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HomeNewsArchivesPROSSER DROPS OPTION ON CARAMBOLA LAND

PROSSER DROPS OPTION ON CARAMBOLA LAND

St. Croix businessman Jeffrey Prosser's option to purchase 2,800 acres of Carambola land has expired and the property is back on the market.
Hans Lawaetz, local representative for an off-island real estate marketing service, confirmed Tuesday that the option on the $30 million land package expired about two weeks ago. The news squelches rumors that Prosser and Malaysian investor Tan Kay Hock, the developer proposing to renovate the derelict Ramada Yacht Haven Hotel on St. Thomas, had partnered in an effort to develop the property.
"True, it’s back on the market," Lawaetz said. "Once a person holds the option, it’s taken off the market. The option has expired."
Lawaetz said no inquiries have been made on the property since Prosser dropped his option.
According to Illustrated Properties International’s website, the Carambola land includes more than 2,800 acres, including 1.5 miles of ocean frontage. The property also includes St. Croix’s highest point, the 1,165-foot summit of Mount Eagle, but most of the land is between 200 and 500 feet above sea level.
The land’s biggest selling points are the existing Carambola Golf Course and clubhouse and the area’s development potential.
"It is rare that a single property has the potential to become a milestone in the development of the U.S. Virgin Islands; to impact, for years to come, the very complexion of tropical resort development," the text on the website states.
The land includes 65 acres zoned commercial, 475 acres zoned for multi-family, hotel and restaurant (80 units per acre), 2,000 acres zoned residential (4 units per acre) and 95 acres zoned residential (1 unit per acre).
The 2,800 acres, including the golf course and clubhouse, is being offered for $30 million, or less than $11,000 per acre. Prosser's original purchase agreement reportedly was for less than $30 million.
"Considering the sales and offerings of other waterfront properties in the Bahamas and the Caribbean, the Carambola property represents one of the best property values available today," the website says.
Prosser held the monthly option in hopes of striking a land-for-tax breaks deal with the V.I. government. Prosser’s Innovative Communication Corp. and its subsidiaries would have received tax breaks in exchange for giving land to the cash-strapped government.
The plan was for ICC to turn over to the government 1,000 acres of improved, subdivided land, to be given to government workers in lieu of retroactive wages owed.
In addition, ICC would have given nearly $10 million for public projects to be built on St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John.
In return, Prosser would have received full tax breaks for 10 of his companies for 30 years, a deal valued at anywhere from $180 million to $3.5 billion.
The controversial proposal was considered by Gov. Charles Turnbull, then pulled by Prosser after intense criticism in the community. It was revived and in late May approved 8-7 in the Senate. Then Turnbull vetoed the deal.
To view the Carambola property websiteclick here

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