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OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 6523
September 27, 2013 10:44 am  

two comments.
if you are worried about losing the land line when WAPA goes down ,
install a generator.
or go to the beach.

Nice of Innovative to bring over a PR company to do the work...
It never occurred to them to hire from within the USVI?

Sloop

The suggestions on what to do are stellar and I would never have thought of them on my own.

As far as the second comment is concerned, guess you don't keep up much with (old) news. Hiring most certainly was done from the USVI and if you go back on threads here you'll find a discussion (and I believe even a link to news articles) from a few months back which addressed your concerns.


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asilber
(@asilber)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 29
September 27, 2013 12:47 pm  

Yes, Catalus did buy 14 units at Sirenusa and the project will be finished out by local contractors although there is no more hard construction to be done on this project. We. Are currently finishing out the punch list and hopefully officially launch Mid-Novmber on phase 1 of the short term vacation rental program. We are very excited to be on St John and have such a wonderfull product to offer for short term vacation rental as well as building long term relationships with the local businesses. If anyone has any questions please feel free to PM me and I will,help in any way I can.

Regards,
Adam


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Alana33
(@alana33)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12366
September 27, 2013 1:15 pm  

Sorry but I think that whole Sirenusa project should never have been allowed in the first place.
It's a monstrosity looming on the hillside.
I am also sorry for the homes behind it that had their views completely obliterated by it.
I doubt very seriously that St. John needs even more vacation rentals with the established ones struggling to remain in business.


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Beeski
(@beeski)
Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 644
September 27, 2013 1:15 pm  

two comments.
if you are worried about losing the land line when WAPA goes down ,
install a generator.
or go to the beach.

Nice of Innovative to bring over a PR company to do the work...
It never occurred to them to hire from within the USVI?

Sloop

The suggestions on what to do are stellar and I would never have thought of them on my own.

As far as the second comment is concerned, guess you don't keep up much with (old) news. Hiring most certainly was done from the USVI and if you go back on threads here you'll find a discussion (and I believe even a link to news articles) from a few months back which addressed your concerns.

90% of the contractors Innovative hired are from Puerto Rico.
They hired a few locals to direct traffic.
Innovative is lying when they say they hired local.
Bonneville, the PR subcontractor got a VI Biz license, but the labor force came from PR.

Same thing with viNGN.


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East Ender
(@east-ender)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5404
September 27, 2013 10:05 pm  

Adam:I am glad you are so excited about your work, but you should know that many people here are less than enamored with the project.


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lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1250
September 28, 2013 1:11 pm  

EE put it very politely. "Building long term relationships with the local businesses"? The only relationship most of us would like to see is with a bulldozer company to level that monstrosity. Even the tourists who come here on the ferry go "What the hell is THAT?" when they see it upon approaching the island.

I recognize that the current investors didn't create the problem in the first place, but you will still face a lot of challenges in overcoming the damage the previous set of stateside moneygrubbers have done. Good luck.


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Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2453
September 28, 2013 3:51 pm  

I am not sure I would refer to the original owner developers, the Marzano family, as 'stateside moneygrubbers' -- I knew the family lived in the USVI since way back in the early 80's, their children went to all 12 years of school here in the VI with my daughter and they raced as a family aboard their boat "Alligator' for many years at the STT YC. While I am hardly in favor of the way development has gone on the previously bucolic island of STJ to lump it all into 'stateside moneygrubbers' is not always true - plenty of local USVI people have taken part - the real estate sales force, the construction and builders community, the, hardware, cement and trucking companies and many local businesses have participated all along the way. The despoiling of the island would not have occurred without the acceptance of the local businesses and the part they have played is not insignificant. Attracting off island investment dollars is a long standing convention throughout the Virgin Islands and unlikely to stop soon.
http://www.stjohntradewindsnews.com/index.php/component/content/article/176-news/200909-news/3023-marzano-gives-sirenusa-property-to-bank-to-avoid-foreclosure

http://www.stjohntradewindsnews.com/index.php/component/content/article/89-news/april-30-2007/1398-sirenusa-developer-responds-to-allegations


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Alana33
(@alana33)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12366
September 28, 2013 6:01 pm  

The Senators who allowed this zoning variance should never have done so.

"On April 17 the senate voted 13 to 1 — against the recommendations of both the legislature’s legal counsel and the Department of Planning and Natural Resources — to change the almost five-acre Estate Enighed site from R-2, residential low-density, to R-3, residential medium-density."

This says it all, right here:
Bill Not Approved by Legal Counsel
The bill was not approved for legal sufficiency, according to the legislature’s legal counsel, who categorized the zoning variance as an act of illegal spot zoning, according to the legal draft.

The bill “has not been approved for legal sufficiency, because a variance from the R-2 zoning designation to the R-3 zoning designation does not exist in law or in fact, creates an impossibility of application, is vague and ambiguous, unwarranted, arbitrary and capricious and flies in the face of reasonableness,” according to the legal note. “It does not fit within either of the two types of variances established in the zoning law. Moreover, it could be construed as granting R-3 status to the entire 4.89 acres, which could have adverse consequences.”

Charge of Illegal Spot Zoning
“The bill proposes to treat the subject parcel like no other similar parcel has been treated, invoking the charge of illegal spot zoning,” the note continued.

That's the original problem right there. Over 6 years later after this debacle began, it is still the "poster child for island's problems."
Not to mention the ill considered repercussions that continue with ill advised "spot zoning."
Our Senators hit another home run!


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Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
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Posts: 2453
September 28, 2013 6:32 pm  

None of the then Senators were 'stateside moneygrubbers' either which was the only phrase I took exception to.


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Alana33
(@alana33)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12366
September 28, 2013 9:14 pm  

None of the then Senators were 'stateside moneygrubbers' either which was the only phrase I took exception to.

No, that's right. At the time, the senators were local "money-grubbers."
Nothing's changed.


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lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1250
September 29, 2013 9:51 pm  

My apologies if I inaccurately described the origins of the greed involved. I was referring to the previous investors in a series of those who have tried to "make it work" since the original project began.

Sirenusa isn't quite as ridiculous (yet) as the decades of variation on construction at the Pond Bay site... but it sure is a bigger eyesore. The penalty for zoning violations needs to be changed from fines to "you have to tear that down and make it meet code".


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Alana33
(@alana33)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12366
September 30, 2013 4:14 pm  

What is actually needed is a comprhensive zoning code which we still do not have after decades of it being promised.
Willy-nilly spot zoning and variances enabled by the legislature need to become a thing of the past.


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