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News Article

September 07, 2013
A response to Philip Galanis On 'The PLP at 60' pt. 2

This is the second part of my response to a recent column by Philip Galanis in which he describes the PLP as "The Bahamas' first and some would argue only nationalist party", and proceeds to list some "accomplishments" of the PLP.

Efforts at making propaganda fact Galanis lifts a list of accomplishments from some PLP election propaganda sheet which even the PLP leadership must not believe and he attributes them to the Perry Christie government between 2002 and 2007. Only a blind sycophant could give any credence to the list.
Galanis' rose-tinted glasses do not admit failure by his political party. He claims that the first Christie government attracted some $17 billion in foreign direct investment, some $2.5 billion of which became tangible or real. Attracting investment that is not real is a most peculiar concept. It is more peculiar, in fact, than Galanis' failure to accept that the five-phased development of Atlantis was approved by the FNM in its first term in office and is an FNM accomplishment.
Galanis claims Baha Mar as a Christie government accomplishment without acknowledging that the agreement signed by Christie's government (with U.S. partners and financiers) faltered and was rendered void, and that a new agreement (with Chinese partners and financiers) had to be negotiated by the FNM government after 2007.
Galanis claims that the Christie government created 22,000 jobs between 2002 and 2007, about half the number created by the previous FNM government. He forgot to say that the jobs created during the PLP's term in office were overwhelmingly created on projects left in train by the FNM - at Atlantis, in Abaco and in Exuma.
Indeed, in Exuma, it was just the ribbon-cutting that was left for the PLP to do at the Four Seasons. When that operation faltered in 2006 it was left to the FNM returning to office in 2007 to find a new hotel owner and operator in Sandals. If Galanis can find an anchor project undertaken in Rum Cay or in Eleuthera during Christie's first term in office he should advise Bahamians where they might find them.
Galanis is silent on Grand Bahama where the FNM attracted Hutchison Whampoa to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the development of the Transshipment Port, in redeveloping the Grand Bahama International Airport, and in the construction of the Our Lucaya Hotel.
Also on the FNM's watch mega ship care and repair was developed in Grand Bahama, the Pelican Bay resort was constructed and new investment and technology was introduced into the island's oil storage and transshipment facilities. Christie's legacy in Grand Bahama continues to be the closure of the Royal Oasis Hotel following the 2005 hurricane, a resort he was proud to open with the police band in tow, weeks after coming to office for the first time in 2002.
As Galanis seeks to give credit for development in The Bahamas he would do better to glance through the pages of the 40th Anniversary of Independence book assembled by Jones Publications. The book records, among other things, the infrastructural developments of the past 40 years of independence. The pictorial representation is incomplete but still if one were to stamp PLP or FNM on the lasting permanent improvements in our infrastructure they would overwhelmingly be stamped FNM.

Nationalists who promote the wellbeing and glory of one's own fundamental values In three non-consecutive terms in office the FNM shaped the infrastructural landscape of our country: the new town centers in South Beach, Carmichael Road and Elizabeth Estates; the new government ministry complexes - education, health, customs headquarters, new courts in New Providence.

Then there are the Judicial Complex, Police Headquarters, and new C. A. Smith government administrative complex in Grand Bahama.
The new taxi call-up system at Prince George Dock and the hair-braiders' pavilion also at the Prince George Wharf, the National Art Gallery and the Junkanoo Expo are all FNM accomplishments as are the extension and or upgrade of electricity, telephone and water services throughout the Family Islands, new community health clinics on eight Family Islands including Grand Bahama, Bimini, Abaco, Spanish Wells, Harbour Island and San Salvador and another in South Beach, New Providence; new schools, primary and secondary, in New Providence and also in Grand Bahama, Abaco, and Long Island, and expansion of other existing schools around the country. A new airport terminal building and runway were constructed at San Salvador and the airport at Rock Sound, Eleuthera was acquired, the runway resurfaced and a new terminal building constructed.
A new international sea port, the new airport terminal building in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, the new government administration complex and the new community hospital nearing completion in central Abaco were all FNM accomplishments. And the FNM dredged and deepened Nassau Harbour (over the objections of the PLP), built the new Nassau straw market, constructed new magistrates courts and acquired and began restoration of a new judicial complex in Nassau; commenced the three-phased redevelopment of LPIA opening the new U.S. Departure terminal and leaving the International Arrival Terminal to be opened weeks following the 2012 general election.
The new library and communications center at COB was realized by the FNM as were the new national stadium, the 20-corridor-plus New Providence roads and utility upgrade project and the new four-lane Airport Gateway Project. The new adolescent and child care facility at Sandilands Hospital, the new emergency and operating theater wing at Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama; the new Critical Care Block now under construction at Princess Margaret Hospital, and new community hospitals under construction in Exuma are all FNM accomplishments. The list is unending.

Social conscience in government
Socially the FNM has been responsible for fulfilling the PLP's unfulfilled promise in virtually every sector of Bahamian life.
Since 1992 the FNM freed the airwaves and licensed private radio broadcasts, made access to cable television possible and introduced live T.V. coverage of meetings of Parliament from gavel to gavel. The FNM introduced elected local government in its second term in office - a promise first made by the PLP in the 1950s while in opposition and reiterated again in 1968 as government but never brought to fruition.
The FNM privatized BTC and liberalized the communications sector.
The FNM also increased old age pensions, established a resident Court of Appeal and appointed Bahamians as justices in that court for the first time. They established the Industrial Tribunal, introduced minimum wage, introduced sick leave and enhanced maternity leave benefits, established minimum standards and conditions of employment, reduced the work week from 48 to 40 hours, increased the school leaving age from 14 to 16, removed discrimination from our inheritance laws and provided in law that all children, regardless of the marital status of their parents, have two parents. And the FNM created the Eugene Dupuch Law School where Galanis' wife is proud to serve as principal.
The FNM also established the UWI Medical School faculty in The Bahamas, introduced unemployment benefits, introduced a prescription drug benefit and enacted a Freedom of Information Act. It is only left for the PLP to sign the appointed day notice to bring the act into force.
The FNM appointed the first Bahamian directors of Legal Affairs and of Public Works since independence, appointed the first women to the Bahamas Cabinet since independence, Doris Johnson having been dismissed prior to 1973. The FNM was also responsible for the appointment of the first female chief justice, the first female president of the Court of Appeal, the first female speaker of the House of Assembly, and since independence, the first female president of the Senate. In its second term in office the FNM caused 50 percent of the Senate to be comprised of women.
Galanis seems to believe that the PLP has a legacy in public housing. In reality the Pindling PLP government struggled to complete housing developments under development by the UBP government in Yellow Elder and Big Pond.
It was not until 1982 and the appointment of a young Hubert Ingraham to Cabinet that the PLP undertook new government housing projects - at Elizabeth Estates, Flamingo Gardens, Nassau Village and Palm Tree Estates in New Providence, and housing estates were undertaken in Freeport and in Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama and in Cooper's Town, Abaco. Ingraham was dismissed from Cabinet two years later and the new government housing initiative stalled. It did not resume until after the FNM's 1992 election victory after which new housing projects were undertaken at Millennium, Jubilee, and Emerald Gardens. The pace was improved under the first Christie-led government but the overall poor standard of construction of that government's housing program dramatically curtailed its benefits.

Unfinished agendas Yes, Galanis, there is an unfinished agenda for development in our country, but it is the FNM that has such an agenda. It is an agenda of the 'good' who, having been too young to be a part of the first revolution and having been forced out of the ruling party, became intent on their watch after 1992 on realizing the new long-awaited second revolution which they sought to achieve through improved social policies, enhanced economic opportunities, broadened Bahamian ownership in the economy and open, transparent and accountable government. The agenda of the PLP and in particular of this Christie led-PLP government is an unfinished agenda of obtaining privileges and benefits for a select few. It is an unfinished agenda that suggests that holding up those heroes of the first revolution imperfect - though they be - is sufficient. That is why Perry Christie could travel to Washington D.C., and talk about social justice on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech but remain silent on the shameful mismanagement of an investigation into alleged abuse in a Bahamas government detention center at home.
Yes, Galanis, the PLP is in dire need of new causes to champion. They can begin by recognizing the right of the opposition to a voice in Parliament. They can begin by championing open, honest accountability and transparent government.
They can begin by committing themselves to fiscal restraint, abandoning wasteful expenditure on useless or unnecessary expensive foreign travel, and on the granting of government contracts to politically-connected but unqualified contractors.
They can begin to act to create real jobs. They can begin by stopping the politicization of crime. They can begin by acting so as to bring honor to our name internationally.
Finally, in the spirit of championing causes and promoting transparency, Galanis might begin by telling the Bahamian people why he was denied his party's nomination to return to the House of Assembly and why, following so promising a career start, he elected to leave the engagement of the renowned accounting firm which had trained and groomed him for leadership.

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News Article

September 07, 2013
A response to Philip Galanis On 'The PLP at 60' pt. 2

This is the second part of my response to a recent column by Philip Galanis in which he describes the PLP as "The Bahamas' first and some would argue only nationalist party", and proceeds to list some "accomplishments" of the PLP.

Efforts at making propaganda fact Galanis lifts a list of accomplishments from some PLP election propaganda sheet which even the PLP leadership must not believe and he attributes them to the Perry Christie government between 2002 and 2007. Only a blind sycophant could give any credence to the list.
Galanis' rose-tinted glasses do not admit failure by his political party. He claims that the first Christie government attracted some $17 billion in foreign direct investment, some $2.5 billion of which became tangible or real. Attracting investment that is not real is a most peculiar concept. It is more peculiar, in fact, than Galanis' failure to accept that the five-phased development of Atlantis was approved by the FNM in its first term in office and is an FNM accomplishment.
Galanis claims Baha Mar as a Christie government accomplishment without acknowledging that the agreement signed by Christie's government (with U.S. partners and financiers) faltered and was rendered void, and that a new agreement (with Chinese partners and financiers) had to be negotiated by the FNM government after 2007.
Galanis claims that the Christie government created 22,000 jobs between 2002 and 2007, about half the number created by the previous FNM government. He forgot to say that the jobs created during the PLP's term in office were overwhelmingly created on projects left in train by the FNM - at Atlantis, in Abaco and in Exuma.
Indeed, in Exuma, it was just the ribbon-cutting that was left for the PLP to do at the Four Seasons. When that operation faltered in 2006 it was left to the FNM returning to office in 2007 to find a new hotel owner and operator in Sandals. If Galanis can find an anchor project undertaken in Rum Cay or in Eleuthera during Christie's first term in office he should advise Bahamians where they might find them.
Galanis is silent on Grand Bahama where the FNM attracted Hutchison Whampoa to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the development of the Transshipment Port, in redeveloping the Grand Bahama International Airport, and in the construction of the Our Lucaya Hotel.
Also on the FNM's watch mega ship care and repair was developed in Grand Bahama, the Pelican Bay resort was constructed and new investment and technology was introduced into the island's oil storage and transshipment facilities. Christie's legacy in Grand Bahama continues to be the closure of the Royal Oasis Hotel following the 2005 hurricane, a resort he was proud to open with the police band in tow, weeks after coming to office for the first time in 2002.
As Galanis seeks to give credit for development in The Bahamas he would do better to glance through the pages of the 40th Anniversary of Independence book assembled by Jones Publications. The book records, among other things, the infrastructural developments of the past 40 years of independence. The pictorial representation is incomplete but still if one were to stamp PLP or FNM on the lasting permanent improvements in our infrastructure they would overwhelmingly be stamped FNM.

Nationalists who promote the wellbeing and glory of one's own fundamental values In three non-consecutive terms in office the FNM shaped the infrastructural landscape of our country: the new town centers in South Beach, Carmichael Road and Elizabeth Estates; the new government ministry complexes - education, health, customs headquarters, new courts in New Providence.

Then there are the Judicial Complex, Police Headquarters, and new C. A. Smith government administrative complex in Grand Bahama.
The new taxi call-up system at Prince George Dock and the hair-braiders' pavilion also at the Prince George Wharf, the National Art Gallery and the Junkanoo Expo are all FNM accomplishments as are the extension and or upgrade of electricity, telephone and water services throughout the Family Islands, new community health clinics on eight Family Islands including Grand Bahama, Bimini, Abaco, Spanish Wells, Harbour Island and San Salvador and another in South Beach, New Providence; new schools, primary and secondary, in New Providence and also in Grand Bahama, Abaco, and Long Island, and expansion of other existing schools around the country. A new airport terminal building and runway were constructed at San Salvador and the airport at Rock Sound, Eleuthera was acquired, the runway resurfaced and a new terminal building constructed.
A new international sea port, the new airport terminal building in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, the new government administration complex and the new community hospital nearing completion in central Abaco were all FNM accomplishments. And the FNM dredged and deepened Nassau Harbour (over the objections of the PLP), built the new Nassau straw market, constructed new magistrates courts and acquired and began restoration of a new judicial complex in Nassau; commenced the three-phased redevelopment of LPIA opening the new U.S. Departure terminal and leaving the International Arrival Terminal to be opened weeks following the 2012 general election.
The new library and communications center at COB was realized by the FNM as were the new national stadium, the 20-corridor-plus New Providence roads and utility upgrade project and the new four-lane Airport Gateway Project. The new adolescent and child care facility at Sandilands Hospital, the new emergency and operating theater wing at Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama; the new Critical Care Block now under construction at Princess Margaret Hospital, and new community hospitals under construction in Exuma are all FNM accomplishments. The list is unending.

Social conscience in government
Socially the FNM has been responsible for fulfilling the PLP's unfulfilled promise in virtually every sector of Bahamian life.
Since 1992 the FNM freed the airwaves and licensed private radio broadcasts, made access to cable television possible and introduced live T.V. coverage of meetings of Parliament from gavel to gavel. The FNM introduced elected local government in its second term in office - a promise first made by the PLP in the 1950s while in opposition and reiterated again in 1968 as government but never brought to fruition.
The FNM privatized BTC and liberalized the communications sector.
The FNM also increased old age pensions, established a resident Court of Appeal and appointed Bahamians as justices in that court for the first time. They established the Industrial Tribunal, introduced minimum wage, introduced sick leave and enhanced maternity leave benefits, established minimum standards and conditions of employment, reduced the work week from 48 to 40 hours, increased the school leaving age from 14 to 16, removed discrimination from our inheritance laws and provided in law that all children, regardless of the marital status of their parents, have two parents. And the FNM created the Eugene Dupuch Law School where Galanis' wife is proud to serve as principal.
The FNM also established the UWI Medical School faculty in The Bahamas, introduced unemployment benefits, introduced a prescription drug benefit and enacted a Freedom of Information Act. It is only left for the PLP to sign the appointed day notice to bring the act into force.
The FNM appointed the first Bahamian directors of Legal Affairs and of Public Works since independence, appointed the first women to the Bahamas Cabinet since independence, Doris Johnson having been dismissed prior to 1973. The FNM was also responsible for the appointment of the first female chief justice, the first female president of the Court of Appeal, the first female speaker of the House of Assembly, and since independence, the first female president of the Senate. In its second term in office the FNM caused 50 percent of the Senate to be comprised of women.
Galanis seems to believe that the PLP has a legacy in public housing. In reality the Pindling PLP government struggled to complete housing developments under development by the UBP government in Yellow Elder and Big Pond.
It was not until 1982 and the appointment of a young Hubert Ingraham to Cabinet that the PLP undertook new government housing projects - at Elizabeth Estates, Flamingo Gardens, Nassau Village and Palm Tree Estates in New Providence, and housing estates were undertaken in Freeport and in Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama and in Cooper's Town, Abaco. Ingraham was dismissed from Cabinet two years later and the new government housing initiative stalled. It did not resume until after the FNM's 1992 election victory after which new housing projects were undertaken at Millennium, Jubilee, and Emerald Gardens. The pace was improved under the first Christie-led government but the overall poor standard of construction of that government's housing program dramatically curtailed its benefits.

Unfinished agendas Yes, Galanis, there is an unfinished agenda for development in our country, but it is the FNM that has such an agenda. It is an agenda of the 'good' who, having been too young to be a part of the first revolution and having been forced out of the ruling party, became intent on their watch after 1992 on realizing the new long-awaited second revolution which they sought to achieve through improved social policies, enhanced economic opportunities, broadened Bahamian ownership in the economy and open, transparent and accountable government. The agenda of the PLP and in particular of this Christie led-PLP government is an unfinished agenda of obtaining privileges and benefits for a select few. It is an unfinished agenda that suggests that holding up those heroes of the first revolution imperfect - though they be - is sufficient. That is why Perry Christie could travel to Washington D.C., and talk about social justice on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech but remain silent on the shameful mismanagement of an investigation into alleged abuse in a Bahamas government detention center at home.
Yes, Galanis, the PLP is in dire need of new causes to champion. They can begin by recognizing the right of the opposition to a voice in Parliament. They can begin by championing open, honest accountability and transparent government.
They can begin by committing themselves to fiscal restraint, abandoning wasteful expenditure on useless or unnecessary expensive foreign travel, and on the granting of government contracts to politically-connected but unqualified contractors.
They can begin to act to create real jobs. They can begin by stopping the politicization of crime. They can begin by acting so as to bring honor to our name internationally.
Finally, in the spirit of championing causes and promoting transparency, Galanis might begin by telling the Bahamian people why he was denied his party's nomination to return to the House of Assembly and why, following so promising a career start, he elected to leave the engagement of the renowned accounting firm which had trained and groomed him for leadership.

read more »


News Article
Seafood Wine Festival Official Sponsors Come To The Table
May 12, 2010
Seafood & Wine Festival Official Sponsors Come To The Table

The Downtown Nassau Partnership in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources announce the first Great Bahamian Seafood & Wine Festival scheduled for May 28-29 with a gala event at Jacaranda House on the 28th and an all-day, all-out festival at Junkanoo Beach east, just west of the British Colonial Hilton, on Saturday, May 29.

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News Article
MOT joins with partners to host the Great Bahamian Seafood Wine Festival
May 12, 2010
MOT joins with partners to host the Great Bahamian Seafood & Wine Festival

The Ministry of Tourism has joined the Downtown Nassau Partnership (DNP) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources to host the Great Bahamian Seafood Festival.

This joint promotion is scheduled for the weekend of May 28-29 on the waterfront west of the British Colonial Hilton.

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News Article
Education Officials, BOB Honour 160 of the Littlest Best and Brightest.Feb 22 2012.
February 24, 2012
Education Officials, BOB Honour 160 of the Littlest Best and Brightest.Feb 22 2012.

Top Education Officials, BOB Honour Littlest Top Students
Hundreds of Palmdale Primary students gathered in a tree-shaded courtyard this week as the bright lights of TV cameras and the attention of top education officials, teachers and classmates shone on the best and brightest and encouraged all.

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News Article

January 30, 2012
Antonius Roberts prepares to open renovated Hillside House

It's hard to miss when zooming by in cars, but tucked away into the side of the slope at #25 Cumberland Street of downtown Nassau in the midst of abandoned and dilapidated structures is the newly renovated Hillside House.
Once destroyed by fire and abandoned itself, the structure has been given new life by Bahamian artist Antonius Roberts as the Antonius Roberts studio and gallery space.
This space not only adds to the proliferation of art spaces in the area in the last few years but also holds a conversation with the recent downtown Nassau revitalization efforts by the Downtown Nassau Partnership (DNP) which recognizes the importance of preserving culture and heritage in urban development.
With that in mind, a patron of Antonius Roberts approached the artist with the proposition to purchase and give new life to the Hillside House as an art space. The proposition was of high importance to Roberts whose previous Post House studio and gallery space on Prospect Ridge was somewhat inconvenient. Two years later, the pair, as business partners, have been able to fulfill his dream of operating a space where art - as completed pieces and as works in progress - can be appreciated.
Yet on a road like Cumberland Street - which has historically been a place of lively social interaction as the main artery to The British Colonial (Hilton) - efforts are necessary to preserve the integrity and inherent beauty of its buildings.
"Being of the same mindset, we felt it would be important to restore this building to its original feeling, being mindful of the history that actually exists on Cumberland Street and the fact that Cumberland Street has always been a place where locals and visitors can both come and experience the opulence and lifestyle and architecure of The Bahamas in the 1800s," explained Roberts.
"In many conversations with Jackson Burnside when he was still with us, he insisted that we needed to do this right - we needed to be respectful of the architecture and we needed to be respectful of the history. Therefore it has taken us two years to get to this particular point."
Yet Roberts has extensive knowledge about the power of preservation and how it intersects with public
art - his sculptures are often crafted out of discarded wood which he repurposed into beautiful figures or useful benches, giving them new life.
By partnering with government institutions and the public sector, he has created sculpture gardens in places like Clifton Heritage Park and at the intersection of Blake Road and JFK Drive which has not only attracted the admiration of visitors but also Bahamians.
Such installations, like the efforts of the DNP, explains Roberts, serve to connect the public to their public spaces, fostering appreciation and respect for their surroundings as well as a sense of community.
Hillside House, he hopes, will function as this public art does - being open six days a week with an emphasis on the daytime hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will make it quite accessible to both curious tourists passing by and Bahamians who may want to tuck into a bit of art and culture during their lunch break or weekend outings.
"This building is a sculpture. This is the artwork," said Roberts.
"We wanted people as they pass to be connected to the transformation of this space and in so doing will be drawn to this space, and being drawn to this space they're connecting to rich art and culture that is unique to The Bahamas.
"I speak about locals more so than tourists," he added. "I think we have to first create spaces for ourselves, we have to first love our spaces and clean up our front doors and our yards, thereby encouraging people to come into a wonderful space."
This two-year renovation that preserved much of the integrity of the historic architecture of Hillside House has come to this: a zen-like space just yards from a busy road where, if drivers turn their faces away for a brief moment may catch Roberts working on new sculptural creations under the palms - if he does not happen to be working inside this charming pink building instead.
Nevertheless, two bronze figures cast from his wooden sculpture creations welcome visitors into a quaint gallery space that lies at the intersection of past and present. It showcases, for now, work by Roberts himself, but will soon feature rotating exhibitions by local artists.
In fact, when the space holds its open house next month, on display will also be a collection of wood carvings of owls by Edroy Mackey.
This reclusive artist who lived in the area has essentially become the first artist-in-residence at Hillside House. Mackey was only one of the individuals who frequented the abandoned Hillside House and its surrounding structures when Roberts first began visiting the site for renovations.
"As opposed to chasing them away we thought it would be wonderful to, in the spirit of community, engage them in this whole process of transformation," said Roberts.
"We've been collecting a lot of Edroy's pieces to encourage him and to say to him, 'listen, we're not here to disturb you, we are here to actually add something to your life'," he continued.
"He's our first artist in residence. We met him here, we want him to stay here, and we want to encourage him to continue producing art in this space."
Such a spirit of community, explained Roberts, is what has driven the renovations and he hopes the space functions as just one of many in an urban area that is conscious of its important and rich cultural heritage.
"We're hoping to connect to other artists who like Edroy find some inspiration in this space and kind of want to congregate in this space," Roberts said.
"This all organic.
"Like Jackson Burnside said, let's be true to our history, let us be respectful of our environment, and let us just breathe life into a space so we can begin to tell our own stories. Then we can be engaged in the whole transformation of The Bahamas and we can be engaged in actually influencing the landscape. That's what this is all about."
The Antonius Roberts Studio and Gallery at Hillside House is located at #25 Cumberland Street. It will hold its first open house on February 11 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and will aim to be open to the public during these daytime hours for six days a week.

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News Article

February 20, 2014
Harlem sees the biggest real estate boost

Over the recent years, Harlem has quietly become one of Manhattan's hottest neighborhoods. Rent prices for Harlem apartments have gone up over the last year as home hunters found an abundance of inventory going for relatively reasonable rates, especially during the economic crisis when good values were hard to come by.
A report by the real estate group MNS found that average rent prices in Harlem went up 9.4 percent from $2,191 last year to $2,397 in January, the biggest increase in Manhattan. In 2002, the average rent was $1,200, according to the nonprofit Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development.
Harlem's popularity is furthered by an influx of new stores and restaurants as well as its uniqueness, community spirit and long history. The new additions to the area in the past few years include Whole Foods, Red Rooster restaurant, '50s themed restaurant Harlem Shake and brasserie The Cecil.

The Standard might sell for a lot
The Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking district could sell for more than $400 million, or around $1.2 million per room -- the highest price for a hotel since the financial crisis struck in 2008. A group led by Steve Kantor is in talks, along with other bidders, to buy the 18-story hotel.
The hotel was developed and managed by hotelier Andre Balazs's company. Balazs sold his majority stake in the Standard Hotel brand last year, putting the property on the market.
Dune Real Estate Partners and Greenfield Partners stand to bank quite a bit from the sale of 848 Washington Street between West 12th and 13th streets, with about $240 million invested into the property, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Making news in Florida is Al Capone's gangster mansion in Miami Beach - which is back on the market with an asking price of almost $8.5 million. The sprawling, waterfront compound is where notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone died after being released from Alcatraz and is said to have plotted the St. Valentine's Day massacre in 1929.
The 10,000-square-foot baby blue mansion sits on exclusive Palm Island, sandwiched in Biscayne Bay between downtown Miami's skyscrapers and South Beach's hotel district.
The current owner, a Florida company managed by New York accountant Anthony Panebianco, purchased the home barely six months ago for $7.4 million, according to Miami-Dade property records.
The mansion was built in 1922 by Clarence Busch, a member of the Anheuser-Busch brewing family. Capone, who made a vast fortune importing and selling liquor during prohibition, bought it in 1928 for $40,000 after being chased out of Chicago and later Los Angeles.
This is it for today, dear readers. I am available to answer your questions and provide you with more information on New York City, Miami and U.S. real estate.

o Riccardo Ravasini is a real estate maven and an active agent in New York and Miami. He grew up in Italy where he studied business and finance at Bocconi University in Milan before moving to the U.S. He enjoys assisting people in the search for the perfect rental apartment as well as international buyers looking for smart investment properties. Contact him at +1-917-214-2509 or rava@ravarealty.com.

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News Article

December 16, 2013
Water and Sewerage Corp. introduces new payment centers

The Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) has partnered with Ca$h N'Go so that WSC customers can pay their bills via cash or check at any of the Ca$h N'Go locations in New Providence and the Family Islands.
The move comes as the corporation has implemented an intensive IDB loan-funded support program with its primary objectives bring to significantly and measurably improve overall service levels, and put the corporation on the path to financial sustainability.
A key measurement of the service level improvements is the ease of doing business with the corporation.
"We are excited about this new partnership with Ca$h N'Go. Our association with Ca$h N'Go is just one of the many partnerships we will engage in over the next several months as we continue to address the needs of our customers," said Chief Financial Officer Sandra Edgecombe.
WSC customers can pay their bills and retrieve account information on the spot at Ca$h N'Go locations on Rosetta Street in Palmdale; Carmichael Road; Prince Charles Drive; Navy Lion Road; Marsh Harbour, Abaco; Georgetown, Exuma; Sandals Resort Exuma and Grand Bahama.
Customers still have the options to continue to pay their bills at local banks, pay by phone, and very soon through a revised WSC website customers will also be able to pay online.
"Many of our bill payment customers who pay other utilities have frequently asked about WSC. We are delighted to make it a reality through this partnership," said Jevon Butler, manager business development, Ca$h N'Go.

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News Article

September 30, 2014
Sterling sells 7M home in less than two weeks

The sale of a $7 million Ocean Club Estates residence less than two weeks after it hit the market is one indicator that the luxury home market is beginning to rebound, according to the principals of a local real estate firm.
Lamond and Robyn Davis of Sterling Bahamas Realty (SBR) successfully closed a sale for a luxury, two-story estate home on Paradise Island days after listing the property and hosting a successful open house on a similar home in the community.
Lamond Davis credits the quick sale to a combination of factors.
"It is due to targeted marketing based upon comprehensive statistical data and extensive local and international networking," he shared. "It's also being blessed by God."
A stone's throw away from the mega resort, Atlantis, Ocean Club Estates is one of the priciest neighborhoods in the Bahamas market.
The $7 million home is situated on the first fairway of the second hole of the gated community's Tom Weiskopf designed 18-hole par 72 championship golf course.
With movement in the luxury home market picking up, Robyn Davis says it's the perfect time to introduce a new West Bay Street development - a 16-unit condominium complex formerly known as The Palms.
"We have advised the developers to roll out the development now," she said.
The new Ocean Terrace is presently under construction. The property is situated on five acres of land about 800 feet east of Blake Road across the street from a white sandy beach. The development will be completed in eight to 10 months.
The property is listed exclusively by Sterling Bahamas Realty.
A full service boutique real estate agency, Sterling Realty specializes in residential and commercial sales and rentals, appraisals, property management, vacation and yacht rentals, along with dock slip sales and rentals.
Paul Lowe is the firm's broker.
According to Lamond Davis, there is a great demand for oceanfront property out west.
"The proximity of Ocean Terrace to the airport is sure to pique the interest of international buyers," he said. "Residents of this oceanfront enclave will not have the flyover traffic that some other developments out west experience, located as they are within the flight path."
When it comes to gated communities, Robyn Davis believes "bigger isn't always better".
"There are a number of existing and planned mix-used developments in the west that are offering anywhere from 30 to 200-plus residential property," she said.
The small scale of the development is a unique selling point, according to Lamond and Robyn Davis.
"Ocean Terrace is unique in that it will offer the discerning family or savvy investor a boutique, private gated community of only 16 condos with two and three-bedroom residences each with breath-taking views of the ocean and access to a white powdery beach," said Robyn Davis.
Ocean Terrace was recently acquired by Sterling (Bahamas) Financial Group Inc. via one of its newest funds - the New Providence Opportunity Fund, a real estate investment fund.
Sterling Financial Group Inc. is an integrated private equity, real estate investment, development and services company. It is also the fund manager for New Providence Capital Management Partners Ltd., a mortgage lender.
The financial group has active investments and projects throughout the Caribbean and North America.

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