Brazen Plan To Build A Floating Tax Haven Near The Bahamas

All it needs is a racetrack...

Brazen Plan To Build A Floating Tax Haven Near The Bahamas

Image: Sandals Resorts

Imagine a world with no supermarkets. No taxis. No klaxons. No duty-free. No lines. No overzealous tourists guarding their sunloungers with towels. Just private jets and superyachts.

For some, this world already exists. It’s now set to get even more lavish, with some people with well-endowed wallets apparently now looking to bypass the whole ‘buying a private island’ thing and instead just building one from scratch.

Enter The Blue Estate Group: a luxury real estate development company that says it aims to build a floating island half the size of Monaco between the Bahamas and Miami. The concept is due to launch in 2025.

Though The Blue Estate Group initially feared the pandemic could stifle demand for their product, Erik Schmidt, Chief Communications Officer, recently told CNN Travel it had actually stimulated it.

“At first we were worried whether the current pandemic might have a negative impact on the project… But luckily it played out differently. Some districts are almost completely sold out and the sales team is doing it’s best to keep up with the requests and questions.”

The group is offering the public the chance to reserve (with the idea being to eventually buy) a range of properties – from US $19,800 ‘Ring Levels’ studio apartments to 1 billion USD ‘Signature Estates’.

Schmidt confirmed to CNN Travel that one application for one of these “groundbreaking architectural concepts” has already been submitted.

Image: CNN Travel

The island will be located 25-minutes by plane from Bahamas’ capital Nassau and just under 90 minutes from Miami. The island’s dimensions will be 4,921 feet by 3,280 feet (1,500 meters by 1,000 meters), and it will be able to house 15,000 permanent residents.

According to Crunchbase, The Blue Estate Group has raised 28.4 million USD in funding, employs 51-100 people, was founded in 2016 and is a private entity.

It will have its own cutting edge health clinic and an international school (catering from toddlers to diploma graduates).

“Judging from the response to this upcoming floating luxury real estate development launching close to the Bahamas in 2025, interest in relocating to a safe haven in the middle of the sea is still high,” CNN Travel reports.

“The Blue Estate Group has been inundated with requests after unveiling plans for the man-made Blue Estate Island.”

“The sheer size of The Blue Estate is reported to make the making the island incredible stable. The Blue Estate is designed to protect all residents from adverse weather conditions and the island’s massive walls will dwarf even the largest ocean waves. Automated hurricane shutters can be extended, to additionally shield-off the community in case of high winds. Despite being engineered to withstand even the worst conditions, the Blue Estate can also be moved out of the way, in case of any incoming storms,” Forbes suggests.

In The Blue Estate’s FAQ page, more potential concerns are answered, including seasickness (“The Blue Estate floating structure is as stable and motionless as if you’d be living on land. This is possible due to the enormous mass and expansive size, which won’t be disturbed by even the biggest seas”) and sinking.

“The Blue Estate is engineered and build from ultra resistant composite concrete modules. The flotation base exterior shell is several meters in thickness and could not be severely damaged even by collision with a very large ship. Additionally the structure is segmented in several thousand separate compartments.”

In terms of why you might want to move there, in a video entitled “Why relocate or invest,” The Blue Group records actors outlining some of the reasons one might consider taking the plunge.

“I was literally drowning in paperwork. The Blue Estate’s minimal reporting and tax regulations will finally let me focus on my core business again,” one says.

“As a single parent, I don’t want to compromise on my child or my career,” says another. “The Blue Estate’s incentives for child care and the excellent business opportunities really convinced me.”

“We’ve been living and working aboard our boat for some years now, but always quite missed the comfort and amenities [of a house on firm ground]. For us The Blue Estate combines a modern business environment with all the amenities of a 5-star vacation spot.”

Some internet users still have major questions about the project, though – but their concerns are well-founded. Little information is readily available online about The Blue Estate’s team, founders or owners (or indeed where the group is based).

Hopeful Reddit users who claim to have tried to buy property on the island concept have written such comments as “I want to believe this is legit based on the concept but there is no contact number or background on the company investors etc… Worst case you can claim a chargeback but based on the subpar website etc prob not legit or someone getting feelers out for a project.”

Another wrote: “Booked for a unit in Coral Towers 1 BR Apartment 699sqft (65sqm) – Unit sales price: $ 123,500 USD but i’m so unsure whether to proceed or not with paying the booking fee. The Sarah (sales rep) seem to be a BOT which is really worrying. I asked for their office address and contact number, here’s the response:

‘The staff is mostly working remotely, but we’ll open dedicated offices should the pandemic restrictions ease off. Unfortunately we do not offer telephone support and are required to keep all communication in writing, to ensure complete verifiability of all agreements made.’

If anyone has any information on these guys, kindly post.”

In response to these comments, another Reddit user, who claims to be a naval engineer, wrote: “I’ve been working for them the past 5 years, what is the problem?”

In response to this, one suspicious Reddit commenter asked: “Who are the promoters, investors, Venture Capitalists etc. who are backing this project. Who are the management ans their track records? Why aren’t an office and contact number to call?”

“I think they need to be more transparent on who these guys really are.”

The so-called naval engineer’s response? “You’ve got the answer regarding the offices already.”

“The rest I don’t know or can’t disclose, all employees had to sign NDA’s. But I’ve notified the Blue Estate Group of the existence of this thread, so maybe an official rep will register and join.”

The next Fyre Festival or a Brave (Real) New World? You decide.

Read Next