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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, June 13, 2024


June 20, 2003 – A diverse gathering of corporate investors, government officials, contractors, tenants and prospective tenants attended the ribbon cutting and open house on Friday for the first two Lovenlund Apartment buildings.
The two structures, located north of St. Thomas Dairies, contain 18 units, all of which will be occupied by July 15, according to Bernadette Crummer, property manager.
Crummer, who returned to her native St. Thomas as the project got under way, accumulated years of property management experience in North Carolina after Hurricane Marilyn forced her emigration in 1996.
The Lovenlund Apartments project was developed by Reliance Housing Foundation. Robert O. Jackson, Reliance president, was in attendance Friday with a large delegation of Reliance personnel, but he left the public-speaking duties to Brian McDonough, company attorney.
McDonough said that "strong support from the Virgin Islands government made this project possible. And because of that support, some 220 Virgin Islanders have been employed on this project and $16 million [has] been circulated into the local economy."
McDonough also applauded St. Croix architect Steve Hutchins and local contractors, saying that their abilities made the bringing in of outside builders unnecessary.
Cheryl Thomas, representing the first tenants of the complex, cut the ribbon on "her" building. Thomas, who will be moving into a two-bedroom unit on July 1, said she had been looking for an apartment for a while when she saw a Lovenlund ad in a newspaper. When she called for information, she was told that 300 people already had applied for the total of 99 units eventually to be built. She then asked how many had put down a deposit and was told only one had done so.
Thomas said she quickly placed her deposit to secure an apartment in the complex, which she described as "close to the beach" with "the amenities of a condo," including a pool, playground and community center.
McDonough explained the process that led to the project. A recent increase in the amount of federal low-income housing tax credits available to the territory made the amount of money available large enough to build a project of the size of Lovenlund, he said.
Clifford F. Graham, executive director of the V.I. Housing Finance Authority, said his agency allocated the credits to the project.
Completing the picture, McDonough said, SunAmerica Affordable Housing Partners Inc. purchased the tax credits, providing three quarters of the financing needed eventually to make the 10-building complex a reality.

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