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The Nassau Cruise Port consortium aims to transform the Prince George Wharf area in what is hoped to be a catalyst for downtown Nassau's redevelopment RENDERING: Global Ports Holding

Global Ports Holding firms massive Nassau port transformation

Global Ports Holding signed a 25-year concession with the government of the Bahamas to develop Nassau's Prince George Wharf and environs.

The deal follows GPH's February selection in a competitive bidding process for the Nassau port redevelopment.

$250m investment

The newly formed Nassau Cruise Port consortium — consisting of GPH, the Bahamas Investment Fund and the Yes Foundation — plans to invest up to $250m to build a cruise terminal, create an event and entertainment area, improve the current retail facilities and introduce new food and beverage options.

GPH envisions the waterfront as a world-class destination, with open spaces and sufficient shaded areas to enable visitor comfort while being attentive to special needs, elderly passengers and children.

Underpinning the whole development are environmental stewardship considerations.

Improved ground transportation

The project features improved transportation connections, traffic flow and signage, and will include an intermodal area for bus stops, taxis and parking.

Electric trams are planned to transport passengers between ships and the terminal. The new retail area will offer space for local artisans and farmers.

The development will integrate the port into Bay Street and downtown Nassau, with the expectation that it will act as a catalyst for the wider redevelopment of the downtown.

Construction is planned to start in the fourth quarter this year, with completion anticipated in 24 months.

Largest cruise port in GPH portfolio

Consortium partner the Bahamas Investment Fund will allow thousands of Bahamians to become shareholders with a minimum $1,000 stake, while the Yes Foundation is a charitable fund created to support youth, education and sports programs that will benefit from a small percentage of the port revenues.

When finished, the project's total revenues are expected to be in the range of $35m to $40m per annum.

Nassau, which handled 3.7m passengers in 2018, will become the largest cruise port in the GPH portfolio and increase its total passenger volumes by close to 50%.

'Historic moment' for GPH

'This is a truly historic moment for Global Ports Holding. The GPH team very much look forward to working with our partners, the cruise lines and the people of the Bahamas to reinvigorate this iconic cruise port and the city of Nassau,' GPH Chairman and Co-Founder Mehmet Kutman said.

The two other bidders for Nassau's port rdevelopment were a group led by Providence Advisors, a Bahamian-owned financial services company; and a consortium representing Carnival, Disney, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean.