GREAT ABACO, Bahamas – Kristi Hull remembers the first time she saw a brochure promoting The Abaco Club on Winding Bay.
“It was beautiful,’’ she said. “Peter de Savory really painted a great picture.’’
Hull saw that picture in 2004 – the year de Savory opened The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, a 453-acre private club near Marsh Harbour.
Now 14-plus years later, “it has unfolded and kind of done exactly as he planned.’’
But that doesn’t mean there weren’t any bumps along the way. Real estate and membership sales started strong, but the 2008 recession slowed progress, as it did in many industries. De Savory, the flamboyant British developer, sold the Club to Marriott International and its Ritz-Carlton division in 2012. The recession was in its final throes in 2012, but The Abaco Club was still struggling in terms of real estate and membership sales, as well as infrastructure investments.
Along came David Southworth and Southworth Development in 2014. The Club has been on the upswing ever since.
“He started putting money into the Club and began fixing up what was then a distressed property,’’ said Hull, The Abaco Club’s Membership Executive.
Safe to say The Abaco Club on Winding Bay is no longer stressed. Membership (there are six levels) is approaching 200 and real estate sales are taking off.
The Abaco Club’s Estate Lots, located in the east and west sections of the terrific Donald Steel-designed golf course, each have ocean views and range from $3 – $4 million for one to two acres. One ready-to-move-in home comes with a price tag of more than $8 million.
The Cottages are semi-customizable plantation-style, single-family homes with golf and/or water views. They’re are available in two-to-four-bedroom configurations, with interior design packages featuring island-inspired colors and furnishings. Approximately 2,800 square feet, the Cottages range from $1.6 – $3 million.
Each of the Cabanas – approximately 650 square feet – are one-bedroom stand-alone buildings which offer golf course views, indoor and and outdoor spaces, and are priced at $375,000.
The Club, Hull said, is about one-third of the way through its real estate build-out goal of 300 units. Potential members and real estate owners are allowed one visit to decide whether or not to buy in. A Resident Full Membership begins with a $100,000 initiation fee that allows a member to all the Club amenities.
“For most of our members and owners, this is their third home,’’ Hull said. “They don’t spend a lot of time here – except for Christmas week when everybody is here. People want to the Club to exclusive, which is what we have here.’’