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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, December 6, 2023


Malaysian developer Tan Kay Hock's plans for a major hotel and marina complex in Long Bay appear to be on hold.
Calvin Wheatley, spokesman for the West Indian Co. Ltd., which owns the landfill that Tan needs for the project, said this week, "We have heard absolutely nothing from them."
This is not a new situation. WICO President Edward Thomas complained publicly in December that Tan's representative had "not negotiated and it appears he does not intend to do so."
Thomas also objected that the terms the Malaysians were demanding were "unreasonable" and not in the territory's best interest.
The lack of action by either side seems to leave the project up in the air, as it has been for the last year since Tan bought the derelict Yacht Haven Hotel from ScotiaBank for approximately $5 million.
Some people — critics of the project and proponents — doubt the Malaysian group will go forward after losing its chief backer when Gov. Roy L. Schneider was defeated in November. Schneider had persuaded Tan to invest in the Virgin Islands and was enthusiastic about Safe Haven's economic potential for the V.I. economy. Beverly Nicholson, executive director of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association, said Tan's local representative, Ian Peacock, was at the recent Caribbean Marketplace in Puerto Rico. "But they were with the Antiguan contingent," she said. Peacock did not return calls to his St. Thomas office.
The League of Women Voters at its recent luncheon with legislators recommended that WICO acquire the hotel property under eminent domain and develop it.

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