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Mandahl Bay Development St Thomas Source

 
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

Looks like it's already a done deal based on ad on St Thomas Source. Can't copy and paste ad from my phone, but it's under the Mapp as gov story which I find very suspicious.

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Topic starter Posted : November 19, 2014 1:16 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Looks like it's already a done deal based on ad on St Thomas Source. Can't copy and paste ad from my phone, but it's under the Mapp as gov story which I find very suspicious.

A slick ad to make one presume it's a done deal? Sponsored by - ta da!

http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2014/11/18/unofficial-results-show-mapp-new-governor

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Posted : November 19, 2014 1:39 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I saw that too and thought it presumptuous and offensive, at the least, considering its principles have been involved in mortgage and bank fraud.

They can spin it however they like, but it is a disaster in the making unless WE stop it. It's not a done deal. It has to get permitted and there will be much opposition.

Of course CZM seems to be allowing permits for anything and everything these days.
Luckily, they still have to pass ACE, NOAA and EPA scrutiny as well as ours.

Whatever happened to background checks???
Good Grief!

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Posted : November 19, 2014 5:07 pm
Gumbo
(@Gumbo)
Advanced Member

I think the project making it all the way to completion is very doubtful. It's a poor location for a marina. However I do believe eventually up high on the ridge there will eventually be some houses built and Mahogany Run will add some condos. It would be nicer if the jetty was taken out and the beach restored and the rest left in a natural state.

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Posted : November 19, 2014 9:27 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

There are lots that have been created and on the market for sale for years now. They haven't been snapped up as was hoped by the developer. They're located up the hill from Atlantic Rd which is further up from Mandahl Bay. No objections to building homes there or more condos at Mahogany Run but the plans for a marina, mega resort, etc., at Mandahl Bay itself is beyond ridiculous.

I agree with Gumbo. It would be nice to restore the beach but that will never happen, either.

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Posted : November 19, 2014 11:14 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Friends of Mandahl Bay sue to block development
BY ALDETH LEWIN (DAILY NEWS STAFF)
Published: November 24, 2014

ST. THOMAS - The Friends of Mandahl Bay have sued Gov. John deJongh Jr. over the 99-year lease agreement he entered into with developers to build two hotels and a marina in Mandahl Bay.

The civil lawsuit, filed in V.I. Superior Court last week, asks for the court to take action to stop the proposed development because deJongh violated the public's trust by signing the lease.

The lawsuit says the area is the only undeveloped wetland left on St. Thomas, and should be protected as an ecological resource for the people and wildlife of the Virgin Islands.

The Friends of Mandahl are a nonprofit community group advocating for the preservation of Mandahl Bay. Other plaintiffs in the case are Mandahl residents Anna and Alcedo Francis, Paul and Brenda Walwyn and Camp Umoja.

All of the plaintiffs say they will face harm if the area is developed. The proposed development would bring noise, traffic, pollution, block the view from their properties, and limit their enjoyment and access to the Mandahl beach and salt pond, which is also used by the camp for environmental education programs for youth.

The lawsuit states that the governor's actions are illegal based on the public trust doctrine, which is an ancient concept that sovereign governments must protect the interests of the people.

"Submerged lands are impressed with a trust for the benefit of the public, and the sovereign's use and disposition of those lands must be consistent with that trust," the complaint states.

"Moreover, the public trust doctrine imposes an affirmative obligation on governmental entities to protect the people's common heritage regarding streams, lakes, marshlands and tidelands," it says.

The lawsuit takes issue with the fact that there was no public input or involvement in the lease process.

It also notes that the salt pond is home to protected species like the brown pelican and certain corals.

"The development contemplated by the Development Agreement and Lease referred to above will have major and detrimental consequences for the environment and for the people of the Virgin Islands, particularly with respect to Parcel 33 and the Mandahl Salt Pond. Specifically, and without limiting the generality of the harms suffered, the development will result in loss of habitat for protected species of land and water creatures, destruction of mangroves, which provide a vital part of the ecology of the area and filter runoff from the land, thereby increasing pollution of offshore waters, loss of sea grass, noise and air pollution, increase turbidity of the water, and decreased quality of the water," the complaint states.

The plaintiffs are asking the court for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief that would stop the government from allowing the Port of Mandahl project to continue.

The project

The latest version of the Mandahl project will include a 300-room Hyatt Regency Hotel and a second 200-room, 3-star hotel with an on-site 50,000 square-foot conference center.

The first phase is supposed to take two years to construct, from 2016 to 2017, and will include:

- A 300-room Hyatt Regency Hotel with three on-site restaurants, a full-service spa and fitness center; 17,000 square-feet of meeting and conference space; multi-level interconnected pools and a lazy river.

- A new marina with 50 slips located in the current salt pond area.

- Utility center.

- New main entrance and refurbished road system.

- A 50,000 square-foot commercial center.

- The construction of 21 vacation club timeshare units and 46 estate lots for homes.

The second phase also is expected to take two years to construct, from 2018 to 2019, with 2020 being the first year of operation for the latter-built facilities. It will include the construction of:

- 200-room conference center hotel.

- 67 marina town houses and cluster housing

- 43 estate lots

- 158 timeshare units

- 40,000 square-feet of marina commercial space

- 50 down island cluster housing units

- 32 golf villas

- 50 golf cluster housing units

- Tennis pavilion

- Guest center

The developers

Transcontinental Realty Investors is the developer for the project, and wants to begin the $487 million "Port of Mandahl" project in 2016, though operations at the resort would not begin until 2018, according Mandahl Bay Holdings President Karl Blaha.

Mandahl Bay Holdings is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Transcontinental Realty Investors, which is a publicly traded corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange as TCI.

TCI recently purchased the nearby Mahogany Run Golf Course, and plans to market the golf course as part of the amenities for the resort and convention center.

The lease

The lease for Mandahl Bay, which replaces the previous 99-year lease, will require a $12,000 annual payment, or $1,000 per month, from Mandahl Bay Holdings, according to Property and Procurement Commissioner Lynn Millin Maduro.

Mandahl Bay Holdings was formerly overseen by Mark Small, who passed away earlier this year.

While the lease was drawn up by Property and Procurement and signed by the governor, it will require ratification by the V.I. Legislature to be finalized and executed.

No Senate hearings have yet been scheduled to consider the Mandahl lease agreement.

Permits

If the lease is ratified by the Senate, the developer will have to go through the federal and local permitting process.

The first major hurdle will be submitting an application to the Coastal Zone Management Division for development of the land and water.

That process involves a public hearing process, decision by the CZM committee, and any CZM permits must also be ratified by the Senate.

Plans for development include a marina, located in the mangrove-ringed salt pond, so the developers will need to secure U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits as well, plus any other local building permits for the construction.

The history

The first 99-year lease, which this proposed lease would replace, was signed in 1964 by former Gov. Ralph Paiewonsky. That deal was for a developer to build a hotel on the nearby island of Hans Lollick and 150 homes and marina at Mandahl Salt Pond. That project never got off the ground and the lease has traded hands several times in the decades that followed. The Hans Lollick piece was separated from the Mandahl lease and currently is owned by a different developer.

The latest developers, Mandahl Bay Holdings, applied for land and water CZM applications in 2009 that were met with strong opposition from the community.

More than 400 people attended a public CZM hearing on the two permit applications for the project in March 2009.

The CZM committee denied the permits, but the developers appealed the decision to the Board of Land Use Appeals where it has languished without action ever since.

The developers of the revamped project, "Port of Mandahl," say that appeal will be withdrawn and the project will submit brand new CZM applications if the lease is ratified by the Senate.

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Posted : November 25, 2014 2:57 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Good luck with that!

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Posted : November 25, 2014 11:09 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

BY FRIENDS OF MANDAHL — NOVEMBER 21, 2014

Dear Source:
As members of Friends of Mandahl, we strongly object to development of fragile Mandahl Salt Pond/lagoon and the surrounding land totaling 23.53 acres of government leased land into a fully-developed marina with up to 110 boat slips and moorings along with by timeshare units, bars, restaurants, retail, and a 300 room upscale hotel, swimming pools, artificially enhanced beach, and more.

Yes, our government in their typical short sighted vision has given away our precious natural resources with a stroke of the pen on November 6, 2014 to the developers for The Port of Mandahl.
Imagine all of this commercial activity taking place amidst this 1993 designated Area of Particular Concern (APC) and Area for Preservation and Restoration (APR)? And even though CZM denied their permits to develop in March 2009, the developers finally found a favorable atmosphere in this lame duck Administration at the 11th hour in November 2014.

In 1945 the U.S. Federal Government deeded this acreage and more to the Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John (as it was then known) they set restrictions on the gift. The property was conveyed for ‘educational and other related community purpose only...’ So in April 1964, when Governor Ralph Paiewonsky granted the Hans Lollick developers a lease on the Mandahl Salt Pond and adjacent land, he was wrong. And he breached the covenants in the deed. When subsequent administrations approved assignments of the Lease to a series of new developers they were wrong. But many wrongs certainly do not make a right. Governor de Jongh and his Administration were wrong to grant a new 99 year lease on Parcel 33 Mandahl to the Port of Mandahl developers. We cannot go back and right a wrong. However, when the developer asked for a new Lease this Administration could have said no. And the new lease is much more advantageous than the old Lease.

Mandahl Bay and the Mandahl Salt Pond historically has been used by locals and visitors alike for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, fishing, boating, bird watching, picnicking, and simply relaxing. How can those pursuits live side by side with this massive development? In 2007 Camp Umoja was granted a permit for their eco-camp on over 11 acres adjacent to the Salt Pond. The Francis family has encouraged gentle use of all the land, beach and waters with their commitment to educating everyone on the importance of conservation of the natural resources. How can this ever fit with development actually feet away from this eco-camp? All the residents of Mandahl built and bought their properties with the secure knowledge that the land around them and within eyesight and earshot of their homes was residentially zoned R-1. How does that fit with the potential re-zoning requests of the developer that will be necessary to build this massive project?

So we ask that everyone get active and contact Senators and demand that the current lease not be ratified, not in this 30th Legislature and not in the 31st Legislature, not ever! Senators, we are counting on you to do the right thing. Reject ratification of any lease agreement for Parcel No. 33 Mandahl.

Governor-elect Mapp, do the right thing that no Governor before you has had the courage and conviction to do. Return Parcel 33 Mandahl including the Salt Pond back to the People of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Do not disappoint us. We are counting on you. Thank you.
Please keep up to date at www.SaveMandahlBay.com
Sincerely,
Sharon E. A. Hupprich
Fred C. Hupprich
Sharon E. A. Hupprich
Frederick C. Hupprich
Members, Friends of Mandahl (St. Thomas)

(Note from Alana 33: The lease for this entire property they wish to develop is $1000 per month under the new terms.)

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Posted : November 25, 2014 11:27 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Hyatt may be pulling out of the proposed development:

http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2015/02/24/mandahl-bay-holdings-discussions-about-future-project

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Posted : February 25, 2015 11:24 am
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