Gov. Charles W. Turnbull sought to smooth some ruffled feathers Thursday as he convened a joint meeting of the V.I. Port Authority and West Indian Co. Ltd. boards to discuss plans for developing Crown Bay.
According to a statement from Government House, Turnbull termed the meeting "very constructive and fruitful." The statement indicated that both Port Authority Executive Director Gordon Finch and WICO President Edward Thomas felt the meeting was, in its words, "productive."
Finch and Thomas have been sniping at one another recently over the merits of developing Crown Bay versus investing in a cruise ship home port facility on St. Croix. Earlier this month, Thomas noted what he felt were drawbacks to developing a shopping center in Crown Bay and suggested that the $9 million earmarked for the project might be better spent on St. Croix.
Finch responded that Crown Bay wasn't being developed at the expense of a St. Croix home port facility.
At Thursday's meeting, the Port Authority board said VIPA would own the Crown Bay shopping mall it envisions. WICO board members said they didn't consider the project a threat to its Havensight mall, according to the statement from Government House.
Turnbull and the two boards emphasized the need to create business opportunities for V.I. residents. WICO and Port Authority are at work repairing a hospitality lounge downtown and agreed to consider more such joint projects.
No further comment was forthcoming Friday from any of the parties at the meeting.