Rumor’s been swirling on island that Pond Bay has sold. We’ve reached out to several people in the know who’ve confirmed it; however all have said little details are being released. Here’s what we know…
Pond Bay went up for auction nearly a year ago after sitting vacant for years. For those of you unfamiliar with Pond Bay, it’s a 15+ acre development located on the shore of Chocolate Hole. The development currently consists of 26 partially completed units. At the time of the auction, we were told that the project was being sold with “major entitlements in place including a Coastal Zone Management permit, as well as the original site plans.”
From what we hear, the new owner is a man named Dan Lowe. Mr. Lowe is the owner of Legacy Development. He is also a part-time St. John resident. Here’s a bit about his company:
LEGACY Development is celebrating 20 years with the same unwavering goal of creating world-class retail and mixed-use developments. Since 1995 the team at LEGACY has had a hand in creating more than 50 projects with over 31 million square feet of commercial space across 14 states. Today, the company continues to deliver properties that provide a unique customer experience and add value for owners, tenants and the community alike. LEGACY Development focuses on value add acquisitions, ground up development and suburban and infill redevelopment opportunities.
Back in 2014, Mr. Lowe gave an interview and mentioned some work he was doing in the Virgin Islands. Here’s what he said:
In the beginning of 2013, I moved my family to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands for six months. It was during that stay that we realized what kind of opportunity existed in our business, so we opened an office down there. It’s been lots of fun. There are some really interesting benefits that come from having an office down there and establishing residency, so we’re taking advantage of that. We plan to spend at least 6 months of the year down there.
…There are not a lot of people that have attempted development in the Virgin Islands, and we’re beginning to find out why. There are massive challenges we just learned about over the weekend. We had figured that you could import goods into US VI the same way you can import goods into Puerto Rico. Well Puerto Rico has standardized customs, so if The Gap sends a bunch of clothes to Puerto Rico, it says “t-shirts, jeans,” whatever. But if you are shipping into USVI, you not only have to state what it is you’re shipping, but you have to define the materials. “65% cotton, 10% polyester” – for everything. It makes customs hugely cumbersome. It took Kmart three years to figure out their customs deal! But we are going to change the customs laws in USVI and I’m certain we’ll get it done because there’s enough interest from USVI to get retailers down there. It’ll happen – this is just another roadblock. It’s a blast working on problems like that.
Unfortunately, that’s all I have for you on this one. If anyone knows anything else, please feel free to chime in.