Something for the weekend?

October 3, 2014 admin

Or somewhere? How about Tobago, in the Caribbean? As in Trinidad & Tobago. Sandy beaches, blue seas, sunny skies, golden sunsets (the sunrises might be golden, too, but we don’t get up for them), the occasional hurricane. Perfick, just perfick.

Tobago Beach debutesq real estate

A 300-acre estate has just become available on the northeast of the island and the owners, Anse Fourmi Beach Resorts Ltd., are proposing to construct a leisure resort that will feature accommodation for more than 360 guests, restaurants, cafés, bars, a spa and a fitness center, tennis courts, a swimming pool and a conference center. Plans also include a small marina complete with diving center and fishing boats.

Situated close to one of the world’s oldest protected national parks, the tropical estate has more than three miles of scenic coastline with sandy beaches and crystal-blue sheltered waters popular with divers exploring the many ancient shipwrecks lying there.

The authorities in Trinidad & Tobago, located 185 miles southwest of the popular island of Barbados and just off the coast of less popular Venezuela, have granted planning permission for development of the L’Anse Fourmi Estate as a luxury leisure resort. Tobago itself measures 30 miles end to end; it is regarded as the poor relation in the Trinidad & Tobago combo, and is relatively undiscovered.

The estate is one of the few remaining unspoiled properties in an area of outstanding natural beauty beneath the high ridge of a protected tropical rainforest. Extensive areas of flat land formerly used for cocoa planting lie behind the tree-lined beaches and these are regarded as ideal for construction of a luxury resort. The cocoa plantation was abandoned some 30 years ago.

As part of a strategic plan for tourism development, Tobago’s House of Assembly recently completed the final stage of a road network connecting the previously inaccessible beaches fronting the estate. So you won’t have to helicopter in, and ruin your green credentials.

According to Alexandra Hayward of Debutesq Group, marketing agents for the development, the owners of the site are prepared to consider a joint venture with suitable partners or an outright sale of the freehold interest in the estate plus the outline planning consent. Just $15 million, and it’s yours. One feature of the outright sale route would be that the purchase of 100 percent of the share capital could attract a tax rate of just 0.5 percent. That could be persuasive for some international investors, who will be used to more onerous tax regimes.

It’s almost the kind of place where you can imagine a real estate developer cum fund manager buying the site, building the resort and setting 10 rooms aside for use in client relations. I always thought that was an odd term, capable of misinterpretation. Client. Relations. Like I said, something and somewhere for the weekend.

The only question is, how do you get there? And back in time for that Monday morning meeting?

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RichardFlemingRichard Fleming is editor of The Institutional Real Estate Letter – Europe.

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