Feb. 10, 2004 – IN-USVI announced on Tuesday that the starting date for demolition of the former Yacht Haven Hotel structures is March 13. The occasion will include public groundbreaking ceremonies and a party afterward for the nearly 100 young people who painted a mural last July on the temporary fence erected along the property on Long Bay Road.
Andrew L. Farkas, chief executive officer of Island Capital Group, which is now the parent company of IN-USVI, said in a release that the start of demolition "represents the first step in the transformation of Long Bay." He said the developers share the community's "enthusiasm for tearing down this eyesore and creating a beautiful and vital waterfront."
The planned development will bring "revitalization of the marine industry, the creation of jobs and new economic opportunities, and the development of a safe and fun place for both locals and visitors to enjoy themselves," Farkas said.
The release quoted Edward E. Thomas Sr., chief executive officer of The West Indian Co., as saying that the groundbreaking "represents the culmination of the efforts of so many" and that WICO is "thrilled to be moving forward" with the redevelopment.
The release stated that IN-USVI project engineers expect the demolition to take about five months. "We will be taking steps to ensure that this work proceeds in the safest and least-disruptive manner possible in accordance with the most stringent environmental standards," Farkas said.
He said that IN-USVI meanwhile is beginning its pre-leasing and sales program for the office and retail space to be developed.
The complex is to include a world-class marina, guest accommodations, commercial space, parking facilities, a walkway linking the Yacht Haven area with downtown Charlotte Amalie, a public park and an amphitheater.
According to the release, the 18-month construction phase is expected to generate more than 500 jobs, while the complex upon completion is expected to employ about 600 persons permanently, generating an estimated $1.8 million annually in payroll taxes. The release said projections made in consultation with the Bureau of Economic Research show that the government stands to gain $7.6 million in revenues in the complex's first year of operations.
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