Opening of Bahamas Mortgage Corporation Headquarters

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good afternoon.

Since the establishment of the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation in 1983, BMC has stimulated, encouraged and promoted Bahamian home ownership by providing over 5000 Bahamians with funding for homes.

The Corporation has clients in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco, Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Exuma, and San Salvador.

For some time, BMC has sought a new location and its own premises befitting its growth over the past 37 years and its mission for a 21st Century Bahamas.

After many fits and starts, the Corporation now has a permanent, new and beautiful home here on East Hill Street. 

The new headquarters is the site of the historic East Hill Club. 

The property is said to have been developed in the early 1800s by Welshman Thomas Matthews, a lawyer, who was a colonial police magistrate.   

It changed hands to newspaper proprietor James Gomer Berry. During his ownership it became The East Hill Club.  

The property was later sold to American S.K. Wellman and was later purchased by the Bahamas Government to serve as the home of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs until they vacated the offices in 2010.

The property was conveyed to the BMC by an Act of Parliament in 2016.  The renovation and extension began in 2017. 

The refurbishment and revitalization of the premises included restoring the historical character of the original building and new construction to extend the structure to house the needs of the Corporation.

This included internal renovations, retrofits and upgrades to the current building codes, including handicap accessibility. 

The renovated building comprises of four floors with an area of 18,600 square feet.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

     The new and refurbished premises for the BMC symbolizes the Corporation’s revitalization as it enters a new era in serving potential homeowners.

     The Corporation is currently able to sustain its expenses. 

     It has reduced the amount of time it takes to process applications.

     In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, BMC assisted its clients by waiving payments on the affected islands.

During the COVID-19 pandemic it has waived payments to clients adversely affected by the pandemic.

BMC is implementing strategies to repay outstanding bonds and is currently servicing all bond and interest payments.

The Corporation is developing strategies, along with the Ministry of the Environment and Housing, to assist with more home ownership on more islands in the country.

BMC is also creating a new customer service platform to further establish the Corporation as a leading mortgage institution in the Bahamas. 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Architecture is about more than functionality.  It is also about the soul of a people.

It is about the creative imagination of a country, community and culture.

Beautiful architecture enhances a city’s landscape and cultural richness.

Today’s ceremony is an example or harbinger of good things to come in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Nassau.

This revitalization is gathering pace and will begin to reach greater critical mass in the next two years and beyond.

The development projects for Downtown Nassau include the new U.S. Embassy, which has already broken ground.  This is a $318 million dollar major project.

As you can see, the demolition of the old Main Post Office right next door, has started.  A new Supreme Court complex will eventually be built on that site.

The buildings on the site of the old Queen Victoria Hotel will be demolished shortly.

In that space an iconic Central Bank building will rise.  It will be a major new landmark in the City of Nassau.

At Prince George’s Wharf, we are embarked on a quarter of a billion dollar major project to redevelop what will become the world-renowned and new Nassau Cruise Port, which will be one of the best such cruise ports in the region.

The Nassau Cruise Port will be a gateway to the City of Nassau, including historic Over-the-Hill communities such as Bain Town and Grants Town.

Government House is going through significant renovations, and over time its building and gardens will be refurbished and beautified. 

As I noted in February, 2019:

“The redeveloped Prince George Wharf, the new Supreme Court Complex, and supporting offices, and the new Central Bank will boost the revitalization, renewal and restoration of downtown.” 

Last week, Phase One of the new Southern Recreation Grounds opened.

All of these projects combined are valued at approximately $1 billion dollars.

The new BMC building is a fitting example of the ongoing revitalization of the City of Nassau.  

Congratulations on being a part of the new City of Nassau landscape, which will continue to unfold in the years ahead. 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Let me end by thanking all of those who made today a reality, including Chairman Patrick Ward, and the BMC Board, as well as Managing Director Philip Haven and his staff.

I particularly thank the contractors and all of the men and women who worked on the building.

I wish the staff and clients of the BMC all of the best as you work together to provide more Bahamians with the opportunity for home ownership.

May God bless the work of the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation and may God bless our Bahamas. 

Thank you and good afternoon.