Contractors lavish kudos on financial services company for going all-Bahamian with $25 million project
Leno Corporate Centre Marks Construction Milestone
A Bahamian company building a new corporate office complex is being credited with being “the single biggest boost to Bahamian contractors in years,” thanks to its policy of hiring only Bahamian-owned and operated subcontractors and businesses.
Leno was handed the surprise kudos during a contract signing and what was expected to be a routine site visit at its 5-storey headquarters on top of the hill at Collins Avenue and 3rd Terrace. Prime
Minister Hubert Minnis officially broke ground on the $25 million complex in February 2020 shortly before the first COVID-19 case was reported on the island, resulting in a subsequent lockdown that halted construction nationwide. The March 5 site visit marked a milestone, reaching the first floor belt course after completion of all infrastructure.
While planned to herald the progress, the walkabout evolved into a series of compliments for Leno and a serious discussion by at least one contractor with nods from others about projects unlike Leno’s in which Bahamian companies are prohibited from bidding.
“Speaking for CBS (Bahamas Ltd.) we have done a lot of jobs, but this is the largest we have done for an all-Bahamian owned company in a very long time and we are very excited to be part of this project. It is an economic boost that is very welcomed and needed,” said CBS Vice President Brent Burrows, whose company will provide the hurricane-rated windows and doors.
Sean K Longley, founder and CEO of Leno, a leading financial services provider, noted at the ground breaking ceremony that the all-Bahamian company prided itself in how far it has come in a single decade since its launch in July 2010.
“We are founded on the principle of finding the best Bahamian talent and serving a wide range of Bahamian individuals, business enterprises and institutions with the services that help them manage and grow their assets,” he said. “We are carrying out the same mandate in the construction of this state-of-the-art property which will include the best environmentally friendly power supply we can find and utilize as many local products and services as we can identify.”
At full tilt, the job site provides employment for about 50 persons in addition to significant contracts for subcontractors.
Among those benefitting from the project is architect Wellington Woods who said the lockdown shortly after the start of construction along with supply chain shortages and shipping delays for lumber and other imported materials set the anticipated completion date back by several months. That is now set for year-end.
Other contractors and subs include Woods Plumbing, Basden Elevator Systems, Humes Air-conditioning, Norman Dean of Circuit Electric, Elvis Clarke for fire protection, Elston Bain, Tactical Security & Investigations, along with camera installation by Vonricko Lewis of VNet Multi Enterprises, IT by Tim Wicker of Tim Wicker and Associates and solar and specialty systems by Gibson Solar Company.
When completed, the landmark building will house some 50,000 square feet of dedicated office and common area space, including a conference room, café and coffee shop and art space in the welcome reception area. According to Hartman G Longley II of Leno Realty, official leasing broker, the top floor is fully leased with each of the 10,000 square foot remaining floors available. The property also features 100 parking spaces.