Demo Happening at the Lumberyard

lumberyard from overlook

The Lumberyard complex as seen from the Cruz Bay overlook.

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday!

For those of you who have been lucky enough to be on St. John lately, you may have noticed that there is a lot of work happening over at the Lumberyard complex in Cruz Bay.

Demolition work has been happening in the area for a few weeks now. As of Monday, the back building that housed the VI Lottery among other businesses has been torn down. The yellow building beside that which housed Estella’s Restaurant, Pilates Worx and others has been removed as well. It appears that work will begin soon on the turquoise building that housed St. John Ice, Jake’s and others. The front building where Driftwood Dave’s, Barefoot Cowboy, Rock Fitness, Kekoa’s offices, etc. is also being prepared to be removed.

lumberyard zoomed

An overview of the Lumberyard complex

lumberyard demo

Demo work is happening over at the Lumberyard

side lumberyard

keep out lumberyard

Because the complex was deemed a total loss, all of the businesses – with the exception of St. John Ice & Water – received eviction notices after the storms. St. John Ice was allowed to operate until earlier this month. Because that building is set to be torn down, it too had to close up shop. Alan Johnson, owner of St. John Ice, has been looking for a new location for his business. St. John Ice is hugely important to this island, so we hope Alan finds a new location soon.

We reached out to Legacy Development several times and asked about the future of the complex. We have yet to hear back. Legacy Development also owns the Pond Bay development over in Chocolate Hole.

As soon as we know more, we will let you all know. In the meantime, have a fantastic Tuesday everyone!!

Check Out Our New Webcam Overlooking the Westin & Great Cruz Bay

news of st john tours webcam August 20th: due to an issue with Viya, our internet and webcam are down. Hopefully they will fix it soon. Sorry folks.

Well folks, we decided to finally get into the webcam game ourselves! We have such a great view here at Casa de News of St. John, and now we’re able to share it with all of you … so exciting!

As you can see in the screenshot above, the view is of the Westin and Great Cruz Bay all of the way out to Little St. James, Great St. James and Pillsbury Sound. It’s gorgeous during the daytime, and we have spectacular sunset views too! And for you Westin lovers out there, you can watch the daily progress yourselves now!

Click here to check out our new webcam. You can also bookmark it at www.newsofstjohn.com/webcam

Enjoy and happy watching!

St. John Couple Featured on Good Morning America

marty and lauren

Image credit: STJ Creative

Hello everyone and happy Thursday! We first introduced you to Marty Bruckner and Lauren Saia back in November. The couple lives here on island, was engaged to be married and chose to take their engagement photos amid the destruction following hurricanes Irma and Maria. Those images went viral and brought much-needed attention to our plight here on St. John.

Originally scheduled to be married this past February, Marty and Lauren postponed their wedding, instead focusing their efforts on the island’s relief efforts. Well Marty and Lauren’s dream wedding finally happened this past weekend all thanks to some very generous businesses. Their story was so special that it was featured on Good Morning America yesterday. Please check out their story below:

“A tragic event doesn’t have to be so tragic.” So true.

Congrats Marty and Lauren! We are all so darn happy for you both!!

Finally, The Day Has Come!!

A barge is seen in Princess Creek Tuesday afternoon

A barge is seen in Princess Bay Tuesday afternoon

Great news to share with you all today … the damaged boats are finally being removed from Hurricane Hole! How exciting is that??!!

As you all probably know, roughly 50 damaged vessels remain in Hurricane Hole following last September’s storms. The Stafford Act prohibited FEMA from providing funding or assistance for the removal of these boats, which is why they were not removed by the Coast Guard and its contractor, Resolve Marine Group, which cleaned up the vessels in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay. Well funding was finally provided and signed off on by the President. Great news all around.

Cleanup began Tuesday in Princess Bay. (Hurricane Hole is comprised of four different bays.) Cleanup in Princess Bay will continue today, Wednesday. They will begin removing vessels from Borck Creek tomorrow, and then they will move on to Otter Creek between August 17th and 19th. Work will begin in Water Creek on August 20th.

Once work is completed in Hurricane Hole, the recovery vessels will move over to Mary Creek. Boat removal is expected to begin in that area on August 24th.

Hurricane Hole - Image taken from Google maps

Hurricane Hole – Image taken from Google maps

For those of you who would like to track the progress, you can look for the barge that is doing the work on an App called Marine Traffic or on its website at www.marinetraffic.com. In a nutshell, the App and website allow you to track vessels throughout the world. (We wrote about it back in 2014. Click here to read that story.) The tug that is pulling the barge which is removing the vessels is called the Meagan Ann. Here is a screenshot we took from the App Tuesday afternoon, so you know what to look for if you decide to track it.

marine traffic appWe will keep you all posted on this. Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!

Popular Cruz Bay Restaurant Closing

ocean grill drink

A popular Cruz Bay restaurant is closing its doors for good. We’re sad to tell you all, but today is the last day for Ocean Grill.

The restaurant, which is located over in Mongoose Junction, has decided to close after being open for 12 years. Here is what they had to say on their Facebook page:

“Ocean Grill would like to thank all our customers for their support over a great 12 years. However, we are one of the many hurricane impacted businesses to face a tough business decision and we have decided to close Ocean Grill…None of us are leaving island. Just Beach and Leeward Islands Plumbing will continue to happily be open for business.”

Despite the amazing progress our island has had over the past year, tourism is still down. So if you are able do, please go ahead and book that trip and help boost our economy. We would all be super appreciative.

And for the businesses on island reading the blog, Patty would like you all to know that she will be selling everything from the tables and chairs to kitchen equipment including an ice maker and generator. The sale will begin sometime next week.

Thank you to Patty, John and the staff of Ocean Grill for the great food, service and experiences over the years. Ocean Grill will be truly missed.

Cruz Bay Gets New Palms!!

new palms grande bay 1

Image credit: Carolyn Huber

A little normalcy returned to Cruz Bay over the weekend thanks to the owners over at Grande Bay.

Eight brand new palms were planted in the sand along beach in front of the resort Saturday, replacing those that fell during last season’s storms. The palms were purchased by Grande Bay Resort Homeowners Association, and we thank them tremendously for that!

(Grande Bay is split into two entities: 1. There are Grande Bay owners; the majority rent their units as vacation rentals. 2. There is also the fractional timeshare program.)

Here’s another pic taken from the street:

Image credit: Carolyn Huber

Image credit: Carolyn Huber

Looks great, doesn’t it!

Not on island? No worries! You can see them for yourself on Grande Bay’s webcam. Click here to check that out, as well as the island’s other webcams.