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Cruz Bay
Sunday, September 25, 2022


If you've wondered what that plywood construction on Beltjen Road is all about, wonder no more. James D. Tunick, president of Theodore Tunick and Co. has the answer.
By April of next year, you should be seeing a three-story Danish West Indian inspired building, in the plywood's place. Even now, the plywood has been partially replaced by a retaining wall. The building's top floor will house Theodore Tunick & Company Insurance, with the bottom two floors to be leased out.
The project is ambitious. There will be not one, but two underground parking levels with another on the main level, accommodating 85 to 90 cars.
Tunick is excited about his project. "The building could solve a lot of parking and congestion problems in the downtown area. It will be within easy walking distance of town and the nearby Federal Building and Criminal Justice Complex."
So much for the practical side. One of Tunick's main concerns is that the building be aesthetically pleasing. "Occupying such a prominent site on our harbor, we wanted a structure which would not only blend in, but one that would enhance the hillside," he said.
With the creative skills Tunick's enthusiastic architect, Mike DeHaas of Brill-DeHaas Associates, it looks like it will. To say the final product, as attested to by DeHaas's drawing, is eye-stopping would be like saying Magens Bay is pretty, or the Statue of Liberty is tall, if you prefer. Overwhelming comes to mind.
Bordered by palms fronting arched first-story windows, the building boasts a glass enclosed elevator in the structure's center which goes all the way down to the first parking level. The roof and eaves are all traditional red with the building's final color yet to be selected, but a pastel, naturally.
Tunick has used all local contractors and subcontractors with Zenith Development in charge.
"The project has been in the talking stages since about November of 1997," said DeHaas. "And building the five-stories on this hillside is challenging – to say the least!" It took from late 1997 to about eight months ago to complete the zoning requirements and other preliminaries.
Asked if he is concerned about the coming hurricane season with the building still under construction, Tunick replied, "No. It will be all steel girders at that point and the wind can whip right through." All systems are go for having the exterior completed by the end of this year, according to the entrepreneur.
"Since we acquired Brathwaite Insurance last year, we have needed bigger quarters," Tunick said, "and this will give us all the room we need, to say nothing of the view." The building will have a panoramic westward view of the harbor. The second and third stories measure 23,000 square feet each.
The main level with have two drive-thrus which could easily avail themselves to a banking tenant. It would seem there is no need to worry about tenants for what looks to be a most innovative and attractive addition to the harbor environs.

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