Behringer Harvard Acquires Stake in Royal Island Resort
DALLAS & SAN FRANCISCO--(PRNewswire) May 9, 2007
Behringer Harvard announced today that it has acquired a significant interest in Royal Island, home of an ultra-luxury resort development under way in the Bahamas. The island is located near Harbour Island and North Eleuthera. The transaction is in partnership with Cypress Equities, an affiliate of The Staubach Company.
“Once developed, Royal Island should be well-positioned to become the premier luxury resort in the Bahamas,” said Robert M. Behringer, founder and CEO of Behringer Harvard. “This one-of-a-kind opportunity is a unique and dynamic investment considering the ongoing demand for vacation homes and the current desire by many for an exclusive Caribbean vacation destination close to the United States mainland.”
The Royal Island investment is the first for Behringer Harvard in conjunction with The Staubach Company. “We have been exploring opportunities to work with Behringer Harvard over the past year or so,” said Roger Staubach, chairman and CEO of The Staubach Company, “and we are delighted to kick off our relationship with this distinctive project.”
Plans for the resort include an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, one of 25 clubs worldwide that will be part of the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club program, allowing worldwide founding members the opportunity to stay in his resort home at each location. Royal Island also features world-class flats and deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
The planned development plans include a boutique hotel on Royal Island, which features 80 rooms and suites and 44 villa residences, that will complement the property's 98 beachfront estate home sites, 102 villa lots and 15 town homes. As part of the planned development, owners and guests of Royal Island would have access to a mixed-use village center, multiple restaurant venues, and beach clubs throughout the island. A unique preview village is also in the works that will allow potential owners to stay overnight and experience Royal Island hospitality.
The heart of the island is its 140-acre harbor, one of the largest naturally protected deep-water harbors in the Caribbean. Royal Island's marina can accommodate up to 200 slips and can host yachts over 300 feet in length. A high-speed yacht fueling station, customs office, and a marina village with shops and sidewalk cafes are also planned.
The island development is to be bordered by sandy beaches on the northern edge and includes 20 to 30 foot bluffs on the southern edge. In addition, the island's exceptionally high elevations and 15 miles of coastline offer spectacular views that are found on few other Bahamian islands. The asset also includes two adjacent islands that are available for future development.
Royal Island is located 190 nautical miles from Miami and is readily accessible by both sea and air. The nearby North Eleuthera Airport receives regular commercial flights from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. In addition, Southern Air and Bahamas Air provide flights from Nassau, which can be reached directly from a number of U.S. and Canadian cities.
Royal Island will join the portfolio of Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT I, Inc., which also owns equity and debt investments in assets located in California, Texas, Nevada, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Virginia.
Cypress Equities, the development affiliate of The Staubach Company, announced its purchase of Royal Island in May 2006. Construction on the Royal Island marina is anticipated to start in early 2007. Construction will begin on the golf course on Royal Island, as well as the hotel and homes, by mid-2007.
(Ed note: Development on Royal Island was halted in 2008.)
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