Local USVI News

Virgin Islands Government Acquires 69-Acre Beachfront Property in Frederiksted for Territorial Park System

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Governor Albert Bryan Jr. announced on Tuesday morning that the government has acquired a 69-acre beachfront property in Frederiksted to be transferred to the Virgin Islands Territorial Park Trust.

Governor Bryan highlighted the territory’s ongoing rebuilding and reconstruction efforts and emphasized the unique opportunity to rebuild the islands’ rich culture and history, which had remained dormant due to funding constraints. The acquisition of the HNS Hesselberg land is a crucial step in revitalizing the area’s culture and history.

By purchasing the property, the government aims to preserve environmentally significant wetland and cultural resources, secure coastline and beach access for residents, and expand camping and recreational facilities. The land features almost 2,000 feet of shoreline and approximately one-third of the salt pond behind the beachfront. It is adjacent to the Vincent Mason Pool and Sandy Point Wildlife Refuge.

The governor clarified that the property would be part of the Virgin Islands Park System, not the federally overseen National Park. The local park system, created in 2022, ensures lands are held by the local government for long-term preservation, protection, maintenance, and enjoyment by current and future generations.

The acquisition was motivated by community concerns about the depletion of traditional camping sites along the Frederiksted beachfront. The government secured the land for $1.2 million through the Public Finance Authority, below its appraised value of $1.7 million and list price of $1.95 million. The funds came from the $3.65 million received from the sale of the King’s Alley Hotel, intended for reinvestment into St. Croix.

Governor Bryan emphasized the acquisition as part of a broader initiative to develop a comprehensive land and water use plan. He commended the Virgin Islanders for their active participation in recent town hall meetings organized by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources to discuss a territorial land and water use plan.

In his closing remarks, Governor Bryan reassured the public that the acquisition would not interfere with traditional activities, such as camping, on the property. He envisions a future where parks are labeled, and guides provide information on hiking trails and other attractions, allowing residents and visitors to appreciate the park system and celebrate the Virgin Islands’ rich cultural heritage.

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