Grenada, known as one of the Spice Islands, has always been known for its crystal clear waters, vibrant culture and hospitality. There’s one Black woman however, who wants to add to that narrative.
The island also offers fantastic opportunities for investment, with its unspoiled landscapes — and thanks to the powerhouse that is Kandace Douglas, major players have begun to take notice.
Douglas is a Grenadian-American senior executive who is bringing attention to Grenada as a major destination where she oversees Silversands Villas, a new collection of private homes designed in collaboration with the five-star hotel Silversands. Her aim: increase exposure for the organization and put Grenada on the market.
“I think the pandemic has caused a lot of people to reassess and reevaluate their lives, and figure out what’s important and ultimately try to find balance,” says Douglas. “And I think something about Grenada is very grounding, and I think people feel that.”
Douglas proves that you don’t need to be an Alpha Dog to master the art of the deal.
“I kept asking myself, if not me then who?” says Douglas. “Because just like any of these islands, they have something very authentic and true to who they are. And oftentimes, just like neighborhoods, they can be gentrified really quickly, if it’s not handled by the right people. And I just started thinking about what I wanted Grenada to be for when my son comes, and to be in the room when these discussions are happening, about development and even people that are coming to the island, to have some sort of input on what that looks like and what that becomes, started to really ring true for me.”
In an industry dominated by white agents and brokers, Douglas has thrived. She began her career in luxury real estate in New York 14 years ago working with one of New York’s top firms, Douglas Elliman. She specialized in downtown condominium sales, new development and interior design.
“Wealth has always been synonymous with white men, and it’s not the case anymore,” she says. “There’s a lot of minorities that have wealth. There’s billionaire women, and I just want to make sure that we are included in the conversation.”
In an effort to boost the real estate economy in Grenada, Douglas is also working with the Chairman of the Grenada Tourism Authority on the WISH Foundation, which is helping to impact the lives of her fellow Grenadians as well as revitalize the tourism industry that was devastated by COVID-19. The West Indies School of Hospitality (WISH) Foundation offers Grenadians 6,000 free hospitality courses taught by the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, the world’s leading institution for hospitality education and research.
“Coming from New York City, I always said to myself, I could never live in Grenada for longer than three months at a time. I thought I needed the fast pace. The hustle of it all” she says. “And since moving down here, it’s just been like food for my soul — in a way that I can hardly put into words. I just feel more at ease here. I feel less anxiety. It just feels right. And I think a lot of people get that same vibe when they visit.”
She continues, “The Bahamas has long established their stronghold as a top Caribbean destination and is often viewed as the playground for the Miami wealthy. St Barts is pretty much tapped out, as far as real estate is concerned leaving many high net worth individuals asking “what’s next?” Grenada is that hidden gem and has a unique vibe all its own. It’s the place to disconnect to reconnect. A place where the untapped raw beauty and the genuine warmth of the people make it easy to feel at home. Grenada is also great for the yacht community. Port Louis Marina, which is known as the super yacht marina of the Caribbean, has over 200 slips and can accommodate yachts up to 300ft . Additionally, we are below the hurricane belt so Grenada is a popular destination for yachts during the summer months as well as the holiday season. I think what will define Grenada in the next decade, is how we put all of these extraordinary pieces together and position the island for growth on every level.”