May 03, 2012
Developers of the Elizabeth on Bay Marketplace and Marina believe joining the Marina Operators of The Bahamas (MOB) will give the multimillion-dollar project much needed exposure locally and internationally.
Leah Klonaris, the development's property manager, revealed to Guardian Business that joining MOB will undoubtedly bring more exposure.
"From what I have gathered, you are placed on the map in terms of marinas, where you can possibly stay and just in terms of contact as well, so it's basically a way of getting us on the map," according to Klonaris.
The Elizabeth on Bay Marketplace and Marina is one of two New Providence-based marinas to be added to MOB's membership, along with the Lyford Cay Club.
As members of MOB, Klonaris said the development will begin targeting excursion boats to dock at the plaza's marina.
"We are targetting boats that bring a good number of people through the plaza and into downtown, because we are really the only marina of this type located in the downtown area right now. So it's good in terms of access, in terms of what it could mean for commerce and the overall improvement to the downtown area. That's our primary focus," she noted.
"Beyond that, we are also looking for private boats to come in and dock whether it's for a few nights, a week or two weeks. Providing this service will bring us good exposure and assist in bringing more people into the downtown area."
Klonaris told Guardian Business that her team has been in talks with ferry boat operators for the past year about adding the marina as one of their stops. However, she said this is still a work in progress.
"We want to take it slow until our development is completed, because ferry boat operators have to see where everyone has something to gain. Their business is still focused at the cruise ship port and the straw market area to Paradise Island and back. They did incorporate our stop sporadically within the last six months and it's been good, but I would like to see it increase."
She continued, "We would like to become a part of the route and again that would put us on the map for guests and residents of Paradise Island, who can use both docks as ports of entry."
Meanwhile, Klonaris pointed out that the entire development inclusive of office and retail spaces is 85 percent complete.
"We still have one restaurant that is just starting that will be right next to Blu on the waterfront. Half of the office spaces have already been rented. It's an ongoing process. Most shopping plazas take a couple of years to be in place," she explained.
"The response has been positive and obviously it keeps growing with time. We are still the first in a relatively underdeveloped area of downtown. It was a risk, it's something that obviously needs a little bit more attention in terms of the infrastructure and private development that we are waiting on in the neighboring properties."
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