The development of super-yacht marinas on Caribbean islands like Long Harbour Bay on St Thomas, and St Martin’s Yacht Club and Chub Cay in the Bahamas has created a building spree of high-end condominiums, hotels and leisure facilities to cater for boat owners, crews and day-tripping tourists.
The latest to join the marina building frenzy is Island Global Yachting, a leading developer of luxury marina facilities, that has acquired popular Rodney Bay Marina on the north west side of the rain-forested hilly isle of St Lucia. A proposed £100 million re-development scheme aims to open up St Lucia as a major super-yacht destination and enhance tourism in the area.
New marinas have a significant effect on property prices. At Chub Cay, the value of nearby homes rose by 15% once the marina was expanded to take super-yachts, and research carried out in Florida estimates the average expenditure of party-goers on super-yachts is a not insignificant $140,000 (£68,600) a visit.
News of the super-marina in St Lucia has been well received by local businesses and property developers around Rodney Bay. Oliver Gobat, sales director at The Landings, who is selling one to three-bedroom homes fronting the beach, marina or channel from £292,000 to £829,000, believes the outlook for property investors in St Lucia is very positive all round.
‘Having co-hosted the cricket World Cup this year, the government has invested millions of dollars in the infrastructure by improving the roads and building a new hospital. Buoyed by the weak dollar, property prices in St Lucia offer incredible value for money and cost only 60% of comparable high-end property on Barbados.’
The new luxury world-class marina at Rodney Bay will have 30 super-yacht berthing slips ranging from 80 to 260 feet, 231 berthing slips from 40 to 80 feet and five-star facilities to cater for the needs of a superyacht owner and crew.