Dec 14, 2005 The Gallows Bay Marina project moved forward Wednesday as the V.I. Port Authority Governing Board approved a lease of its dock and lands at Gallows Bay to the Gallows Bay Development Partners.
The approval came on the motion of Dean Plaskett, a member of the board and also Department of Planning and Natural Resources commissioner. Plaskett said, "We believe the principals are serious and are well on their way to acquiring financing for this project."
The project was unveiled to the public by Crucian Global partners Michael Fields and Duane Bobeck in early October during a press conference at Government House. (See New Mega-Yacht Facility On St. Croix's Horizon?.)
The development would accommodate 40 yachts from 40 to 250 feet long, and be complemented by a three-story, mixed-used retail and office building totaling 140,400 square feet.
The base term of the lease is for 50 years with a 20-year renewal period. The annual lease payment to the Authority is $18,000 for the first five years and goes up in increments each five-year period. By the end of the base period the annual lease will be $42,445, and at the end of the renewal period it will be $92,610.
The authority will also receive an increasing percentage of the net revenues of the developers over the period of the lease. In the first five years the Authority will be receiving 3 percent. During the last 10 years of the base period it receives 15 percent. It will receive 20 percent during the 20-year renewal period.
The Authority will be required to move its commercial shipping facility from the area, but the developers would pay $500,000 to build a warehouse at a new location.
The development is expected to be a boost to downtown Christiansted businesses because the third phase of the Christiansted boardwalk project will connect Gallows Bay with downtown.
Fields emphasized after the meeting that the developers were not asking for any money from the government in the proposed $47 million development, but he added it was imperative the government take care of upgrading the pump station in Gallows Bay. After heavy rains, Gallows Bay is often the site of flooding and manholes that overflow.
Fields said that the developers would be receiving more input from the community over the next six months as they draw up final architectural plans for the project. After those six months, the developers plan to start the permitting process. When asked whether they could break ground in 18 months, he said, "We sure hope so."
After the lease was approved, Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards released a statement from his office saying he was ecstatic about approval of the project.
"A development such as this will rejuvenate the entire downtown Christiansted area. St. Croix is on the verge of an economic renaissance with investor confidence at an all-time high. I thank the Port Authority Board members for agreeing and seeing the benefits of such a proposal," he said.
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