Title: The Schooner Bay Story
On Great Abaco Island in The Bahamas, a new community is stirring. Imagine a place surrounded by the sea. Imagine tidy island houses on narrow streets, sweeping beaches, rugged dunes, a tropical forest. Imagine a town centre facing a bay, where sailing boats rock idly on their moorings. Imagine the lively bustle of early evening; parrots call from the forest and neighbors mingle in the streets. Imagine simplicity, sustainability, tradition and innovation. All that is essential, and nothing that is not. Welcome to Schooner Bay.
Schooner Bay is inspired by the architectural and cultural history of The Bahamas and guided by the design philosophy of New Urbanism. Bahamian developer and community builder Orjan Lindroth and his team of local specialists have crafted a small harbour town where the best of the past becomes the promise of the future.
Located in the heart of the Abacos, Schooner Bay is a harbour village bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Little Bahama Banks on the west. Accessed internationally via Marsh Harbour and domestically via Sandy Point, the village is uniquely positioned as a gateway to South Abaco. Schooner Bay is situated near enough to airports and town services, but sheltered by miles of pristine beaches and vast tropical parks with protected bird species and diverse marine life.
Abaco Island is the second largest in the Bahamas and one of the finest expanses of unspoiled land and sea in The Bahamas. The population of 14,000 is concentrated in Marsh Harbour – The Bahamas' third-largest city and a half hour drive from Schooner Bay – and a string of picturesque cays ringing the northeast edge of the island.
Schooner Bay occupies a unique geographic location. Think of Abaco as an hourglass, with the northern globe including Marsh Harbour, Cherokee Sound and the windward islands, and the southern globe covering a vast expanse of unspoiled coastal wilderness. The narrow neck of the hourglass is Schooner Bay, located on a ridge overlooking limitless bonefish flats to the west and the wide open Atlantic to the east.
The attractions north of Schooner Bay are well known and loved for their beauty and cultural authenticity, but the wilderness south of Schooner Bay is largely untrammeled, with great arching white sand beaches, limitless blue holes and protected pine groves where one can experience total solitude. Orchids cascade from the trees, the cry of the parrot echoes in the air and exotic curly-tailed lizards dart through the underbrush. The beach is home to several species of sea turtles, while just offshore a virgin coral reef awaits discovery. The sportfishery is among the best in the Caribbean, with bonefish, permit, marlin and tuna all within easy range. Hiking, biking, kayaking, surfing, sailing, swimming and scuba are just a few of the activities enjoyed year-round at Schooner Bay. All in a climate of cool sea breezes in the summer, balmy tropical winds in the winter and plenty of sunshine year-round. The opportunities for recreation, relaxation and adventure are limitless at Schooner Bay.
Visitors have long been attracted to The Bahamas and the beautiful old villages that grace its islands. It was Orjan Lindroth's wish that Schooner Bay emulate the traditional, walkable Bahamian villages he remembered from his youth. With the guidance and cultural knowledge of a team of Bahamian engineers, architects, builders, and environmental consultants, Lindroth Development has revived Bahamian tradition as what is now known as Schooner Bay.
To create a place that is truly sustainable, the built environment must reflect and respect the character of the natural environment. At Schooner Bay, buildings have been built for the ages and designed to take advantage of the sea breeze and natural shading available on a lush sub-tropical island. Like the flora and the fauna, the buildings of Schooner Bay are indigenous to the region. This style has evolved over centuries to meet the practical needs and aesthetic sensibilities of our region and culture. While we have included modern amenities, innovative sustainability solutions and cutting-edge technology in the homes at Schooner Bay, our design integrity remains authentic and uncompromised.
Within the car-free village of Schooner Bay, a harbour island is home to several cottages, while a broad swath of old growth forest has been preserved as a communal frontier. The village rises from the edge of the harbour as a promenade lined with houses, shops, offices, and galleries. Atop the ridge, with views of the sea all around, is Schooner Square, a commercial and residential neighbourhood connecting Schooner Bay to South Abaco. At the un-gated entrance of Schooner Bay are a number of local businesses, 50 acres of farmland, sports fields, and a community centre.
A strong sense of community pervades Schooner Bay. The scale and design of the village facilitates interaction, the Schooner Bay Institute promotes arts and culture in South Abaco and a communal farm exists for residents wishing to grow their own food. The village patterns of the Old Bahamas – communal access to the beach and nature, a vibrant, working harbour-front, walkable avenues and rational street and block system - helps foster the sense of cohesion and community.
At Schooner Bay, we take our cues from nature, for she alone has mastered the art of sustainability. Before commencing construction we embarked on a 2+ year effort to enhance Schooner Bay's natural systems through the meticulous removal of invasive species and restoration of a healthy dune environment. We did not import organic aggregates, but simply rearranged available materials on-site to create a more productive mix. All trees and plants used in landscaping, for example, are grown in our nursery from seedlings gathered in the coppice, while the village was brought to grade with sand from the harbour dredging.
We build only on the least ecologically sensitive one-third of available land, leaving the rest in its natural state or available for food production. Rainwater harvesting cisterns, eco-waste management lagoons and geothermal cooling systems are integrated into the community infrastructure, efficiently harnessing available resources and reducing dependence on manufactured systems. Homes have a 40-1 price range, because healthy communities, like healthy ecosystems, are diverse.
Schooner Bay is located on the mainland of Great Abaco Island in The Bahamas Out Islands. 75 miles north of Nassau, and 28 miles south of the Marsh Harbour International Aiport - located just off the Great Abaco Highway on the Atlantic side of the island. Po Box ab 20016, Abaco Bahamas.
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