The Renaissance at Shorelands affirms its presence on Trinidad’s northwest coast with an unparalleled elegance and charm. The Renaissance epitomises the perfect balance between opulence and symmetry, offering luxury living without being excessive, garish. Above all, the Renaissance offers a distinctive alternative to its competitors in the high-end housing market of Trinidad and Tobago. Certainly, from an aesthetic standpoint, the buildings of this development are not bland or sterile.
The lavishness offered by the Renaissance is the brainchild of a group of Trinidad’s real estate visionaries, including Joseph Rahael, an award-winning graduate of the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania and Head of Amera Caribbean Development Ltd.
Ever since he formed this company in 2001, Rahael has been forward-thinking, passionate and unwaveringly devoted to delivering significant, tangible and notable change in the real estate industry of Trinidad and Tobago. He made it clear that the Renaissance was the realisation of “our company’s vision, which was that we always look for key, premier locations and perform extremely high quality work; so that when our clients look at us they will see that we have indeed remained true to this ideal and will be inclined to remain with us in terms of occupying spaces in our developments.”
The 74 units of the Renaissance spare no luxury. With amenities such as gated living, 24-hour on-site security, provisions for the latest in information technology, private lobbies, staff quarters, fully covered valet parking and 24-hour access to gym, pool and social rooms, residents of this development will experience a permanent luxury lifestyle that rivals any top-notch hotel in the world.
Of course, turning this project into reality was not easy. As Rahael explains, “We wanted to stand out and create something that was very different versus what was common. As a result of this decision we approached an architect located in Coral Gables, Florida who specialised in this Old World antique ambiance, and we were able to tap into that look and feel and apply it to the Renaissance project.”
Furthermore, there were challenges in literally getting this project off the ground. Rahael adds that in the early phases of the project, “The overheating economy of the mid-2000s brought many obstacles such as labour shortages and drastic increases in the cost of building materials. However, I must add that we had similar challenges with most of our other developments and it really was a time when everyone including the investors, suppliers, designers, banks and so on had to come together and be ready to overcome those hurdles. In the case of the Renaissance, we were able to do this very successfully.
Besides being able to finish the project in what were extremely difficult conditions, we were able to deliver the quality that we had intended, and that was very important to us because we didn’t want to build something less than what we had envisioned. We did not want to compromise on what we had promised our investors. We view the Renaissance as a success story in that regard and we are quite proud of how it turned out.”
Forever the determined businessman, Rahael also has the facts to back up his optimistic outlook for the Renaissance. He said, “Out of a total of 74 units, the buildings of the Renaissance are more than 60 per cent occupied, so we’ve had a fairly good absorption of the units. Most of these units are also primarily owner-occupied, so there is a strong sense of community in this residential development, and we hope that this trend will continue.”
Do not let the youth and vigour of 42-year-old Joseph Rahael fool you. Behind his piercing green eyes lies a strong business acumen that is hard-wired into his DNA. Rahael comes from a bloodline of business success which started when his grandfather Michael Rahael moved to Trinidad in the 1930s and started a textile business. Consequently Joseph’s uncle, George Rahael, developed a love for real estate and left Trinidad for Florida in 1979 and formed the Amera Corporation.
Joseph Rahael’s effort to bring the powerful Amera Corporation’s legacy full circle to Trinidad and Tobago is clearly a significant milestone and one that is deeply personal. The Renaissance is a monumental project, not only in terms of its scale, but also in terms of its offerings to its clientele. Its success therefore is not in terms of simple profit, but also a significant perpetuation of the idealism of the Rahael family.
Rahael is also quick to offer his prudence and sagacity to any investor in the real estate market, particularly for the immediate future where potential economic challenges lurk on the horizon. “When one looks at the real estate market, I believe that once you adhere to that adage of trying to get the best value in the best locations, then even in a situation where you have a potential recession, looking to the value in that real estate decision will certainly do very well for you.” And Rahael emphasises, “Focusing on value will buffer you from the short-term challenges and enable you to fulfil your long-term objectives. I believe that on a per square foot basis, nothing else in Trinidad comes close to the Renaissance in terms of value.”M