA trying to sell it to the Israeli guy? I think if people had a better understanding of the exact flow of how it went, they might understand it better.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
How did LRA go from "locking the doors and moving on" to trying to close the marina? I think there's some there. If they "locked the doors" -- how were they open? I think the devil is int he details, and each time I hear it spun a different way it make less sense.
LRA still owns the common areas that make up the "resort" as listed above. The time frame you are asking about occurred years apart, from the Ginn property closing to this past weekend closing their dock slips at the marina. The Ginn project went bankrupt long before I was an owner and I believe they also ran the resort portion which is owned by LRA. After they folded LRA did not want to run the resort and the IVRC , made up of owners, was formed and, signed a long term lease with LRA to manage the resort by employing all Bahamians (some former Ginn Employees) as employees. Since then each year has been moving in a positive direction growing the resort and occupancy, upgrades and repairing hurricane damages like replacing all power poles in the marina.

Now fast forward to present day and LRA is trying to sell or move the lease to another company away from IVRC. This past weekend LRA stapled laminated flyers to the docks while paying guests are in the marina that the marina is closed as of Sunday Jan 20, 2019. Does that answer your question?

Edit: Trying to post a pic of the flyer from this weekend however THT is not allowing me until I have 10 posts.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark Wilson View Post
LRA still owns the common areas that make up the "resort" as listed above. The time frame you are asking about occurred years apart, from the Ginn property closing to this past weekend closing their dock slips at the marina. The Ginn project went bankrupt long before I was an owner and I believe they also ran the resort portion which is owned by LRA. After they folded LRA did not want to run the resort and the IVRC , made up of owners, was formed and, signed a long term lease with LRA to manage the resort by employing all Bahamians (some former Ginn Employees) as employees. Since then each year has been moving in a positive direction growing the resort and occupancy, upgrades and repairing hurricane damages like replacing all power poles in the marina.

Now fast forward to present day and LRA is trying to sell or move the lease to another company away from IVRC. This past weekend LRA stapled laminated flyers to the docks while paying guests are in the marina that the marina is closed as of Sunday Jan 20, 2019. Does that answer your question?

Edit: Trying to post a pic of the flyer from this weekend however THT is not allowing me until I have 10 posts.
It does answer my questions very well.

So, from what I'm reading is that LRA leased some "stuff" to the condo owners. (After the LRA pretty much sucked at it and walked away as a result of some other deal that didn't work out)... so, in the end, LRA owns something, they leased to the condo owners (as association) - which in turn give the condo owners more amenities. In addition, the condo owners (as association) did some improvements, etc.

Now, the LRA, who owns it all, wants to sell. So, this seems pretty simple to me.

When does the lease end?
Is there a right of first refusal on the lease?
Did the owner agree to pay the condo association for the improvements?
Does the condo association have any kind of "first right" to use the "stuff" that they leased if they are sold?

I hate to say it, but I think this sounds a little like the guy who rents a house, builds a brand new kitchen and bathroom, and then gets upset when the owner wants to sell the house after the lease it up.

Do NOT take that the wrong way. I think the guy who runs that Israeli fund is about as sleazy as they come... and I was recently at OBB and I thought it was pretty darn nice. But why was all this great stuff being done if it could be taken away at any time?

OTOH, hopefully I have read this wrong and there is more to it... which would really interesting to hear...
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:21 AM
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the situation in OBB is similar to the one in Bimini Sands where the developer retains control of the common area and thus can strangle and manipulate the owners (except that in OBB the common areas appear to be leased to IVRC). At least in the US, this arrangement is unusual because after a certain threshold the common areas are turned over the condo association. I would be suspect to purchase property where the common areas where not eventually transferred.

Good luck with your fight and I hope you prevail.
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by alacrity View Post
the situation in OBB is similar to the one in Bimini Sands where the developer retains control of the common area and thus can strangle and manipulate the owners (except that in OBB the common areas appear to be leased to IVRC). At least in the US, this arrangement is unusual because after a certain threshold the common areas are turned over the condo association. I would be suspect to purchase property where the common areas where not eventually transferred.

Good luck with your fight and I hope you prevail.
I had no idea... that's just crazy. Too much risk for my blood.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
I had no idea... that's just crazy. Too much risk for my blood.
Agree, I love the Bahamas but... If I canít haul the anchor and take it with me I donít want it there.

Mark, I hope you guys prevail and the idea implodes. You have a nice thing going right now as is.
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:20 PM
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Bad enough dealing with condo associations in SFL nevermind a clusterfxxx like described here.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:10 PM
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So the plan is to build a new marina in the area circled in red? Who will own the new marina, fuel, customs, etc?
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason5543 View Post
So the plan is to build a new marina in the area circled in red? Who will own the new marina, fuel, customs, etc?
I thought they meant the area above the current marina... but either way.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:16 AM
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Thank you very much for the Info and the Update!

We have stayed there aboard the HEY MON! many, many times and love the gang there, especially Mary and Harold......

My first trip in was in 1985......
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:35 AM
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test post 9 to get to 10 to post images
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:40 AM
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:41 AM
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Mark is that what you were trying to post?
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:15 AM
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Posting this for Mark

This is Grand Harbour @ Old Bahama Bay. This is a Bahamian Company owned by our HOA president John MacDonald, who has been mentioned in many of the newspaper articles. This is a ten year phased expansion with the marina breaking ground this summer as well and an in out dry storage via forklift at the end of the canal with storage racks across the street. We hope that LRA / Skyline want to work with us but as you can see if not we have alternate plans in work. Ironically this all came together after Skyline made several visits to OBB and they began interacting with the employees and HOA board members. Coincidence?
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:02 PM
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A dry stack marina in a hurricane resistant building would be a fantastic attraction. So nice to store your boat safely and fly in/out no longer tied to weather!

The original development plan at Chub Cay had that feature and a damn shame it didnít get built.
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