It’s the biggest new resort project in the Caribbean, and St. Lucia’s government has unveiled a series of new details on the new “Pearl of the Caribbean” project on the island’s southern end.
The Vieux Fort-area project (near the country’s international airport) is the brainchild of developer Desert Star Holdings Limited, based in Hong Kong and with an expertise in the horse racing industry.
The proposed project will include a marina, race course, resort, shopping mall complex, casino, free trade zone, entertainment and leisure facilities and a residential component including villas and apartments.
The government is currently in the process of developing the master plan for the area, with the race track comprising the first phase of the project.
The Pearl of the Caribbean is seeking a large portion of its funding from the island’s Citizenship by Investment program.
That track will be located on approximately 200 acres of land in Beausejour, with plans already submitted to St. Lucia’s Development Control Authority and approved in principle pending an environmental impact assessment.
The government is proposing to lease lands to DSH at $1 USD an acre, which represents one of the government’s contributions to the project. The purchase price per acre of land will be between $60,000 and $90,000, according to the government, with lands only transferred to the developer according to the phasing schedule.
St. Lucia has also announced plans to launch an Education Training Fund in partnership with DSH aimed at training islanders in the equine industry.
The government also said that it had the option to purchase lands back from DSH at the initial sale price if the developer did not raise the required development capital.
Public consultations will begin on the first phase of the project this month.