Back in July, the Coral Bay Community Council released results to a survey that asked residents how they envisioned the future of Coral Bay. Near the top of that list was a marina. Well after at least seven years of possible marina talk, the project may be one step closer to fruition. Keyword: may.
The St. John Source reported Tuesday that the territory was awarded a $1.3 million boating infrastructure grant from the federal Fish and Wildlife Service. The money, according to the Source, will be used toward construction of the planned 96-slip marina in Coral Bay.
So we did a bit of digging and here is what we found:
Apparently this grant was awarded back in August. (Yup, we missed the boat on this one.) Here are the details, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
The Government of the Virgin Islands’ Planning and Natural Resources Division will partner with private investment groups to establish the St. John Marina on the Island of St. John, in the U.S. Territory of the Virgin Islands. This new facility—the first marina on the picturesque Caribbean island of St. John—will provide 96 slips and a boating activity center for eligible transient boaters. Other essential amenities include power and water for eligible traveling boaters.
The exact grant award was $1,273,689. Another $1.4 million is needed to fund the project, according to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. That means the total project cost is estimated to be $2,673,689.
So again, plans to build a marina in Coral Bay have been talked about for years. We had to refresh our memories a bit, so we went back to the good ole News of St. John vault. Here’s what we found:
August 2006: A marina backed by Robert O’Connor is approved for the area near Island Blues, but with conditions. At the time, the project was expected to cost $5 million.
August 2006: A group called T-Rex St. John LLC entered the possible marina arena when it announced plans to build a marina, condominium and commercial development on Moravian Church-owned land that runs behind the Guy Benjamin School, firehouse and Skinny Legs.
June 2008: Frank Barnako reported that “The VI government hasn’t heard a ‘peep’ from the would-be developers of a marina in Coral Bay since they got a permit almost two years ago.”
We can see both the pros and cons of having a marina in Coral Bay. So we’re curious, what are your thoughts? Let us know here or over on our Facebook page.