Proposed Mega Yacht Marina Still on the Table

Coral Bay Overlook July 6 2019

It’s been a while since we chatted about the proposed mega yacht marina in Coral Bay, but it’s still on the table, as unbelievable as that is.

For those of you who are rather new to the site, I will quickly catch you up to speed.

Back in 2014, the Summer’s End Group announced its plans to build a mega yacht marina in Coral Bay. Here are a few things they said about the proposed marina at the time…

“The Yacht Club at Summer’s End is the preeminent destination for mega and super yachts in the Caribbean. Now the rich and famous can escape the paparazzi and fish bowls of St. Barts and the Cote de Azure and disappear into the quiet and solitude of St. John…”

“Here Tommy Bahama meets the French Quarter of New Orleans architectural style sets the tone in a sexy, romantic refuge that is home to world class dining, fun and relaxation on St.John’s verdant, sleepy Coral Bay.”

“What is now the Coco Lobo shopping complex next to the Voyages building will be redesigned and renovated to support 6-8 high end outlet storefronts with names like Michael Kors, Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Puma, Betsy Johnson, Armani Exchange, Coach, Hugo Boss, Yves Saint Laurent, Bebe, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, BCBG or Louis Vuitton to name a few.”

Did you all laugh out loud? Because I certainly did.

Image used in SEG's 2014 marina proposal package.
A rendering of the proposed mega marina in Coral Bay.

Above is a rendering of the proposed mega marina in Coral Bay. You all remember what Coral Bay looked like after the storms, right? Now imagine if this was there prior to the storms. Oh, and it looks like they are building new islands with their marina too. (Where’s the emoji for the person scratching their head??)

I think a small marina on St. John would be good. I do not think a mega yacht marina would be good at all, especially not in the area where this one is proposed.

Ok, so after this was all announced, a group called Save Coral Bay was created by David Silverman. David worked tirelessly to fight this proposed marina. Because of his work, thousands of letters were sent to the decision makers in opposition of this marina. In 2015, five federal agencies voiced strong objections to the proposed marina and the US Fish and Wildlife Service rescinded a federal grant that had previously been awarded to SEG. So at that point you would think that the people behind this marina would have gone away, right? Wrong.

When we were all trying to put our lives back together in the fall of 2017, the Summer’s End Group was working hard to get their marina approved.  That right there shows their character.

Ok, so fast forward to today and why I am bringing this all up. David Silverman, of Save Coral Bay fame, recently learned that the governor signed a Coastal Zone Management Major Water Permit for the mega yacht marina. This undoubtedly moves their plan forward. David happens to be on the CZM board. Here is what he recently wrote on his Facebook page:

As many of you know, last year I was appointed to the St John Committee of the Virgin Islands Coastal Zone Management Commission (CZM). In accepting that appointment I took an oath to uphold the laws of the Virgin Islands and to act on behalf of the people of St John in all matters dealing with Coastal Zone Management.

We have recently learned that in April of this year Governor Albert Bryan signed the CZM Major Water Permit for the Summer’s End Group mega yacht marina in Coral Bay. The next step is for this permit to be taken before the Virgin Islands Legislature. As a CZM member, I want to ensure that the residents of St John have the greatest possible opportunity to participate in any decisions being made by the Legislature on this marina permit.

Are you a resident of the Virgin Islands, or do you own property in the USVI? Do you want an opportunity to participate in the decision making process regarding the Summer’s End Group mega yacht marina in Coral Bay Harbor, St John? If so, then I encourage you to sign the petition below and add your name to the list of people who want to ensure that any decision regarding the permits for this project are made in a way that promotes public participation, as required by the Virgin Islands Coastal Zone Management Act.

This is where you come in. If you are a full or part time resident of the island, or if you own property on the island (and I believe having a timeshare at the Westin or Grande Bay counts), David is asking that you sign the above-mentioned petition. You can do so by clicking this link.

And if you are not a resident but you would like to voice your opinion opposing this mega yacht marina, you can send an email to [email protected] to see how you can help.

Thanks all! We will keep you posted on this.

32 thoughts on “Proposed Mega Yacht Marina Still on the Table”

  1. Please don’t proceed with this. St John is a beautiful, peaceful island. They have worked so hard to bring it back from the hurricanes. The rich and famous already have places to go. They don’t need to mess with people’s lives. It will only raise prices and bring high prices restaurants to that side of the island. Coral Bay is so peaceful and quaint. Just leave it alone.

  2. I am not 100% certain but based on the wording of the petition, I think possibly even if you have a deeded timeshare in St Thomas or St Croix you could sign the petition, which, if accurate, might expand the number of people we could get on board to sign?

  3. I love the idea of having some high end stores in Coral Bay. It will make the place more exciting. I hope they put a Victoria’s Secret too.

  4. Pardon my ignorance, but Is there any way to somehow transfer parcels of Coral Bay land to ownership by the National Park, in order to mess up the overall plans of the developer? It may foil their design if they can’t access it all… I live in Mystic, CT, another quaint location constantly threatened by this type of greed.

  5. Summers and Barksdale have not fulfilled any ACoE permit requirements, have done no environmental or ecological impact studies and are the only land leasers in Coral Bay who have ignored clearing their leased waterside property in the bay almost two years after Irmaria.
    The absence of any effort towards starting, never mind completing, the studies and requirements leads one to believe that furtherance of the project itself is not of prime importance to them.
    Their only goal appears to be attracting gullible investors and living off their money, which they have done successfully for the last five years.

  6. Anyone up for putting some effort into investigating reporting? Whether this is real or a scam it needs to be stopped. The no-input action by Governor Bryan and chummy pics of him and the Summers End group aren’t a good look.

  7. Wow. I really thought this was no longer a consideration. My house is right above the mall and what a great view I would no longer have. The negative impact would be immense. We have written numerous letters to gov officials to no avail. If you love Coral Bay like we do we all need to stand up against this. The quaintness of Coral Bay is very special and needs to be preserved. There is nothing like it in the world.

  8. This will never happen. These “developers” are trying their best to keep this alive on the law of sunk costs. But the truth is no institutional lender will touch this type of project no matter how many regulatory green lights it may appear to have secured.

    Oh, and by the way, the last place the mega yacht crowd wants to use as a jumping off point is one accessed only by a thirty minute ride across St Thomas followed by another hour getting across Pillsbury Sound and St. John. Anyone concerned about this can rest easy, this will never going to happen and everyone in a position of power, including the Governor, knows it.

  9. In my opinion if Summers End are legitimate developers they should post a construction bond in the amount of the estimated construction cost, plus 10% to insure the projects completion. The bond is an insurance policy that states if the developer fails- there will be money available to complete the project. If the developer can not produce a bond, this is usually an indicator they are unable financially to complete the project. Governor where is the bond???

  10. As annual visitors to St. John, and staying on the Coral Bay side of the island, the Summers End mega yacht venture if railroaded by the corrupt politicians will give us a reason to find another island to visit. As fond viewers of “Death in Paradise”, we may decide to find a spot to stay on Guadeloupe, despite the weekly murders there.

  11. I’m wondering what visitors can do at this point. I know we wrote a lot of letters in the past. I am going to go through my contacts and send a link to this article to the people we have rented from in the past just to make sure they are aware. It’s all I can think of to do right now. Any other suggestions? Coral Bay is a special place and I want to do all I can to make sure it stays that way.

  12. This must not happen! I hope Parker is right. Already way too much building has been happening on St. John, for several years. I remember when they wanted to have stop lights. The people stepped up and said “No”.

    Been loving St. John since my first visit in 1991.

  13. Where the heck did that rendering come from? At least show what they are really proposing to be factual. It’s bad enough

  14. Did a little internet searching. Someone posted Summers Groups hidden website. It is theyachtclubatsummersend.net Check it out! It looks like they are already trying to sell boat slips. The site that posted the address also said C Summers has filed for bankruptcy 3 times. This will be another disaster like CBI Acquisitions in Caneel Bay!

  15. People who would like to read about Coral Bay before September 2017 and Irmariageddon might enjoy Wilson Roberts three Coral Bay novels, MURDER IN CORAL BAY; IT HAPPENED ON ST. JOHN and STORMS: TALES OF IRMARIAGEDDON.

    • Every boat in salt water everywhere in the world—including currently at anchor in Coral Bay, Hansen Bay, and Cruz Bay ALL HAVE BOTTOM PAINT ON THEM. Your statement is simply misleading, untrue, and alarmist.

  16. That’s the thing about developers…they are persistent. They are patient and in it for the long hall. They plan for citizen opposition and budget for political contributions. They wear the citizens down while working the back channels and, unfortunately, they ultimately get what they want…most of the time.

    Stay vigilante. Stay strong. Stay loud. Stay prayed up! Work your channels. I believe in you, precious citizens of St. John!!!

    • As the daughter of a developer (residential land development), I agree with Michelle’s observation about their patience.

      My dad used to joke about including one undesirable element in his projects that he was perfectly willing to change so the public and approving parties paid attention to that instead of the ten other things he really wanted to get approved.

      What is this group doing that we aren’t paying attention to?

  17. Our voices against this “mega marina” must be both heard AND supported by letters
    and donations.
    Pristine environmental sites such as St. John Coral Bay must not be cheapened by
    commercialism.
    This fight is for the environment and health of planet earth.

  18. ‘WWLR do?’
    What would Laurence Rockefeller do?
    This special Caribbean island has been carefully planned and protected for decades while
    other islands have been over-developed and have lost their pristine natural beauty.
    When letters and donations are needed to keep Coral Bay the treasure it is, please send out
    the alert. We are out here!!

  19. The picture shown is not a rendering it is Simpson Bay in St. Maarten. Simpson Bay Marina in the foreground, Isla Del Sol on the Island Port De Plasaince at the hotel in the background as well as other smaller commercial marinas.

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