Road to success: Coral Dunes and Bahama Land Holding
Sipping piña coladas on your deck, overlooking the white sand beach; exploring majestic cays and coves by boat; snorkelling through world-class coral reef; reeling in the big one on a deep sea fishing excursion – just a few of the local activities in Hope Town, Bahamas that make Paul Tennyson’s day job seem like a piece of cake.
Paul Tennyson is President of Coral Dunes Ltd. and Bahama Land Holdings Ltd – boutique land and residential development companies building homes in the out islands of the Bahamas. The current project consists of 14 unique single family homes in Hope Town, ranging in price from $700,000 to $1.5M USD. It’s a little slice of paradise only 150 miles east of Florida with beautiful beaches and breathtaking sunsets, and unlike the more mainstream islands, it’s free from cruise ships, huge resorts, and pushy street vendors.
But building residential properties on foreign land isn’t all fun and games. “It’s certainly not for the faint of heart,” says Tennyson. “Dealing at the federal level in the Bahamas to obtain work permits and approvals can be time-consuming, costly, and incredibly frustrating. My experience has shown that although there appears to be a push to attract foreign investment, the government’s ability to actually execute is far from perfect. But it can be very rewarding if you’re willing to invest the time, build strategic alliances, and work in synergy with the local governments and population.”
Home away from home
For almost 45 years, Tennyson has made the Bahamas his home-away-from-home, becoming intimately familiar with the surroundings and development opportunities. He works closely with the local district council who is very supportive of his development efforts and very welcoming of Canadian families and executives who are willing to settle in and respectfully enjoy the islands.
And when Tennyson is not personally available to oversee the development project, he has the comfort of a Canadian supervisor and trainer on site, along with a staff of highly-skilled local labour. The majority of construction materials, including top-grade lumber and steel, are shipped via ocean container from Canada, to ensure that best-in-class building materials are used in every home construction.
“Understanding the landscape, the people, and what is necessary to attract foreign investment that fits well with the local flavour and preserves the uniqueness of the culture is key to a successful offshore development project,” explains Tennyson. ”I have an in-depth and hands-on experience in all aspects of offshore structuring, including residency applications for home ownership or permanent residency. Bahamas offers the best structures in the world, and the requirements to pass the residency tests are still very reasonable compared with other Caribbean nations.”
So, what’s next?
So what’s next for Paul and his land and residential development companies? A second phase will see 4 estate-sized, ocean-to-ocean homes in the $3M range, and negotiations are currently underway to secure over 1,000 feet of Caribbean frontage to construct a unique multiplex, only steps away from a private dock. Beyond that, he’s focused on continued innovative home construction and mini-communities, and perhaps some full-service boutique resorts in partnership with local groups.
“This is a labour of love” explains Tennyson. “I work so hard on these development projects because I truly believe in the end product and the positive impact they have on the Bahamian economy. Our builds are truly unique designs on prime real estate. The land is limited and once it’s gone, it will demand an exponential increase in value. The Bahamian currency is pegged to the US dollar, it’s in the same time zone, the out islands are safe, easily accessible and full-featured, it offers a stable British-based government – it’s really a vacation and financial paradise that’s only a few hours away.”
So, who wants a piña colada? Cheers