For those of you who were out and about near Maho Bay Monday, you may have seen that some clean up was happening on the land across from the bathrooms on the western side of the beach. Well that’s because that property recently sold, and the new owner is readying it for a new business that promises to leave a “very, very low footprint.”
Now before we get into the details, I understand that many of you wish Maho would stay as is and not be developed in any way. I agree with you. However there are privately-owned parcels in the area, some of which are zoned W-1, so it is up to the owners to decide how they should be used. I spoke with the new owner of this Maho parcel Monday, and here is what I learned.
Let’s start with the actual property. Its legal address is 3-2 Estate Miland Maho Bay Quarter, and it’s under two acres. The property is zoned W-1 commercial which allows for an array of development including apartment houses, hotels and guesthouses; night clubs; planned developments; and refreshment stands among other businesses. Here are a couple of maps:
The new owner, John Yob, is planning to open a small business that consists of a tiki bar made out of a converted trailer, and a food truck which is a converted VW bus. There will be trailer-like portable restrooms on the property, as well as a container for storage. DJ Ahladis, owner of North Shore Deli, is managing the project, John told me Monday, so he will determine the type of food to be offered.
John said his new venture, dubbed Maho Crossroads, will have a 1960s hippy-like vibe. John is an avid Grateful Dead fan, so Maho Crossroads will include an abundance of that type of memorabilia. When I asked John if he planned to build any sort of hotel or resort on the property, he adamantly said no. When I asked why he would buy such a prime and pricey piece of real estate only to open two food trucks on site, he did admit that he is “keeping (his) options open.” He asked me to stress to you all that “(they) aren’t proposing any development, it’s simply solar-powered food trucks with storage container.”
John purchased the property from the Penn family, and he hopes to have Maho Crossroads opened within the next month. He said the two food trucks are currently on St. Thomas. They are waiting for licensing to be completed, and to finish cleaning up the property. Many of the dead trees will be repurposed and used as stools on site, he said.
Guests can visit the food trucks from land or water. Boaters can pull up a mooring ball and dinghy into the eastern end of the beach. Beachgoers can simply walk over.
John said he feels this project will fill a void with regard to the lack of concessions in the National Park following the hurricanes. As of today, the only beach that currently has food or drink options is Honeymoon.
For many of you, John’s name may sound a bit familiar. He is a political strategist who moved to St. John from Michigan back in 2015. He’s worked on John McCain, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum’s presidential campaigns. He also made an appearance on the Daily Show back in 2016 when they filmed on St. John following a delegate debacle. Click here to read all about it and to watch the video.
For those of you who’d like to learn more about John and to get a better sense of what he would like to accomplish with this project, please check out this 2015 interview.
We will keep you all posted on what happens with this property. Have a great Tuesday everyone.