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Old 09-04-2019, 07:43 AM   #1
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Rebuilding the Abaco's....?

Seeing some of the footage of the Bahamas – Abaco Islands they are really in dire shape, makes you wonder do you really go back to “restoring” these areas, or change how you build and installing new infrastructure, like underground cables etc, hurricane proof structures, kinda hard I know since they are a poor country, just do you keep repeating this hoping for a new outcome…

Also I have no idea how they would dispose of all this waste?
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:05 AM   #2
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I suspect many will leave for Nassau and other islands that were not impacted. Those left will rebuild. The rebuild will be better just because many of those buildings were very old and new materials and codes will need to be followed.

But frankly I don't see them building to a level where they could guarantee protection against a category five hurricane.

It is guaranteed that the Abacos will be different going forward and so will the people.

As for waste, what can be used (wood etc) will be, most of the rest will either go into landfills or burned.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:19 AM   #3
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I suspect foreign investors will be interested in purchasing property for development similar to Baha Mar on New Providence.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:39 AM   #4
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I suspect foreign investors will be interested in purchasing property for development similar to Baha Mar on New Providence.
This is an opportunity for speculators, vulture capitalists and other bottom feeders to buy distressed properties for pennies on the dollar.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:41 AM   #5
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This is an opportunity for speculators, vulture capitalists and other bottom feeders to buy distressed properties for pennies on the dollar.
The problem here is, what they rebuild will not be what was there. We don't need "Atlantis - Abacos" with $500/night rooms excluding all but the wealthy and their sense of entitlement.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:53 AM   #6
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We have always thought of buying a second home over there since we first started going. Always held off as we didn't think we would get the use out of it and also because of storms.

We have even been looking in the past year.

I dunno. It's bitter sweet of course. If they were insured and get their money less storm deductible but no longer want to stay, then would buying their cleared land for future building be such a bad thing for individuals to do?
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:01 AM   #7
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I suspect foreign investors will be interested in purchasing property for development similar to Baha Mar on New Providence.



My God, I pray this does not happen.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:08 AM   #8
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Wish the damn mouse would look at purchasing something in Abaco instead of Lighthouse Point
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:09 AM   #9
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The problem here is, what they rebuild will not be what was there. We don't need "Atlantis - Abacos" with $500/night rooms excluding all but the wealthy and their sense of entitlement.
The insular and theme park nature of these megaresorts give me a creepy feeling, however it arguably provides the best economic benefit for The Bahamas for the following reasons: The resorts generate tax revenue for the nation which is a shared benefit to all, the environmental impact to the beautiful waters and resources of the country are minimized by keeping the large volume of tourists in the bubble or the resort, most don't do excursions or venture out to the less developed areas, these mega resorts provide lots of jobs from entry level to upper management positions. The infrastructure and supply required for these resorts benefit the communities by dramatically subsidizing the cost for utility repairs, upgrades and new service as well as lowering the cost of imported food by driving up the supply volume.

Would you enjoy the outer islands of The Bahamas as much if all of the cruise ship patrons and average Atlantis tourist was bumbling about or do you think you benefit from them being corralled in one place?
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:09 AM   #10
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The problem here is, what they rebuild will not be what was there. We don't need "Atlantis - Abacos" with $500/night rooms excluding all but the wealthy and their sense of entitlement.



This. The Bahamas doesn't need another Atlantis or another cruise ship port. I've heard numerous rumors that Atlantis was struggling financially before the storm. Other than boaters and some people in Florida most people think of the Bahamas as a single island; Nassau. Even though Atlantis was not affected by Dorian it could still be a blow to their business. No too many from Iowa or Ohio or NYC want to vacation in a place that was devastated by a hurricane.


My concern for the Abacos is that it may be too big to come back from, at least entirely. I think the places where there are lot of foreign owned vacation homes, Hope Town, Man O War, Guana etc. will eventually recover. But I wonder about the small communities north of Green Turtle. I've heard nothing about Grand Cay, Spanish, Fox Town, Coopers etc. I'm very afraid that Grand may be abandoned.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:15 AM   #11
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We won't be involved in rebuilding effort but I would be surprised if we aren't involved in heavy salvage and wreck removal in Freeport. We have done lots of heavy lifts for the shipyard and others down there.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:21 AM   #12
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We have always thought of buying a second home over there since we first started going. Always held off as we didn't think we would get the use out of it and also because of storms.

We have even been looking in the past year.

I dunno. It's bitter sweet of course. If they were insured and get their money less storm deductible but no longer want to stay, then would buying their cleared land for future building be such a bad thing for individuals to do?

I don’t think it would be a bad thing to do at all, particularly with your attitude. I don’t see anything wrong with building a McMansion there if that is what someone wants to do. I think what is important is how someone treats their neighbors.

In reading what you have written, you seem to be attracted to not only the geography, but attracted to the community. With that mind set, building a second home would provide jobs and help spur the demand for services which everyone else will benefit from. No one is going to be able to open a market if the only folks buying food are unemployed and poor. The more consumers available the more local business will survive.

I see that as entirely different than a large tourism company buying up a bunch of the property, building a huge resort, and then simply employing locals to mow lawns, serve drinks, and make beds. Yeah, it does provide jobs but it creates a dependent relationship that can’t be good in the long term.

Locally owned business will be what drives an economic comeback in the long run. At least in my mind. Granted I know nothing of the islands and economic recovery on that scale.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:21 AM   #13
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We have friends in Treasure Cay. Their home backs up to the bay and marina. They own a real estate company there. They're ok but I'm sure their home and business are a total loss. The husband weathered the storm at Marsh Harbour, the wife went to Nassau.

They had almost completed a resort when Hurrican Floyd came through and destoyed it.
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:36 AM   #14
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The Abacos won’t be fully restored in most of our lifetimes. Many people will move away and never return. Drive through parts of Mississippi and Louisiana devestated by Katrina, fourteen years ago, and see what kind of timeline they are looking at. It will never be the same, that is for sure. I feel sorry for them and for what will change in their lives.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:00 AM   #15
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There are a few positives that could come out of this. The rebuilt homes and businesses will be stronger and more likely to survive future storms. Perhaps not another Dorian, but at least the more common storms.


I realize that this second point will be a bit controversial, but read it in the context of the fact that we have been spending 3 weeks to 2 months a year on our boat in the Abacos for the last sixteen years. I know this sounds like virtue signalling, but we love it there and love the people most of all. We are already planning on going back, as soon as it is feasible, both to provide help where possible and to pump what money we can back into the local economy.



In the last few years we have noticed a disturbing trend in the Abacos. More and more commercialism, more and more it was feeling just like South Florida but with prettier water. Many, though certainly not all, of the visitors to the area viewed it as their own little playground to exploit. They kept too many fish, they burned too much fuel, they left too much trash, they used too much water, they stressed the local infrastructure, then went home. Did they pay for it, well sure, except for maybe the fish, but at what cost long term? I don't think we will be seeing too many of these people in Abaco for quite some time. While I grieve for the people of the community and what is lost, I hope it means a brighter, more sustainable future for the islands.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:31 AM   #16
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Seeing some of the footage of the Bahamas – Abaco Islands they are really in dire shape, makes you wonder do you really go back to “restoring” these areas, or change how you build and installing new infrastructure, like underground cables etc, hurricane proof structures, kinda hard I know since they are a poor country, just do you keep repeating this hoping for a new outcome…

Also I have no idea how they would dispose of all this waste?
Not that poor. Av income per Cap $13000
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:47 AM   #17
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This is an opportunity for speculators, vulture capitalists and other bottom feeders to buy distressed properties for pennies on the dollar.
So it sounds like you plan to rush over their and buy property for more than the market rate. No? They want to sell. Someone has to want to buy. What you call a "bottom feeder" I could just as easily call an "investor" who is helping out the local property owner by purchasing their property at a mutually agreed upon price. Or do you think it would be better if the locals were all stuck with their properties, and unable to sell them at any price?


Call them "vultures" if you want to, but lets all remember that vultures serve a vital purpose in the eco-system. They clean up the mess left behind, whether it be left by other creatures, or by Mother Nature.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:23 PM   #18
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It won't be rebuilt. Hopefully a new Abacos will be built. I read negative comments about investors, but investors are the only way this will happen. Will it be like Baker Bay? Perhaps. There are plenty of Bahamian Islands already for sale and many others that are private now.

I look at any form of building as being a positive. The ultimate goal is a simple one, to provide jobs for the Bahamians. Hopefully, it will be more like Atlantis and Baha Mar and less like Genting and their Resorts World Bimini in that regard. The new will not be like the old. It will be worse in some ways and better in others.

Now, as to the commercialism, that's not always bad. Abaco has been commercial in many ways but still wonderful and beautiful. As to investors, the Bahamas have had a very hard time finding any willing to build on islands around the country. They would welcome any and all. I hope they find the right kind, those who truly care about the beauty of the area, and, most importantly, about the people there.

Atlantis gets a lot of criticism here but it brings a lot of people to Paradise Island and employs a huge number of Bahamians. Baha Mar now does the same. Resorts World did not us locals for construction and employs a very small number of Bahamians. Could Marsh Harbour end up looking like Bakers? I don't see that as bad. I hope it doesn't end up like Walkers and so many others. I don't see an Atlantis, but I can assure you if that was a possibility, the Bahamian Government would jump all over it today.

We've lost Marsh Harbour. We have have lost Treasure Cay and other areas, we don't yet know. They won't be back as they were, but hopefully something new and even better will be there one day.
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:25 PM   #19
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The keys rebuilding after Irma was definite improvement. The properties that had more than 50% of there value in damage had to get torn down and replaced. The new structure had to meet current building codes. So the end result was an overall improvement. The only problem I see is it did damage the lower end properties more and that was our "affordable housing". Then of course when you rebuild it may or may not be so "afforable"
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:37 PM   #20
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https://bahamasredcross.org/donate/

It’s one of many charities trying to help if you are so inclined.
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