March 1, 2013 | 10:33 am | Print
Above: Zemi Beach
By Alexander Britell
The story of the downturn in the Caribbean was largely about the projects that didn’t get built.
That was also true on the island of Anguilla, where several developments shuttered or stalled in the years since the financial crisis.
Now, however, tiny Anguilla is becoming one of the region’s success stories — with renewed interest from hotel developers and residential buyers and a host of new projects either on the way or already launched.
“The market in Anguilla is turning,” said Jeffrey Goldstein, who is developing the Zemi Beach a condominium hotel, leading the charge in Anguilla’s new wave of development.
Zemi Beach, designed by Lane Pettigrew Associates, will ultimately be a 28-unit condominium hotel and spa, located on 5.25 acres on Anguilla’s famed Shoal Bay.
It’s directly adjacent to Anguilla’s Fountain Cavern National Park, with 1,200 feet of beachfront.
“Our property is like a little island in the middle of Shoal Bay,” Goldstein told Caribbean Journal.
Zemi Beach will be a condominium with a managed hotel programme, meaning buyers can rent out their residences when not on island.
“If you’re in the rental programme, then you get 56 days a year to actually stay at Zemi Beach – most people aren’t looking for more than that,” said Naomi Cambridge, director of sales at the project. “The great thing is that will pay for all the costs of owning the property and make them some money.”
Thus far, the interest has come from two of Anguilla’s major tourism source markets: the Northeast and New York, and the United Kingdom, with four sales through the end of January.
It’s the beach, frequently voted among the best in the region and the world, that is the major attraction, they say.
“There isn’t another luxury condo development on Anguilla,” Cambridge said. “The feedback from people has been that this is what they’ve been waiting for — the fact that we’re building on this beach.”
That, and the emotional relationship many visitors tend to develop with Anguilla.
“I think it’s a real love thing,” she said. “I’ve been selling in the Caribbean for eight years, and I’ve never come across an island that had such sort of devotion — people really love it.”