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With a recent approval from the St. Croix Coastal Zone Management Committee to restore the beach, the $640 million marina and casino resort being developed by William and Punch is moving ahead and plans are to break ground early next year. William and Punch Partners owns nearly 600 acres on St. Croix’s northwest shore and has plans for condominiums, a boutique hotel, spa, restaurants, retail shops, a casino, timeshare units, a championship golf course and a 64-slip marina for the property. A deal is almost finalized with a celebrity golfer who will design the resort’s golf course, and the company has a reservation for a casino license from the Casino Control Commission.

In the original CZM application, the developer asked to extend the beach 250 feet, but that request was denied. The new modification will allow William and Punch to extend the beach 46 feet seaward from the mean low tide line. The sand that will be used will come from the dredging channels leading to and from the marina. The sand will cover the exposed rocks at the shoreline and continue into the water, gradually sloping down to the sea floor. This will restore the beach to the way it was prior to Hurricane Lenny in 1999.

The last hurdles before William and Punch can break ground include amending the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit application to reflect Monday’s CZM decision. The project then has to gain approval from the federal agency, obtain legislative approval to relocate a section of Emancipation Drive to accommodate the marina and have the Legislature approve a submerged land lease for the marina.

The resort will be named Amalago Bay and will soon be tied to an international brand. An announcement should be made in a month about a hotel brand, and the developers will then begin preliminary discussions with financing entities to bankroll the $640 million project.

St Croix is looking to the future and building an economy to carry us forward. Contact your Coldwell Banker Office for buying opportunities now, while the prices are the lowest in years.