On the one hand, the news is good about what’s going on down on the waterfront at the Grande Bay condo project. Work on many units is complete, buyers have gone to closing, and inspectors have signed Certificates of Occupancy. Some of the condos are occupied.
On the other hand, nine units on two upper floors have not closed. The developers say they need the money from those sales to finish the project. They are blaming an island family’s lawsuit for their problem.
The matter came to another head this week in V.I. Superior Court, during a hearing covered by the Virgin Islands Daily News. Read the story here.
Bay Isle Associates testified that the lawsuit by the Jadan family and Liza Trey, claiming their property value has been damaged by the project, has prevented closing on condos.
No closing = no money changes hands. The Daily News reported an attorney from St. Thomas said that because of the Jadan-Trey claims, buyers cannot get title insurance and so won’t complete their purchases.
Proceeds from those sales are so critical, said Grande Bay’s general partner, that bankruptcy is possible, according to the Daily News story. David Band told the court the project’s Florida developers had to go to friends to raise $10 million dollars for a construction loan payment that had come due.
Bankruptcy, "the B word", is the last thing anyone wants to think about Grande Bay. While the darn thing is unbelievably big, crammed onto 1.03 acres, it’s there and it’s not going away. You just hope that the folks who have watched this project, since ground breaking in 2003 and well past the original completion target of 2006, will try like heck to make sure the next commercial development doesn’t run off the rails, too. (Maybe Pastory Gardens? Lots of commercial interest in that beautiful site up Centerline Road.)