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Moving to St. Croix at the end of Sept!  

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Eric Bell
 Eric Bell
(@Eric Bell)
Guest

Hi,
I just found this message board so figured I would say hi. I am hoping to meet a few people on the usvi before I move to St. Croix near the end of September for my job. I will be on the islands for at least 2 years. I am 24 years old, from Michigan, and have not done a whole lot of travelling so I know this is going to be quite an adventure and quite a challenge.

My job will be in Christiansted. Where are nice places to live around there? What are the costs of housing there for both rent/buy?

Also I am concerned about not knowing anyone when I get there. What are the best places and ways to meet new people around my age when I get there?

Thanks everyone for the help!!

Eric

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Posted : August 15, 2006 4:07 am
Linda from Michigan
(@Linda_from_Michigan)
Trusted Member

Hey! I'm from Michigan! Where about? What will you be doing here? I will be coming up to Michigan next week to bring my daughter back up. Love to meet you.

Linda

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Posted : August 15, 2006 11:44 am
Becky R
(@Becky_R)
Trusted Member

Eric -

Someone else will have to help me out here - the few people I've asked know where I'm talking about but can't remember the name either...but there is a place off Company Street in downtown C'sted that rents by the week and month. Might be a place to base out of until you find what you want...Sorry I can't help you on the price either. If you are downtown you will meet lots of guys and girls your age on the boardwalk and in the little cafes that are around....if you head farther east you'll get to Schooner Bay Market and Sharky's, a sort of pool hall/bar/gathering spot. Will you have a car?

On housing costs, look at the FAQs link on the home page - it's a rough idea. You may have to look and network a bit to find something less expensive but it can be done.

Where ARE you from in Michigan? My son just graduated law school from Michigan State in E. Lansing...he's giving some consideration to practicing law in Puerto Rico and the islands.

Forgot to say - welcome to STX!

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Posted : August 15, 2006 12:53 pm
Eric Bell
 Eric Bell
(@Eric Bell)
Guest

Hi! I am from Lansing. I will be opening up the new officemax store in the sunny isle shopping center in christiansted. I will be there about a month before the store is up and built in order to hire and train the staff. Where in MI are you from and how long have you been in the islands?

Eric

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Posted : August 15, 2006 12:58 pm
Eric Bell
 Eric Bell
(@Eric Bell)
Guest

Thanks Becky! I know that my job will be helping me out with some of the moving situation but we haven't gotten into many details so all the help I can get is really appreciated! I am also from Lansing-- nice meeting you!

Eric

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Posted : August 15, 2006 1:04 pm
pbmo
 pbmo
(@pbmo)
Advanced Member

Welcome to St. Croix. We are all very excited to have an Office Max coming to the island. The restaurants and bars in downtown Christiansted are definitely the place to meet new people. If you like diving or snorkeling, you can meet folks through the various dive shops on the island. And as posted earlier, search through the FAQ to find lots of info on St. Croix.

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Posted : August 15, 2006 1:57 pm
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

Eric - I look forward to welcoming you to St. Croix and hope the Office Max opening process goes smoothly for you.

I believe that Becky was referring to the Danish Manor in downtown Christiansted when she mentioned a place that will rent by the week or month at reasonable rates to new arrivals while they are getting situated. It's not a fancy place, but sometimes it will do well enough for your first few weeks on the island.

Sunny Isle shopping district is not quite the same as downtown Christiansted. It's inland a little to the southwest, more in the center of the island. Christiansted is along the northern coastline about five miles away. There are a variety of housing options, both for rental and to purchase, depending on your budget, your needs, and your wishes. Will you be moving to STX alone? Any pets?

Is Office Max paying your moving expenses and giving you a housing stipend? If that hasn't been offered as part of your compensation package, you might want to ask for it! Rental rates on the island are a bit higher than you are likely used to seeing in Lansing and many new arrivals wind up with sticker shock. Savvy companies will offset all or a portion of the housing expense for employees they relocate to the island to fill a management or specialty position. With Office Max being new to STX, they may not yet have considered this need, although I believe they have a store on STT, so should be familiar with the special needs of employees they move to the islands.

It is not difficult to meet people once you are here. Relocatees tend to be fairly social people and most are happy to strike up a conversation with whomever is sitting nearby at a restaurant or bar or on the beach. On Friday and Saturday nights, you are likely to find a large group of young 20's, many from UVI, at Brew Pub on the boardwalk and then later at Bongos, Moonrakers and Club 54 in C'sted. Sharkey's is another popular hangout.

Alexandra Bentley
Great House Real Estate
St. Croix, USVI

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Posted : August 15, 2006 2:37 pm
vshoppell
(@vshoppell)
Advanced Member

Hey Eric--my name is Val and I am also from Lansing and 24. I run the Caribbean Health and Fitness Complex in Beeston Hill. Let me know if you have questions or want to catch up!

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Posted : August 15, 2006 2:40 pm
jane
 jane
(@jane)
Trusted Member

Hi, Joe and Julie San Martin own the Scotia building on King St in Christiansted - they also live there. It is a great place to rent a studio or one bed to start out. Secure ...AC etc.
Call dawn Johns at ReMax st croix - 340 773 1048 (they have a1-800 #) might look on the web for that - she is the rental agent for the building. I think Coldwell Banker - again look on web for # - might have an intown place - ask for Pam McFadden.
The Danish Manor IMHO is pretty bad and not real safe.

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Posted : August 16, 2006 2:23 am
ericb
(@ericb)
New Member

Thanks! How costly is it to move large items like furniture vs. just replacing it all when I get there? I really don't have a lot that I can't live without. I honestly could go with just a few suitcases full of clothing. I also have a large dog-- I don't know how this will effect my living situation or how I will travel with him. The other item that may be a problem is I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt that is still under lease. Is there a GM dealership on the island that would be able to take care of this when my lease ends?

As far as my dog goes-- he is a 4 year old 90lb rottweiler and I definitely need to bring him with me. He is a very nice dog, but I am afraid to put him on a plane, if that is even possible. If he went on a plane I would need to give him medicine so that he would sleep for the entire flight because I know if he were alone in a carrier in cargo he would be scared so would probably not act very friendly towards the flight crew. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks alot!!!!

Eric

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Posted : August 16, 2006 2:56 am
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

Eric - go to the SEARCH function on this website and put in the keywords "transporting dogs" and you will get the results of many threads on the topic of how to go about moving pets to the island. Becky can fill you in further from personal experience on her exploits in bringing multiple large Rotties to STX a year ago.

Having a large dog does complicate your rental property search fairly significantly. Many landlords won't allow pets and very few condo complexes will allow pets at all, much less a large dog. You will probably need to seek a house to rent or a guest cottage somewhere with a lenient landlord. Alternatively, you can look at purchasing a house where you can set your own rules!

Most rentals and most properties for sale come furnished. Sometimes you get furniture you don't care for all that much and choose to replace as time goes on. There are quite a few furniture stores on the island. Some are sort of reasonably priced and others are quite expensive. Sometimes you can get used furnishings also if you get lucky enough to come across something you like.

Some people have been able to ship down cars that are not yet fully paid for. I'm not sure about ones still under lease. Check that out with your leasing company to see if they are willing to sign off on you bringing the car to the island. There is a Chevrolet dealership here, so you don't have to worry about that side of things.

Alexandra Bentley
Great House Real Estate
St. Croix, USVI

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Posted : August 16, 2006 3:23 am
Becky R
(@Becky_R)
Trusted Member

Eric--

If you would like to PM me I would be glad to tell you what I know about transporting dogs, but let me throw this out for you - the airlines do not want your dog sedated if at all possible because of the change in the medication reaction due to air pressure fluctuation. They can and will refuse to transport a dog that shows any sign of aggression whatsoever. I faced an entirely different set of challenges in moving 5 Rottweilers to the island, but they are all fairly good humored dogs and the least of my worries was one of them going off on the airline crew. I also understand transporting these days is a little more difficult - one professional mover told me because of the increase in checked baggage it's been a little more of an obstacle course.

My suggestion would be to leave Rover with mom and dad or a sibling, if possible, come down and get settled...you may have to sell youself to a landlord to be able to have your large dog here - you will surely return to the States at some point and perhaps by then you will have been able to weigh out the pros and cons of having him here. Sounds like you will be working a lot when you first arrive anyway.

Thanks Jane - Danish is what I was groping for.

Eric, just click on my name if you need any other info regarding the dog and I'll assist from this end as best I can.

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Posted : August 16, 2006 4:55 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Hi Eric, welcome to STX.

Have you visited the island before? I would suggest leaving the dog, the car and the furniture in Michigan for a while. Bring down your clothes and maybe mail yourself a few boxes of belongings. Arrange temp housing and rent a car for a week or two. Get your bearings, find a perm place to live - many come furnished, and then decide about bringing your dog and stuff.

And we are ALL excited about the OfficeMax!!!

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Posted : August 17, 2006 6:18 am
Linda from Michigan
(@Linda_from_Michigan)
Trusted Member

Spirit Air seems to have great prices one way (rt for that matter) detroit to stthomas - the last few I've bought were about $190. each way. Then a $70 seaplane to STX. I'll be up next weekend. Battle Creek/Marshall area heading up to Gaylord to deliver my daughter and see my grandbaby!

See you soon!

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Posted : August 17, 2006 6:25 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

I was not going to pursue this, but I feel I must. Eric, these comments have NOTHING to do with you. You sound like a nice young man and I hope this all works out well for you. We are anxious to have your company on St. Croix.

Does it make sense to anyone that OfficeMax is sending a 24 year old man who has not traveled much to open what sounds like a rather large store and hire and train employees? Maybe I'm not reading the thread correctly, but it sounds like Eric has been given very little information about STX, what he needs to bring or what he can expect.

He is planning on bringing a really large dog, which he is going to have trouble transporting and finding housing for. He has a leased vehicle, which will present problems. And all this by the end of September, 6 weeks from now.

Now I know I am old and grumpy, but if I were this young man's parent, I would be throwing a FIT.

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Posted : August 17, 2006 8:07 am
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