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Richard’s to be replaced?

LogomarketplaceA new restaurant is coming to the Marketplace, according to a news release from the shopping center that also said merchants plan a sales promotion for next Monday, Jan. 17, from 3 to 6 p.m.    No details about the planned eatery were offered.  The Richard’s Grill space on the second floor has been advertised for lease for several months.

A magician and balloon artist will be on hand for the Festival activities which will also feature games, entertainment and discounts.  The Artists Association of St. John will offer watercolor painting instruction.  And there will be free popcorn for all! 

New businesses showing and selling include Bite, the men’s clothing store, Nest & Co., offering gifts for the home and body; St. John Cabinets and Interiors and St. John Executive Suites, temporary and virtual office services.  And, the Marketplace says, there is a new restaurant "coming soon."

Red Hook work soon begin

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In about a week, the ferry dock at Red Hook may be more challenging than ever as the V.I. Port Authority begins work on a $4.5 million construction project.  Plans call for new cargo and passenger boat docks as well as a large covered waiting area.  A larger parking area and a new barge ramp are also planned.  Darlin Brin, the Authority’s executive director, said the work will take about a year, according to the St. John Source.

Read moreRed Hook work soon begin

It was party time!

They were looking for thousands at Foxy’s annual year-ender party on Jost Van Dyke.  The 40-year tradition at the Great Harbor usually draws about 600 boats and 8,000 people on New Year’s Eve, the Virgin Islands Daily News reported.  "Everything is jamming," said Foxy Callwood, the dreadlocked businessman who started it all with a beach side bar so long ago. "There is eating and drinking and there is music on the big stage on the outback.  It’s just people having a good time."

There were good times on St. John, too.  Not the least of which was Steve Simon’s jazz concert/party at the Westin resort. Read all about it here.

Real estate offerings keep growing

RealestateTwo properties located in Chocolate Hole, one of the island’s most expensive and stable residential areas, were added to the Multiple Listing Service in the last week.  They include a 2-bedroom/no pool house priced at $1.495 million and a 3-bedroom/no pool listed at $1.95 million.  As the last week of the year began, total residential inventory stood at 65 properties, two more than last week.

Giving some credence to expectations that the unusually high number of properties for sale could lead to some price erosion was a reduction in the asking price of a 4-bedroom/pool residence at Peter Bay.  Originally offered at $5.5 million, the price has now been cut by $750,000, to $4.75 million.

Even so, four weeks ago, the median asking price for a listed home was $1.399 million.  It is now $1.5 million, a gain of 7 percent.  In a month.

Properties are apparently selling, or at least coming off the MLS.  A 3-bedroom/pool/waterfront property in Fish Bay listed at $1.2 million has gone under contract, and a 3-bedroom/pool at Sans Soucci & Guinea Gut has also come off the list.

The listing of commercial properties also has welcomed back a familiar offering:  Morgan’s Mango.  Offered at $1.2 million for more than a year, and then taken off the MLS, it’s back now at $1.4 million.  There are 9 businesses for sale on the island.

Inventory continues to rise in the land listings, too, up 8 this week to 154. Condos, up 2 to 8.

Caneel previewing best sellers

Rosewood Hotel properties, including Caneel Bay, are offering guests advance copies of new works by authors including Sidney Sheldon and Stephen King.  The featuire is called "Hot Type" and involves the hotel chain with five major publishers who have agreed to provide bound galleys of books from six weeks to six months before their general release.  New books will be available monthly, according to a news release from Rosewood.

Realtor stretches for variety in career

Lori Walden’s new DVD, Yoga in Paradise, is just the thing if you want to learn more about attaining spiritual insight and tranquility or you just want to see some beautiful island scenery. 

"I have had a regular home based yoga practice for many years and came to it while I was pregnant with my son," Walden said. "The breathing and meditation aspects of the practice have always been very helpful while dealing with a stressful job and living on a sometimes stressful little island."   

Walden, a Realtor, videotaped the project on a Sunday morning in October at Little Cinnamon Bay.  Jeff Clabaugh and Russ Rader of Blue Tang Productions handled the shoot, packaging, and marketing of the $24.99 DVDs.

Tax reassessment Q and A

While the island’s real estate values are reassessed by a group of stateside appraisers, the Office of the Tax Assessor is offering land owners a question-and-answer-formatted Web site for information about the process. 

An apparent example of the sort of expertise these consultants from Bearing Point Inc. bring to a party is:

Question, "Will my property taxes go up?" 
Answer:   "There will be three groups of taxpayers: those whose tax bills will increase, those whose tax bills will remain more or less the same, and those whose tax bills will decrease."

Thanks, we needed that. 

The Web site is http://www.vipropertyrevaluation.com/overview.htm

Read moreTax reassessment Q and A

Child killed in traffic accident

Authorities said there was no indication that the driver of a Bellows International delivery truck was  under the influence of alcohol when his six-wheeled vehicle ran over and killed a 7-year-old boy Wednesday afternoon.  Javon Alfred was on his way home after a Christmas party at the Julius Sprauve School.  He was in the second grade

The food and drink distribution company based on St. Thomas issued a statement of condolence to the boy’s family, according to a report by the Virgin Islands Daily News. 

The newspaper report said the truck was turning into the right hand lane of Pond Bay road when the accident happened.  "The businesses on St. John are growing but the infrastructure for the roads is not growing," Angelo Hill, the deputy police chief, said.  "We would like distributors to realize that our roads are more narrow, so they need to slow down."

Annual bird count

Logoaudubon_1The annual Christmas Bird Count was scheduled for Sunday.  Sponsored by the Audubon Society of St. John, part of the Society’s nationwide annual survey of birds which includes 55,000 volunteers.  The purpose of the count is to monitor the number and population of bird species.  "It helps to see what birds are doing well, and which ones are in decline," Laurel Brannick-Trager, president of the V.I. Audubon Society told the Virgin Islands Daily News.  Results will be included in a "State of the Birds Report" to be issued next year.  The VI Audubon Society’s Web site has some tips on the best places for island bird watching.