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Ten core businesses are set to open their doors as early as this month in the Old Fort Bay Town Centre, bringing western New Providence's new commercial heart into reality.
Bahamas Design Centre, HIS Fashion, The Gallery at Old Fort Bay, Sat Sound and Benetton are among the first stores now outfitting retail spaces.
A pharmacy, liquor store and travel agency are also poised for business, although the names have yet to be formally announced. In addition, two "bistro-style restaurants" have signed leases with the New Providence Development Company (NPDC) and should start business either this month or in July.
In the end, this summer should see Old Fort become the corporate hub of western New Providence, and indeed provide dozens of employment opportunities for Bahamians.
The first two blocks of retail space at the shopping center also feature office space above, and Jane-Michele-Bethel, sales and marketing manager, believes these will attract more interest once the businesses move in.
"What needs to happen is getting the first phase open and up and running. That will give people the confidence to invest further," she explained.
The 10 core businesses set to open have already invested ahead of the grand opening, however.
Bahamas Design Centre, for example, will feature indoor/outdoor furniture and home accessories, and carry Ralph Lauren Home products. HIS Fashion plans to stock brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Nautica and Kenneth Cole of New York.
Sat Sound, Bethel added, will include sound systems, home theaters and lighting systems, among other products.
"We also have two fantastic restaurants on-site," Bethel told Guardian Business. "We have signed letters of intent, and one is about to do the interior build. These are bistro-style restaurants."
While she couldn't reveal too many specifics, the NPDC executive said the restaurants are unique in nature and locally owned, similar in size and style to Olives on Cable Beach. The fact the restaurants are relatively small, comprising no more than 1,500 square feet, means employment at the restaurants will likely not exceed a dozen. But with so many retail outlets coming online, a number of other jobs should be on the table.
Meanwhile, phase two of the development is approaching completion, including putting the roofs on and starting the landscaping. Phase two will see the rise of two more sister buildings and finish off a strip of commerce, with "Main Street" running between them.
"We are high into phase two, with landscaping around the retail buildings. We're also getting ready to put up the monument signs that will say 'Old Fort Bay Town Centre'," said Marcus Grammatico, vice president of finance at NPDC.
"The stores are looking beautiful. By the look of it, the vendors are taking great pride in it, as we are positioning the town centre as on the whole upscale."
The retail outlets join the already successful Solomon's Fresh Market, which opened last year. AML Foods, the parent company, has reported robust sales in their recent financial statements, as residents in the west have responded to commercial options in this area of the island.
Hurricane Season in The Caribbean officially began on June 1st and ends November 30th, meaning that this is the period most likely to see Hurricane activity. However, a natural disaster can occur at any time, and the best defense is to always be informed and prepared
Apart from the dangers posed by the force of high winds and heavy rainfall, a hurricane can also produce abnormal and extremely dangerous storm surges. These occur as a result of the unusual combination of atmospheric pressures, and with the addition of the strong force of the winds, become even more dangerous.
When Willamae Johnson graduated from library school in 1981 from Atlanta University (which has now merged with Clark Atlanta University) she never dreamed she'd one day oversee an edifice as grand as the Harry C. Moore Library, knowing of course, the library facilities her country had to offer.
One year after graduation she joined College of The Bahamas, which at the time had a library that encompassed a mere two small spaces -- one housed the offices and had three rooms, and the other was the library proper which encompassed all of the services the library offered from circulation to reference media.
Today, she's the head librarian of a 60,000 square-foot facility that is able to seat 575 users at any one time. She's in charge of a library that has a 24-hour Internet café (the information commons as they call it) where students can have access to the library's computers and electronic resources. The facility offers electronic books, a licensed database that students can access remotely from home that allows them access to a variety of resources, anytime of day, wherever they are. The new library houses an audiovisual department and is home to a constantly evolving digital collection. There is also a section dedicated to Bahamiana.
The head librarian describes the transition from the old to the new library as "tremendous." The project itself, fully built and furnished, was $28 million, with $22 million allocated towards the construction, and the balance in furniture and furnishings, and fees to organizations the library needed to join.
It's a facility Johnson is proud to head up.
"This facility really is for the nation," said the head librarian. "When I went to library school, I never dreamed that I would have such an opportunity to serve in this role, and so I think this has really been for me a proud moment, one that's humbling to see what we've really been able to achieve with God's help."
Johnson took up a College of The
Bahamas post on August 30, 1982, but has been serving in the head librarian's position since 1990.
The new facility allows the college to bring all of its departments under one roof. Prior to opening its doors to college users on February 28, 2011 and officially to the general public on April 8, 2011, the library's resources had been spread out because they simply did not have enough space under one roof to encompass everyone and everything. The college's business and technology programs were offered out of a space at the Soldier Road campus at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute. An education program and a small education library were located on Moss Road
With a grant from the World Bank in 1984, the college was able to expand its old library to a little over 10,000 square feet, which allowed them to collapse their off-site libraries and bring them under one roof. But right away, after moving in, they realized they were out of space once they got all departments together. Johnson said the librarian at the time, Vanria Thomas-Rolle noticed that they didn't have any space for growth of collections, and barely had space for staff. As a result, Johnson said the talks began immediately about what a new College of The Bahamas library would look like. That was in the late 1980s. Those talks led to designs being drawn up and what they saw the function of the new library being, encompassing thoughts of how librarianship was changing, and meeting the demands of users. Johnson said they talked about integrating technology, because at the time, the then library didn't have any technology other than the physical hands on kinds of things.
Ground-breaking for what was to be the Harry C. Moore facility took place on April 21, 2005. Six years later, the college had its new three-story facility with Johnson proudly at the helm.
On the ground floor is the 24-hour information commons as well as the public services center for persons who want to check materials out or return materials to the library. On the exterior of the library, they have a book return that can be used if the library itself is closed and users want to return materials. They also dispense from there at the media counter, audio-visual resources like DVDs and CDs. The ground floor also houses two instructional classrooms that seats 20 people each. In one of those classrooms they can also do distance education with the Family Islands. A small auditorium that seats 117 people is also on the first level.
It is on this level where they also have their special collections housed, including their Bahamiana resources. "We specifically put that on the ground floor because we know that's a resource that many Bahamians come to use, not only college students, but high school students, primary school students, members of the public, scholars from around the world looking for Bahamiania, so we wanted to make that easily accessible."
Lockers are also installed on the first level. It is there that they encourage library users to store their belongings so they don't have to lug them through the facility.
"We encourage students to use the lockers, especially when they go into the special collections area which we would like to make an area where they only take the paper they need, or their laptop, so that we can preserve our Bahamiana resources," said Johnson. "And, because we have a number of potential donors right now firming up, and we want to assure those donors that when their resources come to us, they're going to be taken care of." There is a nominal fee for the use of the lockers.
The first/second floor is where all of the library's resources that students can borrow are found. On the west side is the general stuff and on the east side, is where they have West Indian teaching practice and bound periodicals. They also have current periodicals -- general newspapers, magazines and journals at this level. The main reference desk is on this floor as well. It is also at this level where they have a small room there with computers where librarians can do special training or use databases. Also on this floor are spaces where they do special exhibits -- one of those being the permanent exhibit of the first Bahamian Prime Minister, Sir Lynden Pindling.
The second floor/third floor houses the administrative offices and the prized law collections, which they've kept separate, because Johnson said the resource is so valuable they cannot afford to lose it.
What you see in the Harry C. Moore building is the merging of three libraries into one facility -- COB's existing main library and the libraries culinary and hospitality library and the law library.
The Harry C. Moore Library also has both free-standing and compact shelving which allows them to be able to have more titles available for their users.
"Since this library is built for the next 50 years and for the general public, we have provided resources in that way to make those available," she said.
As they continue to build the library's resources, Johnson says their next real challenge will be to upgrade and continue to add research resources to the facility, so that the Harry C. Moore Library can continue to have the vast store of information that scholars need to do their research.
Three months after being made available to students, Johnson says the library facility has been amazing for the college students as it is completely wireless which gives them choices as to how and where they can use their laptops in comfortable seating, as opposed to being static.
The building is named in memory of Harry C. Moore, one of the founding presidents of the Lyford Cay Foundation who served as a member of College of The Bahamas Council. It was during Moore's tenure on the college council, that he developed a desire to see the college have a university-level library and worked along with then president, the late Dr. Keva Bethel to help the college get a library that would facilitate the transition of the college to university.
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
FREEPORT - Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell says that Education Minister Desmond Bannister has sought to blame the PLP for the shortfall in school furniture and teachers shortages in Grand Bahama, when the PLP has been out office since 2007.
Mr Mitchell noted that there is a critical shortage of furniture at the Walter Parker Primary and students have to borrow chairs from classrooms and the faculty lounge in order for one teacher to be able to seat her full class.
"I want to take this opportunity to answer the minister of education who in response to my comments in Grand Bahama on August 26 suggested that politics wa ...
Local charities expect to help hundreds of Bahamians this holiday season, but officials of two of those charities said that could be challenging without more contributions. Red Cross Welfare Officer Brendalee Rolle said the organization is struggling to raise funds to assist the needy and put together the special care Christmas packages it hopes to begin delivering next week. Another charity, Great Commission Ministries, has found it difficult to keep up with the increased demand for emergency shelters, food and clothing assistance. Donations to both charities have reportedly fallen drastically this year over previous years. Despite the decreased donations, Rolle said the Red Cross will do all it can to assist those in need.The packages include items such as rice, flour, grits, sugar, tuna, sardines, oatmeal and assorted biscuits and noodles, among other things. "It has been very slow and right now the only donations we got in, came from three schools -- Aquinas College, Jordan Prince William High and Kingsway Academy -- who had their Thanksgiving drives," she said. "That's basically what we have so far." Donations to the Red Cross reportedly dropped close to 40 percent in 2011 over the previous year, and according to Rolle, not much has changed this year. But she thanked those who gave this year. "People are seeking clothing, food, water and bedding, but now there is also a vast need for furniture, which is something that is also very slow coming in," Rolle said. Great Commission Ministries Executive Director Minalee Hanchell said, "On the whole it is more difficult to get in the funding. "It is tighter this year than ever before and getting the needed Christmas gifts and other items for our 'Save the Children Club' children's party on December 15 is still challenging." The charity serves an average of 300 meals daily, delivers food packages and provides food and clothing for its children's programs. Hanchell said the organization is soliciting items and groceries, particularly hams and turkeys for the annual Christmas Eve dinner, as there is currently not enough to go around. The feeding center will be open on Christmas Eve, and the needy will receive food and clothing despite the shortage."We are very grateful to the public and businesses for their support, but more support could be used for funding and groceries, which are the two major needs this year," Hanchell said. Anyone interested in donating may contact the Red Cross at 323-7370. Donations to Great Commissions Ministries may be made in cash or by check (payable to Great Commission Ministries) and dropped off at its headquarters on Wulff Road.
Saturday 3rd November 2012 8:30 AM
Everything Except Mattresses and Boxsprings. Saturday November 3, 2012 Best Buy Furniture first opened their doors in 1990, since then they’ve grown into a leading Bahamian company with the one of the largest furniture inventories on the island. By offering stylish furniture at everyday low prices, superior service and fast delivery, today Best Buy Furniture is a great place to start your furniture search. PRODUCT LINES: Bedroom, Living Room, Dining Room, Kids Room, Recliners, Entertainment Centers, Accessories, Office Furniture.
The Bahamas Real Estate Association is throwing its support behind Royal Bank of Canada's (RBC) recently-launched mortgage campaign, designed to make home ownership a reality for potential buyers.
BREA President Franon Wilson is saluting RBC FINCO's "We will meet you almost anywhere" campaign.
He believes the campaign will put BREA members in a "much better position to make homeownership a reality for the public" for several reasons including discounted rates, interviews conducted outside of the bank and the pre-approval process.
"Under this program, there is a discounted rate. This will allow people to either qualify for more money or have a lower mortgage payment. For many people, getting to the bank for an interview and back to work in an hour is a challenge. FINCO will send the loan officers to the people. This is addressing a hurdle for many people," he explained.
"Pre-approval is arguably the most important part of the campaign. The public will be able to confirm what they can qualify for before they start to look for their lot or house. BREA members will be in a much better position to address the needs and more importantly manage expectations of potential lot and home owners."
He continued, "BREA looks forward to its members working with FINCO to reach their campaign goals. BREA encourages the public to move now and take advantage of this special offer."
The "We will meet you almost anywhere" campaign is expected to highlight the flexibility of the bank's mortgage specialists and feature two mortgage products, the conventional residential mortgage and the residential lot (land) loan.
The conventional residential mortgage is used for the purchase or construction of a home that will be occupied by the owner and the residential lot (land) loan is structured for residential land purchase with the purpose of constructing an owner-occupied home eventually.
Deborah Zonicle, RBC's marketing manager, pointed out that the campaign aims to communicate to prospective home owners that they can find convenience and top-notch expertise at RBC.
"RBC realizes that the acquisition of a home is usually the biggest investment a person makes in their lifetime. It is an exciting time, but we also realize it can be a very stressful time. Through providing sound advice, support and convenience, RBC wants to reduce the anxiety that so often goes into such a significant undertaking of property ownership," she explained.
During the campaign, sales teams at RBC FINCO and RBC Royal Bank branches will offer the flexibility to meet prospective home owners anywhere they request and at any time that is most convenient for them.
The campaign has been launched throughout The Bahamas and in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Highlights of the campaign include attractive mortgage rates, reduced legal fees and pre-approved credit cards and consumer loans. All clients who are interested in obtaining a mortgage or land loan will receive a "pre-qualification" certificate.
This allows persons to go house or property hunting with ease and with a full understanding of what loan amount they can qualify for.
Customers whose mortgage applications are approved during the three-month campaign period will also be automatically entered to win prizes including appliances, furniture or free mortgage payments.
The campaign will run until August 31.
The grandaunt of the country's latest murder victim claimed that hours after he was gunned down at a local nightclub yesterday, police killed one of her dogs, kicked down her door and injured her granddaughter in pursuit of suspects in his shooting.
Twenty-one-year-old Cordero Finley, was shot along with seven others at Baller's Nightclub on Mackey and East Bay Streets around 2 a.m., according to police.
Sarah Collie, 70, claimed that police used excessive force after they entered her yard on Price Street in Nassau Village around 7 a.m.
She said the officers left with five of her grandchildren, who police believe have information about the shooting.
"They killed my dog," Collie told The Guardian around 10 a.m., pointing to the already swelling carcass of a pit bull lying in the middle of her blood stained yard. By that time, flies were already buzzing around the dog's head.
"They opened the gate and came inside the yard and I heard 'bam'. They shot three shots. So after I came out, I asked 'why you all killed my dog?'. They didn't answer and they rushed in the house and just started pushing people down."
Collie claimed two of her other dogs were also shot, but were still alive up to press time.
She claimed that several members of her family were also hurt in the raid.
Pointing to her one-year-old grandchild who had a small gash on her forehead, Collie said, "See my baby? They pushed her against the door and she fell and [hit] her head. Then they started stomping on them boys, but they didn't say anything.
"It was horrible. They could have done a better job. They didn't say anything. They didn't say get down. They slammed them down on the floor. If you see my house you would believe that the hurricane passed through there."
Collie claimed two of her other grand nephews were also injured during the night club shooting.
A glimpse into the house revealed overturned furniture and drawers strewn across the floor. Blood was also smeared across the floor in areas where the dog that was killed reportedly ran after he was shot.
Collie's 3-year-old granddaughter Quindia Livingston said the first thing she saw when she woke up was a policeman pointing a gun in her direction.
"I was scared," she told The Guardian.
Another family member, Elricka Collie, 10, said she was also roused by police shortly after she and a few other family members returned from the hospital.
"When I woke up I was in the room with my brother. The police pushed a gun up to me and my brother's head and I didn't like that," she said.
"They dragged my brother out of the room and they should not have done that because he didn't even go out. I was scared because of how they kicked my brother on the floor."
Julia Collie, 12, shared a similar story.
"One of the police took me and pushed me into another police and he pushed me on the floor," she said. "They pushed my grammy on the floor. The police are not protecting us. They are not supposed to come in our house and do that."
The girls did not attend school yesterday because they were too shaken up, Sarah Collie said.
When asked about the alleged incident, Commissioner Greenslade said he received a call yesterday morning regarding Collie's complaint.
"The Complaints and Corruption Unit stands ready to take her complaint," he said, adding that he is not prepared to say anything else on the matter.
Collie said the police should have handled the situation differently.
"If they had said, 'Hey I'm looking for Peter or Paul', I would have invited them in. I would've said 'come in, sweetie'. Now I'm scared to live in this house anymore because they are my protection," she added, referring to her dogs.
"Right now I don't know where to begin or where to start," she said. "I'm hurt. I'm hurting bad, bad.
"What hurt me most is when I look at my baby's face at the bruise and her face is swollen. The police are worthless and no good."
By INDERIA SAUNDERS
Guardian Business Reporter
A grand opening of the near$8 million headquarters for the FML Group of Companies, housing firms from New York to Turks and Caicos, could come as early as the end of November, around two months behind schedule.
In an interview withGuardian Business, FML CEO Craigg Flowers said the official opening of the office building on West Bay Street experienced setbacks from a shipping mistake that sent much of the furniture and materials for the final touches sailing right past The Bahamas.
"Our signage and exterior things have been misshipped, they were shipped to Bermuda,"he explained."We would like to be in the building and ...