The Baha Mar resort seemingly has had trouble from the very start and while it remains unfinished, the property is now up for sale. The $3.5b project is currently being handled by Deloitte & Touche, who has now hired Colliers International of Toronto, to try and find a buyer for the unfinished venue. The appointment was signed off on by the Bahamas Supreme Court, with the goal of finding someone to take the property from the China Export-Import Bank, the principal creditor of the project.
China Export-Import Bank foreclosed on Baha Mar in 2015. (see update below)
Izmirlian has claimed in the past that the property is around 97% complete. However, observers have now estimated that the a new buyer to the project would have to invest as much as $600 million to $1 billion to be able to bring the project to life and have proper marketing to disassociate the venue from the failure that has now been attached to the property name.
Colliers has reported that the search for a buyer could take many months to complete due to the issues and cash needed for the project. The project was forced to lay off 2,000 local residents who had been hired. Perry Christie, the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, has repeatedly stated that developers have shown interest in the project but none have liked what they have seen or heard about the project.
Update 3-27-16: In a previous version of this article we stated that “China Export-Import Bank foreclosed on Baha Mar in 2015 after Sarkis Izmirlian, the developer of the project, was unable to pay China Construction America, the primary contractor of the project. Izmirlian filed for Chapter 11 due to the issues with the project.” That however is not a correct summation of a complicated process. For an in-depth reading of the event and issues leading up to it, readers are welcome to read Baha Mar’s announcement upon entering voluntary Chapter 11 in order to arrange financing and open the resort. We have also been provided with key documents that would seem to support many of the assertions made in the linked statement.
Baha Mar contends that CCA had cost overruns, inflated bills, and fraudulent expenses and that the foreclosure was a result of a failure by the Bahamian courts to bring the parties together to finish and open the resort when the developer made multiple offers and the bank made no counter-offers.
They also contend that, “Baha Mar filed for chapter 11 because CCA did not meet their guaranteed date of completion of the project.”
Sarkis Izmirlian did not personally file for Chapter 11, Baha Mar did.