If you’ve been a longtime reader of News of St. John (and thank you to those of you who are), you may recall that back in 2013, we wrote several stories about a property owner in Denis Bay who decided it was ok to built a portion of his home on National Park land. This property owner, Tony Ingrao, a well-known interior designer from New York City, also thought it was acceptable to cut into the hillside – also National Park land – so he could have better westerly views. He got away with all of this, presumably because money talks, and paid only $9,500 in fines for doing so, which was absurd.
Well guess what… you can now rent this eyesore of a home because it’s now listed on Airbnb. And the best part- check out the home’s description:
Set high on a hillside surrounded by thousands of acres of protected parklands, Estate Solenborg offers an ultra private getaway, five star accommodation and memories certain to last a lifetime.
That’s right, it says “protected parklands”. Protected parklands that they decided it was ok to destroy. Can you all tell that three years later I am still aggravated by all of this?
So for a mere, $5,857 a night – and that’s just a low season nightly rate, we’re sure that number jumps in high season – this home could be yours for a night or several. Here are a few pics:
For those of you who need to play a little catch up, click here to read about exactly what Ingrao did to the National Park, the neighbor’s reactions and a bit more.
And for those of you interested in reading more about the house, click here to view its listing on Airbnb.com.
24 thoughts on “Denis Bay House that Destroyed National Park Land Now on Airbnb”
You know including that “protected parklands” verbiage in his listing was a jab at all who opposed this monstrosity. What a prick.
I sent a report to airbnb about the illegal activities during the construction of this place. People who rent it will feel just a “privileged” as the owner and don’t give a #$%@ about natural resources and other people property.
We wanted everything we used to be sympathetic with the landscape—nothing white or stucco,” Ingrao explains. “This house is elemental. It feels like it’s growing out of the park.” that is from the article in architectural digest about this shitstorm of a house http://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/tony-ingrao-randy-kemper-st-john-us-virgin-islands-home-article
Of course it is “growing out of the park”. It is encroached on Park owned property and the property of private individuals.
Something more should be done…Clearly they understood the encrouchment and the mission of our U.S. Virgin Islands Park and ignored it all….I think they should be fined millions and tear it down……..It’s an ugly blight on the landscape!
Along with the arrogance and privilege that this place embodies, its a place that will attract guests who stay hermetically sealed with their private chefs, who will never take a drive over to Concordia for open mike night, hang at the Beach Bar, schlep their gear to Cinnamon Bay or hike from Annaberg to Coral Bay and take the bus home. In other words they could be anywhere with a great view, but no connection to the place they are in.
I couldn’t agree with you more Carol.
I hope that no one will rent this monstrosity
Dump. He should be ashamed of himself. Pig.
hmmmm. Only a one night minimum? It might be fun to do a go fund me page to raise the $ for the rent. That would mean the ability to write a review shaming people out of using their site. Or does anyone have a piece of property nearby that guests would have to pass that would be willing to put up a sign: “why you shouldn’t be renting Estate Solenborg” with a web address. Of course anyone with a rental home couldn’t do that- it would make them look bad. But an angry neighbor might. Sound like drastic measures but it’s way to sleazy to him to get away with.
AND right around the 50th anniversary of our first designated national park. Greed and money rules everything…
These are the times I wish I was a billionaire. I’d offer him some obscene amount for it and then tear it down and plant trees. Anybody know Trump?
Hopefully the USVI authorities changed the laws to reflect either a stop and repair and/or enormous fines to discourage future violators. This was a slap on the wrist $9500! Ridiculous for a place of this magnitude.
Such a cute little narrative we’ve made out of this. With all the David vs Goliath subtext, there’s really
no need to focus on the fact that no real harm was done within the small sliver of affected land (which btw was already the site of an existing roadway) or the stipulated resolution between the owners and the National Park Service. Facts be damned, we don’t need no stinking facts! We need a story!
Of course the island is littered with hundreds of abandoned cars, boaters dumping raw sewage directly into our waters on a daily basis and overflowing dumpsters around every bend, but let’s focus instead on the house owned by the guy with more money than us. That’s an easier problem to complain about because there’s really no way we can be implicated. We win!
Yes! It’s almost a guilty indulgence to focus on these big house/rich guy issues and leave our real, and infinitely more pressing, challenges to be nourished with a steady diet of indifference. But I must admit it just makes life soooooo much less complicated!
Cheers to all of us, the true heroes of St John! And God bless this site for having the courage to step up and raise awareness on this most critical of issues. Future generations will look back and wonder how we summoned the fortitude required to be so brave.
You do bring up some valid points with regards to the abandoned cars, boaters dumping raw sewage directly into the waters and the overflowing dumpsters.
However, ranting on and defending Ingrao and Kemper makes you sound like a total DI%K!
Parker…. the abandoned cars are not on NPS land — and yes from what i can glean these guys do give back in meaningful ways to the community– GOOD for them — we ALL should be doing what we can (and many of us do just that — though the majority of us lack the deep pockets of many of the folks in that neighborhood) — But, it is about how this unfolded — and what appears to have been gross disregard for their property lines — now maybe i am wrong on this fact, but it seems to me that 9500 is a slap on the wrist… that’s about 9 yards of concrete-for essentially moving onto and building on parks land– if i did that with my neighbors you can be assured that it would cost more than 9500… ..Furthermore i don’t think you can broadly accuse people of being indifferent to the boaters and the pumpout (lack thereof) issues — or to the myriad other problems both environmental and otherwise that are present in St John and other places — it’s easy to keep pointing fingers — this story just seems to have some angles that don’t stack up right .
LOL. On this very page I see advertisements for Grande Bay, Sirenusa and a giant PURPLE villa you can practically see from St Croix. Funny.
Very very sad. On the Newso’STJ Facebook post, Ingrao’s little pet employee Tristan Ewald says,
“As for the design being a eyesore, none of you have even the slightest clue about design. St. John is my home, but I can say that there is a huge lack of design conscious people. You may never understand something like this because it is too complex for your visual understanding.
In other words, get the facts strait before aimlessly pointing fingers at some of the nicest people on the planet. I cant say this is the brightest move I’ve seen on St. John, but these people contribute more than you will ever be capable of to the islands. It’s lucky that we have people with this type of money roaming the island.”
Wow, Tristan. Those pompous a$$es have trained you well, now you’re just as delusional and self-aggrandizing as they are. By the way, this isn’t good design. It’s utter crap compositionally, has a total lack of respect for the landscape and topography, and just throws handfuls of money at expensive surfaces to cover up the fact that the “decorators” have no understanding of volumes or space.
You really feel that you, your employers, and the caretaker of the property are the only ones in the entire world who “get it”, and EVERYONE ELSE who has ever seen the property is just a clueless yokel?
Lastly, the house is not entirely built on its “private property” as you and Ed continue to opine. It crosses setback lines and property lines in multiple locations, spilled tons of dirt, rock, and construction debris in every direction (including most of the old house which was simply pushed over into the Park), and clearly violates every zoning code involving lot coverage, height, setbacks. And, I’ll clearly say it, it’s also an incredibly ugly house.
It appears that the Airbnb listing has been removed. I clicked on it yesterday and looked at it. Clicked again this morning and it says it has been removed.
Ingrao is a typical limo lib, do as he says not as he does.
Question the letter of the law. The local codes do not have any statutes on design elements, but there are laws on zoning and encroachment. Sad reality, they aren’t followed by the local government. The large scale projects erected after 2000 broke zoning codes/statues. One project broke every single zoning code and doesn’t belong anywhere in the territory yet still stands and advertises on this site. If you don’t like this very large so-called villa, build a bridge and get over it. Band efforts to lobby the local government to follow the letter of the law. I have.
Why have comments been removed that represent the other side? Comments that were presented reasonably without any vulgarity or inflammatory language?
I don’t approve of all the actions that the homeowners have made, but there are incorrect facts that are being used to slander them, and that reduces the integrity and validity of the original reporting. How many other comments have been removed and what else are readers missing? Will this comment be taken down?
A large portion of the negative comments seem to focus on the ugliness and size, but it’s not even close to the biggest, and people have a right to make ugly houses – it’s certainly not the first one on island! Nor the worst. Beauty is subjective. I think it looks way more natural than most houses since it’s made entirely in earth tones, and the raw dirt showing will fade as it grows in. I think of the countless pink, purple, yellow, etc. houses with white roofs, and I don’t get the anger. While people also have a right to think it’s ugly, why the need to publicly post opinions about it with such bile? Monstrocity, eyesore, crap? Hardly .
Nothing has been removed.
I’m staying here next week for my 40th and I can’t wait! See you at open mic night carol!