Encore Courts Local Investors

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April 15, 2013

A Bahamian-owned company is seeking local investors for the construction of a $10 million entertainment complex in western New Providence. With the design and leg-work complete, TFG Group is now in talks to interested parties to bring the 45,000-square-foot complex to fruition. TFG Group's subsidiary, Encore, is planning an upscale theater and dining experience that's also geared to special events. Marcus Laing, an architect and investor at TFG Group, said preliminary talks have begun with the Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) to establish a permanent home for the annual event.

"Our goal is to be home for the film festival. Nothing official has been determined, but they are interested," Laing told Guardian Business late on Friday. "This is not a casual thing. This is a high-end experience. We're in the funding stage now and we're getting hits and interest. We're in talks with a few brokerage houses about doing a private placement for it. But there is international interest as well, although we'd like to keep it local." The venue, slated to open its doors in the third quarter of 2014, promises to employ up to 300 Bahamians following its construction.

The architect defines the brand in three ways: cutting-edge technology, green and sustainable and excellent service. At the development's heart are six 40-seat theaters and at least two 100-seat theaters for special events. All of the theaters are upscale with oversized seats and food service during the show. "There will be a small percentage that are considered blockbuster movies," he said. "We are also interested in independent foreign films and classics. We also have the ability to do things on demand. So lets say the Super Bowl is coming up, and you want a whole auditorium with food included.

We can do that." Connected to the theaters is a restaurant and wine lounge, capable of seating 100 people indoors and 40 people outdoors. But perhaps the most attractive feature, particularly for the purposes of BIFF, is a separate VIP experience on the second floor. Laing has designed a private entrance, elevator and lobby for entry into this part of the facility. A private lounge for about 60 people is available, as well as a roof-top terrace for parties and cultural events. Laing told Guardian Business that part of the inspiration behind Encore is the general lack of entertainment in Nassau for Bahamians.

"There is nothing really to do. If you want to take a group out, or perhaps your wife out, there are only so many places," he explained. "Most of us had the opportunity to travel and be exposed. We are consulting with a number of companies abroad, those that have done a similar mixed-cinema concept." In keeping with its trendy appeal, TFG Group is also designing the complex to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. Noting that it is "simply good business", the green approach not only allows Encore to keep operating costs down, but also appeals to a general philosophy that has grown increasingly popular in corporate circles.

Laing has designed power outlets on the outside of the complex so customers can charge electric cars and golf carts. This feature, he said, should particularly appeal to the high-net-worth crowd living in communities such as Old Fort Bay, Lyford Cay and Albany. Encore's sustainability and business plan has been signed off by a well-respected accounting firm, according to TFG Group, setting the stage for this project to begin.

Click here to read more at The Nassau Guardian

News date : 04/15/2013    Category : Business, Nassau Guardian Stories

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