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Secret plans unveiled for 'Palm Grove Centre' Land

- Premier says all current leases have been suspended
The Wickham’s Cay Authority and the City Manager, had demolished the center in August 2018 leaving the now vacant land. Photo: File/Team of Reporters
BEFORE: The Palm Grove Shopping Centre was one of the earlier buildings on Wickhams Cay I, built as a mall. Photo: File/ Dean H. Greenaway aka 'The Sportsman'
BEFORE: The Palm Grove Shopping Centre was one of the earlier buildings on Wickhams Cay I, built as a mall. Photo: File/ Dean H. Greenaway aka 'The Sportsman'
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL). Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL). Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Demolished in August 2018, the Palm Grove Shopping Centre was one of the earlier buildings on Wickham's Cay, built as a mall.

However, over the years, the shopping Centre—which sat on prime real estate—saw many of its tenants complain about the presence of asbestos, a substance known to cause inflammation, scarring and eventually genetic damage to the body’s cells.

During the 2017 Hurricanes that ravaged the Virgin Islands (VI), the Shopping Centre was one to take a massive hit with some 90 per cent of all buildings in the area being destroyed.

Owing to its derelict and ‘unsafe’ state, the Government through the Wickhams Cay Authority and the City Manager officially moved to demolish the structure.

Current Status

It was during the fourth sitting, fourth session, of the third House of Assembly (HoA), that Opposition Leader and Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP), Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), moved the know what was the status of the now vacant land.

With much speculation as to what would replace the structure—that was once a hub of local business activity for the community—the Opposition Leader also inquired about what current agreement has been made for the return of the lessees.   

“Madam Speaker, would the Premier and Minister of Finance please inform this Honourable House in full detail of his government’s plans for the currently vacant spot which once was the location for the Palm Grove Plaza?” he asked.

It was then, that Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), in acceding to the inquiries, unveiled that the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government will be moving to construct another commercial building at the spot.

Secret Project?  

“Madam Speaker, it is my Government’s intention to reconstruct a building in the spot that was once Palm Grove Centre, and a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) for the re-development has been submitted to the Attorney General’s Chambers for vetting in that regard,” the premier unveiled.

He also revealed that the current leases have been suspended and the leaseholders have been informed that they will have first right of tenancy in the new facility once constructed, however, no details about timeline or the projected cost of the building was presented to the House.

“The current leaseholders have been apprised of the situation and we intend to involve them as much as possible in the reconstruction of the space,” the Premier notes.

 “As such, meetings have been held with the leaseholders and the RFP will be shared with the leaseholders once it is received from the Chambers,” he said.  

13 Responses to “Secret plans unveiled for 'Palm Grove Centre' Land ”

  • Hmmmm (18/12/2018, 11:53) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    bs....if hold a lease then its not about first dips its suppose to be automatic
    • Hmmm2 (18/12/2018, 12:47) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
      You might want to look up the terms of the lease i.e. Acts of God, Frustration, Force Majeure before you start saying silly and less than smart things in a public forum. #ijh
    • Alrighty (18/12/2018, 13:56) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
      Give to people who may not have been paying rent?!! Gimme a damn break here. Build something that is for the people and will pay the government what’s due. This is about business not pissing around with prime land and then notc collect a dime in rent for years.
      • Truth Sayer (18/12/2018, 20:44) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        A Alrighty: There are many persons who have paid up on their leases. Do you not think that they have rights? They are locals who operated businesses. What the NDP Government is doing to those persons is down right illegal and wrong! I hope they sue the fat off them.
  • asia (18/12/2018, 12:38) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    They given to their friends at the bank
  • wise up (18/12/2018, 12:42) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why just make a nice shopping mall 3 stories,nice over hang walkway u people need to go see designs in CHINA WILL BE SUPRISED
  • pilinky birds (18/12/2018, 14:12) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    How many of the current (suspended) leases are behind on their rents to WCDA? It is crap like this preferential status for cronies that have contributed to the downfall economically of government owned properties. I say a fresh start and allow progressive small businesses the options to lease versus the maintaining the status quo as usual.
    • To Pilinky Birds (19/12/2018, 07:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      My sentiments exactly.... the same MOC couldn't get the lease rent collected... millions were outstanding in rent!
  • hello (18/12/2018, 15:15) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    Wise up, that's why we need the Chiniese
    • @hello (19/12/2018, 11:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      are you crazy? have you dealt with the Chinese? I have and they do NOT play fair. They bring in only their people, Chinese materials, Chinese equipment and even the food. they buy NOTHING from the locals and do not support the local economy in any way. I have done 3 projects where they Chinese were there and every single one of them was a disaster. No safety programs, Zero quality etc.
  • Jessica Jones (18/12/2018, 20:40) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    Make sure the last floor is a confernce centre. We should of have at least two confrence rooms at the pier park for all that over spending.
  • Right Sed Fred (18/12/2018, 22:27) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Wouldn't re-building the schools be a priority? RT has plenty of vacant office space, unless there was a specific chinky chonk tenant in mind...
  • Thought (20/12/2018, 06:47) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Build a decent mall, for the tourist to emjoy. Like a real one. Not like patsy lake junk.


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