New Development

Luxury is Still Affordable

vdm1The Villa del Mar Hotel & Resort offers a reasonably priced alternative to Grace Bay beachfront condominiums.

By Kathy Borsuk

It doesn’t seem fair. These days, a sun, sand and sea drenched lifestyle in the Turks & Caicos Islands, especially on Providenciales, appears reserved for the rich (and/or famous). A glance through the local real estate association’s magazine turns up beachfront condominium prices typically well over the million dollar mark (and rising each quarter). In fact, one local realtor estimates that over the last five years the average unit price for Grace Bay condominiums has increased over 150%, from $531,000 to $1,395,000.

Have investors who don’t feel comfortable paying such prices been left out in the cold?

Fortunately, some developers are beginning to carve a niche for luxury condominium projects that are close to, but not directly on, the beach. This simple distinction can make the properties more affordable, opening up the possibility of a Caribbean vacation get-away, retirement and/or offshore investment to folks whose net worth may not be astronomical. The Villa del Mar Hotel and Resort is one such development.

The Villa del Mar holds a well-positioned “off the beach” location in Grace Bay. Its two acre site is directly south of the prestigious Grace Bay Club, with a palm-lined beach access walkway adjoining the grounds. From here, it’s a short and enjoyable stroll to world-famous Grace Bay Beach, with its sugar-soft sand and shimmering turquoise waters. At the same time, Villa del Mar’s prime Grace Bay address puts you within easy reach of many of the island’s top restaurants, several shopping plazas, spas and the Provo Golf & Country Club, as well many business offices.

Although there’s plenty to do along the “Gold Coast,” you might not want to leave home. Villa del Mar’s architects and planners conspired to create an enclave of tropical comfort, with all the amenities of a four-star resort. The three, four story residence buildings are designed in Spanish Mediterranean style, with classic pilasters, curving arches, an abundance of balconies and attractive clay tile roofs. Each suite overlooks the wide central courtyard, across which curves a sinuous pool surrounded by extensive decking and tropical landscaping. (Bathers enter this unique pool by walking in straight from the pool deck. The bottom gradually slopes down, letting you lounge in shallow water or wade down to deeper water for a swim.) Destined to become THE spot for relaxing and enjoying the indolent climate, this locus also includes a tiki hut entertaining area for socializing and an air conditioned exercise pavilion housing a well equipped gym.

vdm-2Only 42 suites are available – 18 deluxe studios, 18 one bedroom suites with dens and 6 penthouses. All are furnished in upscale fashion, with “indoors” embracing the “outdoors” with large, window-lined balconies and terraces, featuring sliding glass doors. Care in planning is obvious, with features on par with those of more expensive properties, including travertine floor tiles, custom lighting and ceiling fans, Kohler faucets, custom cabinets and marble-topped vanities, owner’s closets, breakfast bars and separate showers and bathtubs. One bedroom suites include a stainless steel appliance package of range, refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher, while studio suites are furnished with a bar refrigerator and microwave. Complete furniture packages are also available.

Villa del Mar is ultimately intended to operate as a four star resort, offering well appointed rooms at very attractive prices. With Grace Bay evolving as the island’s business and tourism center, the suites are expected to be popular with business people looking for comfortable rooms that are close to their meetings and fine dining, as well as families and couples during their diving, fishing, golf and beach vacations. For owners seeking investment opportunities, this means certain income potential through a managed rental program, which includes an on-site management and concierge office.

Other well thought out features, including trellis-shaded parking areas, all-concrete construction and elevator access, speak to the experience of the project’s development consultants, The Kaitlin Group of Toronto, Canada. Kaitlin’s core business is land development, typically conceiving and executing a project from start to finish. To date, they can boast of 25 developments completed or well underway, including waterfront vacation properties and golf and resort communities.

The astute team chose Providenciales for their first foray into the Caribbean after researching a number of locations. The up and coming island met their most important criteria, including being a safe and inviting location with beautiful beaches, easy air access from many countries and an abundance of fine dining and sporting activities.

Greg Greatrex, representing TCI-based Temple Group, was appointed to assemble the local development team, including TCI-based engineers, designers and builders, to ensure the resort’s construction is handled flawlessly. With over 1/2 of the units sold in the first 60 days of offer, Greatrex urges interested investors to act quickly, as Villa del Mar is among the last pre-construction properties available in this prime area. With prices starting around $400,000 and expected to follow the area’s strong upward trend, this prime investment opportunity will not last long. Construction is anticipated to start by November, 2006, for completion in the fall of 2008.

1 Comment

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Jan 26, 2010 9:47

Very informative article. For the benefit of the reading audience, this project Villa del Mar was completed on schedule and is now operational. Units are still available for sale.

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