Kawana Bay to actively return to Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Programme

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Kawana Bay Resort, Grenada

Kawana Bay Resort may resume actively selling investment units as part of Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme before year end 2023.

According to Thomas Anthony, the CEO of the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), there have been ongoing talks between the Government of Grenada, and a highly motivated developer, to acquire the property and possibly include its units in the pool of real estate inventory available to citizenship investors.

“As a matter of fact, it is our hope that the party, who is now sitting down with the government regarding the Kawana Bay project, will be able to make an announcement at the upcoming Henley & Partners event in Dubai, 8-10 of November,” Anthony said during an interview with Nisha Mc Intyre, Managing director of My Grenada Solutions Inc. Such an announcement, Anthony indicated, would only be possible if a signed agreement ensues between the parties before the event.

Construction on the intended luxury resort abruptly stopped in 2021 following a public spat between its developer, True Blue Development, and the then Keith Mitchell-led government. According to publicly stated claims, the discord between the two entities centred around True Blue Development’s ability to access funds from its government-regulated escrow account to fund the construction of the project. The issue, which ultimately went to arbitration at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, was settled earlier this year by the now Dickon Mitchell-led government.

Construction at Kawana Bay, May 2021

The government, which acquired the project and property during the settlement, indicated its intent to have a developer resume development of the project, which government considers a mainstay of Grenada’s tourism and leisure industry. In a public CBI symposium, on Nov 3, Richard Duncan, Chairman of Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Committee, included the project in his list of available options and alluded to its return to the market saying, “We know it has stalled but efforts are being made to see to its completion.”

Should Kawana Bay in fact resume development within the CBI space, its return would be timely as the list of active real estate options available in Grenada is limited and steadily declining.

No new projects have been added to the list of approved options since the addition of Beach House, by Ora Caribbean, in 2021. In fact, the said resort is nearing completion and is scheduled to open March 2024. Concerns as to whether the lack of new projects to the programme was an intentional move by the government to bolster uptake in the selection of the National Transformation Fund option by investors, were rejected by Anthony.

“We would not deliberately create a situation where there is limited inventory in the real estate market to uplift the national transformation fund,” Anthony said.  “I think just only having a national transformation fund or what many call a contribution to government makes it look more like a passport-for-sale programme, and we are not that kind of programme.”

Should Kawana Bay resume actively selling in the CBI marketplace, there is speculation as to the options it will make available, as well as the number of units it will offer. At the point of cessation in 2021, the project was reported to have sold, or committed for sale, 92% of its available units.

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