Great St. James and Little St. James islands are finally off the market, as Stephen Deckoff’s investment firm has purchased both for $60 million.
Both islands were put on the market over a year ago. Deckoff purchased them for less than half the initial asking price of $125 million.
Little St. James is a 70+ acre property, whereas Great St. James 160+ acre property.
Stephen Deckoff is the co-founder of private equity firm Black Diamond Capital Management. He has been a resident of St. John since 2011 and has supported economic development, including following the hurricanes in 2017.
According to Forbes, he also owns multi-million dollar properties in Colorado, New York City, and Beverly Hills.
He’s an avid skier, hence the name of his investment firm Black Diamond Capital Management which manages $9 billion in assets.
A press release on the sale states, “Mr. Deckoff plans to develop a state-of-the-art, five-star, world-class luxary 25-room resort that will help bolster tourism, create jobs, and spur economic development in the region, while respecting and preserving the important environment of the islands.”
The resort is anticipated to open in 2025, but did not say which island Mr. Deckoff intends to build the resort.
The properties were brought to infamy by their previous owner, Jeffrey Epstein and the heinous alleged crimes that occurred there.
Epstein purchased Little St. James in 1998 for $8 million. He later purchased Great St. James in 2016 for $22.5 million.
The VI territory sued Epstein’s estate in 2020 to recoup money from the fraudulent tax benefits that had been granted to Epstein. The settlement will grant the territory half of the proceeds from the sale of the property – $30 million.
As we get more information regarding the new resort plans, we will keep you informed.
18 thoughts on “St. John Billionaire Stephen Deckoff Purchases Epstein’s Private Islands”
Thank you Mr. Deckoff. So happy this ended up in good hands. Wishing you much success!
Good for the territory that they get half of the proceeds. They should have removed all the buildings and let the island return to nature.
They are going to have to do a lot of smudging to get rid of all
the evilness that took place on those islands.
Hopefully he will respect the natural resources and build something beautiful. St. John is our favorite island. Obviously a luxurious resort is going to be above our means. But best of luck to him and those who will enjoy his property.
The same could be said for St. John years ago; but where would you have stayed and enjoyed.
I’m not sure anything can be done to those islands to make me want to go there
There is crime on every island, city, state, country. Perhaps you should just stay in your house and never leave.
I hope Mr. Deckoff has a really good cleaning service!!
Although I had never heard of Mr. Deckoff until his purchase, we applaud that it appears to have been purchased by someone who will really care for the islands and make them a quasi-public showpiece. USVI is a treasure; we have been going down for more than 20 years! We lingered/motored past the Estate recently; impressive. I am certain that his resort adventure will be a success once the tarnish has been removed.
Good effort. Perhaps it should be donated to the National Park Service like Rockefeller did and a memorial erected for the victims.
That would be the perfect solution.
Good for him..although I hope those not able to afford to vacation there will reap some benefits. I started going to St John because of the lack of glitz..I would hate for it to become an island I could no longer afford to visit.
I hope Pizza Pi will still be allowed to operate there!
Even if I had the means to go to that resort, I wouldn’t. Those islands are cursed. So much suffering happened there.
I would never go, even if I had the means to do so. I could never enjoy myself in a place where so much suffering occurred.
Glad that Mr. Deckoff is doing something “good” with the islands…but…sad that it will only be for the “rich and famous” (probably the only ones who could afford this). I realize it’s his money but those at that level forget what it’s like for most others who sacrifice just to be able to go/stay on St. John.
Good news for USVI!
Even if the development is aimed at wealthy, the economic benefits, jobs and cash flow will be great for the islands.