Developer Eyes 2024 Completion for New $55 Million Hotel on the Cay; 115-Room Facility to be Renamed Christiansted Harbor Resort Hotel & Marina

Business Published On May 05, 2021 05:51 AM
Ernice Gilbert | May 05, 2021 05:51:33 AM

Hotel on the Cay, St. Croix U.S. Virgin Islands

The government of the Virgin Islands has chosen a company for a new resort development that will replace the current Hotel on the Cay and transform the pristine property into a 115-room facility to be renamed the Christiansted Harbor Resort Hotel & Marina. The resort's projected cost is $55 million, and it is expected to be completed in 2024, with groundbreaking and hotel occupancy by July of the same year.

Fresh details of the Hotel on the Cay new development, which the Consortium has been following since news broke of the government's efforts to regain control of the property in 2019, was provided by Property and Procurement Commissioner Anthony Thomas after the Consortium sought information. The G.V.I. has made steady progress and in March chose a company, Neighborhood Establishment out of two that submitted bids: Neighborhood Establishment and Global Solutions, according to Mr. Thomas.

Governor Albert Bryan spoke of the new development during the administration's Covid-19 press briefing Monday. "It's finally — after I think it was a 100-year lease or 50-year lease that we were engaged on — we're getting the property back," Mr. Bryan said. The governor appeared to be confident in the ability of the company chosen for the new development, stating that Neighborhood Establishment, a Texas Limited Liability Company, already own two hotel properties on St. Croix — The Waves at Cane Bay and the King Christian Hotel in Christiansted.

The new development has the potential to transform the Christiansted downtown area, said Mr. Bryan, who added that the National Park Service's ongoing development of Fort Christiansvaern — situated on the waterfront facing the Protestant Cay (Hotel on the Cay) property — will further lift the town's potential. The new facility will also include a marina, a move that could expand the growing marine industry on St. Croix, boosting commerce and job opportunities.

Mr. Thomas, the P&P commissioner, revealed principals of the new development to be Chris Pardo, Rino Cassinelli, Chris Thompson, and Matthew Donowho. Investing partners include J. Benton Construction & Bank of St. Croix/United Fidelity Bank.

"Per Neighborhood Establishment, a tentative hotel development timeline from negotiations to occupancy is estimated at 36 months, with 24 months identified from groundbreaking to occupancy projected for July 2024," Mr. Thomas said.

The commissioner also provided detailed information on the beginning of the bidding process to the selection of a development firm:

  1. Neighborhood Establishment LLC (“Neighborhood Establishment” or “N/E”) was selected as the winning proposal to enter into negotiations with the Government of the Virgin Islands for the lease and development of Protestant Cay (Hotel on the Cay) via RFP-059-T-2020.
  2. The Department of Property & Procurement issued a formal Request for Proposal on September 11, 2020 to develop a world-class resort on the iconic Protestant Cay, located in the Christiansted Harbor.
  3. A series of three site visits were scheduled and attended by several interested parties in the month of October, and resulted in the submission of two proposals at the RFP’s closing date of November 11, 2020.
  4. Subsequently, an Evaluation Committee consisting of representatives from DPNR (Commissioner Jean Pierre Oriol), USVIEDA (Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director Wayne Biggs), DPP’s Property Division (Assistant Commissioner-Property Jozette Cantois and Deputy Commissioner-Property Vincent Richards), DPP-Procurement Division Dynell Williams (Deputy Commissioner-Procurement  and Ms. Kim Spencer), and non-voting community stakeholders (Kirk Chewning, Edwin Thomas, and Lionel Jacobs) with expertise in the areas of financial services , architecture, construction, and hotel development/operations participated in the RFP Process.
  5. The Evaluation Committee scored each proposal and made a formal request for oral presentations through the Evaluation Chair that evaluations be held for each respondent to present orally, supplying additional details and information, and responses to the Committee’s questions and concerns.
  6. The oral presentations were scored and a second round of oral presentations was requested by Commissioner Thomas to include Government House, Government House Officials, Commissioner Joseph Boschulte (VIDOT), and Assistant Commissioner Lisa Alejandro (DPP-Procurement).
  7. Based on the ratings, Neighborhood Establishment was determined to be the most responsive and responsible bidder across all three rounds.
  8. A formal notice of award was sent to Neighborhood Establishment LLC on March 18th.
  9. Neighborhood Establishment and the Department of Property & Procurement have entered into negotiations.
  10. Access to the property for preliminary assessments is undergoing.



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