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VI EDC Board Grants Alpine Group LLC, YHG Hotel LLC, and Yusuf Drinking Water Inc. Ownership and Time Extensions for Tax Incentives

Rodriguez- VI Economic Development Authority board chairman, Kevin Rodriguez, conducts the Feb. 2023 governing board decision meeting. (Screenshot from the Feb. 28, VIEDA meeting)

The VI Economic Development Board met on Tuesday and voted on application matters for three tax incentive program beneficiaries who requested a change in ownership petition or time extensions.

Alpine Group USVI, LLC requested a change in ownership and admission of a new partner petition. According to Rosa Thomas, assistant chief executive officer for the EDC, Alpine Group USVI is a Category IV designated service business that provides investment management, advisory, and equity training services outside the USVI. In July 2010 they received their EDC certificate. In April 2022, they submitted a request for a change of ownership to the EDC.

“Any new shareholder, partner, owner, or beneficiary added to the entity after its application has been approved may not claim benefits under the subchapter without the prior written approval of the commission,” said Thomas, who referenced VI code 29 section 714B of the EDC regulations.

Additionally, YHG Hotel, LLC petitioned the EDC board for its third time extension to elect benefits, citing the effects of COVID-19. In March 2019, YHG Hotel was found deserving of tax benefits from the board. In March 2020, the organization requested an extension of time to Dec. 2021 to activate their benefits. In July 2020, the EDC board granted their extension. In Dec. 2021, YHG Hotel requested a second extension to Dec. 2022, and in Dec. 2022 they made a third extension request to Dec. 2023.

Yusuf Drinking Water, Inc. also petitioned the board for a third extension of time to commence their tax incentives and charitable contributions. The organization will operate a water and ice manufacturing plant and manufacture and produce plastic bottles. According to Thomas, they have experienced production setbacks and personnel issues. In Nov. 2018, Yusuf Drinking Water was first granted tax exemption incentives and recently requested an extension of time to Jan. 2024.

The EDC board decided to meet in an executive session to discuss the matters.

Tracy Bhola, legal counsel for the VIEDC, said that section 717-301 of the rules and regulations of the EDC states that “after carefully considering all relevant factors regarding an application for economic development benefits in executive session at a meeting closed to the public, the commission shall make its determination regarding whether said benefits should be granted or denied.”

Upon return from the executive session, the board unanimously acknowledged and voted to approve the new change in ownership for Alpine Group USVI. The change in ownership is as follows:

Charles Kim- 64.75 percent, White Bay Global Inc.- 19.08 percent, Nae il Foundation Ltd.- 5.45 percent, Tae Hwan Kim- percent, and Andrew Park as 5 percent owner.

Regarding YHG Hotel, the board voted to approve their time extension to Dec. 2023. YHG must also attend the next scheduled decision meeting and present updates on its hotel project.

“If YHG Hotel fails to commence its tax incentives by Dec. 31, the following shall occur: A- Its existing tax incentives shall be null and void, and B- YHG hotel shall be required to file a new application for tax incentives,” said Thomas.

For Yusuf Drinking Water, the board voted to grant a third extension to Jan. 1, 2024. If not, its existing tax incentives will be null and void and Yusuf Drinking Water will be required to file a new application for incentives.  An extension was also granted for a one-year extension of its capital investment deadline to Jan. 31, 2023.

Board members Kevin Rodriguez, Jose Penn, Philip Payne, and Anise Hodge were present and voted.

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