Lots of people dream of coming to St. John to run their own business. The opportunity to buy in has probably never been greater. While historically there have been about half a dozen businesses listed with real estate brokers, there are now 16 offerings. They include St. John Dive Adventures and its boat at Coral Bay ($150K), the newly-listed Duffy’s Love Shack leasehold (trade name does not transfer) ($650K), the Turquoise Turtle gift shop near the ferry dock ($325K), and Dr. Cool Inc.’s air-conditioning business ($350K).
Why are there are so many businesses available? Probably, why there are almost twice as many residential properties on the Multiple Listing Service (63). Every owner has his or her reasons.
1 thought on “Wanna buy a business in paradise?”
Who can blame any of these business owners and long time residents who want to leave St. John? Look what’s happened in the last 10 years.
In my opinion, there never was any planning whatsoever for managing the tremendous growth ie long time political leaders and land owners on St. John never thought about the future of unchecked and uncontrolled growth.
This malfeasance, or maybe neglect, in my opinion, combined with local land owners selling off St. John’s heritage and finite amount of buildable land to wealthy land speculators and developers may lead to the demise of St. John whereby only the rich and powerful will reside…they may have created their own “gated community island” similar to the gated communities now constructed stateside.
Added to this equation is the fact the type of new tourist arriving off the cruise ships and cheap airfare deals and accomodation packages has gentrified the “high rollers” to St Baarths, St. Kitts and other islands where growth was and is managed. I’ve spoken withy many dozens of business owners on st. John and they have this opinion as well.
The selling of these businesses and flight of year round residents was inevitable. There simply is too much money to be made when you paid $100,000 for your business lease and land that now can sell for $650,000. When your 2 bedroom house on a quarter acre of land can now sell for 1.5 million when you purchased it for $100,000.
Have you tried to get on board a car barge lately except between 1am and 1pm? Or the 3 and 4 PM people ferry to Red Hook with the service workers who can only afford to live on St. Thomas because there is no affordable housing? Or try to take a leisurely drive to Coral Bay with the cement and water trucks and massive amount of rental cars driving?
The flight will continue until the political leaders take back control of growth.
But it is probably too late.