83 F
Cruz Bay
Sunday, June 16, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesGolden Says Construction Set to Begin; Suit Reportedly Filed Over Title

Golden Says Construction Set to Begin; Suit Reportedly Filed Over Title

June 12, 2008 — Construction on a proposed 400-room resort and casino is close, Paul Golden told St. Croix Rotary Club members and guests Thursday, even though that morning he was reportedly served with papers claiming Golden and his partners don't have title to the property.
When questioned whether there is anything holding him back legally from proceeding with construction, Golden said there are no legal stays and he believes crews can go to work soon. He hopes to have the resort completed by the end of 2010 in time for that tourist season. Golden began plans to build the resort in 2000 and it has been rife with problems ever since.
Golden was the guest speaker at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club, held at Gertrude's Restaurant and attended by more than 30 people.
A concerned citizen who asked not to be identified gave the Source a copy of a complaint for Superior Court of the Virgin Islands dated June 3. In the complaint, plaintiff Richard J. Ridgeway claims title to the property by adverse possession of real property under V.I. Code 28 section 371. The property consists of five parcels in Estate Hartmans and two in Estate Great Pond. Ridgeway claims ownership of the property because of 14 acts of ownership dating back to 1987. Those acts include fencing, digging of wells, mowing, maintaining roads, erecting signage and more. The plaintiff demands a trial by jury on the matter. The copy included a case number but no official stamp of the court. The attorney for the plaintiff is Andrew Simpson.
Golden told the group the $250 million complex will have 400 rooms and a 43,000-square-foot conference center. Also included in the plans are a 25,000-square-foot casino, 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, 17,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, four restaurants, lounges, retail stores and kids' club.
The 294-acre property, centrally located on the south shore of St. Croix, will be developed by Golden in joint ownership with Jericho All-Weather Opportunity Fund of Boca Raton, Fla., and managed by Wyndham Hotel Management Company.
"I am pleased to have Wyndham management with its ability to help fill and market the property," Golden said. The training of workers and managers done by Wyndham will be very beneficial, he added.
Up until the announcement made in February about Wyndham's management of the resort, it was called Golden Gaming. It is now called Wyndham St. Croix Golf Resort and Casino.
David Beck asked Golden about construction of the resort around Salt Pond, which is a wetlands area.
"The Army Corps of Engineers has signed off on the wetlands delineation," Golden said. "The resort is near but not on Salt Pond, and it is 700 feet from the ocean."
Questions were also asked about taxes, revenues and the resort being an Economic Development Commission (EDC) beneficiary. Golden said developers have Economic Development Authority benefits that they can't work without, since it costs more to build in the territory than anywhere else in the United States.
The V.I. government will get gaming, hotel, vendor and property taxes, Golden said. He calculates the resort should generate almost $20 million in taxes yearly.
"We will hire locally, but we will run short of workers and will have to bring in supplemental workers," Golden said. It will be costly to bring in labor, so the developers plan to keep it minimal. They plan on employing 1,200 construction workers over the two years of building and 1,000 permanent workers thereafter.
Golden invited the attendees on a tour of the site scheduled for 5 p.m. today.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

UPCOMING EVENTS