For Maho beachfront, it ain’t over

This week's news that the Trust for Private Land has helped the VI National Park preserve what we all know as the Maho Bay beachfront is more than welcome. But there's more to worry about.

There's a 13.8 parcel of land, adjacent, that's prime for either a luxury resort development or as many as 25 half-acre home sites.

On its blog, Islandia Real Estate said, "The National Park along with the Trust for Public Land is doing a phenomenal job preserving the island of St. John."

Nonetheless, "There remains a rare opportunity to acquire this white sandy beachfront acreage in the confines of the Virgin Islands National Park."

The asking price for Estate Maho Bay is $23 million.

"This privately owned north shore beachfront property offers flexible zoning for any number of uses or a combination thereof; exclusive family estate holding, private planned residential community, ultimate upscale beachfront resort," Islandia explains on its listing.

The property has 850 feet of shoreline and a "crescent shaped beach of powdery white sand." "Well suited for luxury resort development … (or an) exclusive enclave of of luxury estates."

11 thoughts on “For Maho beachfront, it ain’t over”

  1. It really would be a disaster to lose that land and have it end up in development in any way. It would really make one of the best parts of St. John – well, not. Hope the Trust for Private Land can step in and do something about this. I know the fight has been ongoing, but this is such an important gem.

  2. Where’s Warren Buffet, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, George Soros et al when we need them. 23 million to them is about $23 to the average person. Has anyone called these folks. Branson is right over on Necker island.

  3. TPL won’t step in for that amount of money. And you can’t “lose” something you never had. The (I believe) Marsh family that probably still owns it will do like anyone who grew up land rich dirt poor. Hold out for the highest price and not be bullied into “donating” it to a bloated bureacracy. Yes, it would be nice for the NPS to have it, but it remains private property at this time, owned by people who received it through family legacy. And they continue to have every right to do with it what they want without suffering undue Territorial, Federal or public roadblocks or blackmail.

  4. Its an involved story, but St John had an opportunity to have one owner for the entire Maho Bay in-holdings. This owner planned to keep a very small portion for a family compound and the rest was to be put into conservation. He received so much negative reporting on the proposed purchase that he withdrew from the attention and went elsewhere. ( This individual was not a developer and had no profit motives in the purchase, I might add that he was interested in trading a portion of this land to the Park in exchange for other land on St John to personally fund a new school for St John! )This purchase unlike the Friends of the Park deal included ALL of the family in-holdings . The deal that went down with the Friends did not include several rather large parcels of land. ( those owners although willing to sell to a private concern refused to sell to the Park )That land as I understand it can be developed in a variety of ways and will likely end up being commercially exploited. The true details would take up several pages. Unfortunately this was never truly reported on at the time it was taking place ( 2004-2005? ) Interestingly, Mr Kessler of Friends, admitted at the time that this buyer may be the ” lesser of two evils” for the fate of Maho Bay. Apparently we are now looking at the greater of two evils !?

  5. Yes they can do that. Likewise, many, many tourists, who define their attraction to St. John by idyllic spots of land like Maho Bay, will come to the conclusion that its time to move on to another island.
    But, since politics have obviously infected your thinking, such practical business concerns are meaningless to you, I must assume.

  6. What a loss this would be.
    Just what St. John needs, one more failed development project. How many are on the island now?

  7. Since Warren Buffett feels he doesn’t pay enough taxes why doesn’t he cough up the money for the Nat. Park to buy the remaining portion? After all the years raking it in and using the tax code to his advantage, NOW he says he should pay more. Well, there’s an opportunity Mr. Buffet to pay your “taxes”. Remember Rockefeller.

  8. “Politics” and “infected”??? I don’t want to see commercial development in Maho. Just pointing out the reality of the Marsh family on St. John. How about offering up your multi million dollar family property to the tourists? It’s a stretch for them to even pay the taxes on this land, much less continue to own it. I believe I made it clear it would be nice if the property could all be consolidated into to the NP. But since politics have obviously infected your thinking, such practical personal concerns and private land holdings are meaningless to you, I must assume.

  9. Why no mention of lobbying efforts to get the Federal Government to buy it and make it part of the National Park? What’s 23 million dollars (19 million?)? Perhaps the cost of one drone to blow up people in Afghanistan?
    Maybe instead of asking Bill gates or Warren Buffett we should be asking Mohammed Karzhai.

  10. The real estate offering (listing) is likely a means of compelling the NPS/TPL to try to figure out a way to do something about it. TPL just turned over a good sized parcel (part of the property this land came out of) to the NPS. Personally, buying it for development would guarantee buying a bunch of huge headaches and years of problems. The V.I. gov’t. can be completely obstructionist if it wants, and I won’t go into detail as to what you’d have to do to get permits to develop. Suffice it to say, cash is king.

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