The St Lucian tale of derelict buildings

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John Peters

Dear Sir

It is stunning to observe the number of derelict buildings that are now found in Saint Lucia. Recently, I began to take note of some of these structures that have been abandoned for many years, the majority being either state assets or failed tourism projects.

Canes Resort – Cap Estate

This was a hotel development that collapsed during the financial crisis and was sold by the receiver. It is located close to Cotton Bay. The building worth millions of dollars are now covered with bushes.

Caribbean Jewels

This was a hotel development that collapsed before the financial crisis and was recently acquired by the government. Property and buildings worth millions, again lying in ruins.

L’avant Mer Resort

This was a hotel development on the Rodney Bay Marina on the site formerly known as Marlin Quay. The development collapsed during the financial crisis and was sold by the receiver, the building is worth millions, again lying in ruins.

Orange Grove Hypermart (Also known as the Daher Mall)

This development was purchased by the government of Saint Lucia some 15 years ago. Millions of dollars lying in ruins.

Union Hilltop Human Resource Centre

This was a project started by then representative for the area some nine years ago. The foundation was started, and the structure now stands there abandoned.

Residential Structure – Vigie

There is a residential structure at Vigie owned by the State, which was at one time occupied by John Bristol. The structure is of a colonial-style architecture, lying in ruins

Bise Human Resource Centre

This structure was started by the representative for the area –Stephenson King, some nine years ago, the foundation was started, the structure was never completed.

Golden Hope Hospital – LA TOC

These buildings were abandoned after the new Wellness Centre was built in Coubaril. The last administration had planned to repurpose the buildings into the office of the prime minister, but the project was cancelled by the present government. The buildings remain in ruins.

Turning Point – LA TOC

These buildings were abandoned after the new Wellness Centre was built. It was amazingly given to a private individual to function as a junkyard.

Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF) building – Coubaril

This building was acquired by the SSDF to be its new headquarters. The decision remains a mystery to many, as the location, building layout are not compatible to the intended use. The building purchased for over $ 3.0 million as I recall, is now lying in ruins.

Ministry of Education – Micoud Street

This building was during the last administration selected for a BOLT type arrangement. The project never went to tender and remains in ruins.

George Charles Secondary School

This also remains a mystery. The school has been completely abandoned. Millions of dollars of infrastructure just left for the rats to inhabit.

Odsan Industrial Estate

These factory shells were built by the then National Development Corporation (NDC). They are now abandoned.

Tapion Fisheries Site

This was built to support the fishermen, who in the past used Tapion as a landing site. It was never used as far as I recall and stand there as a stark reminder of poor planning.

Sir Arthur Lewis Community College

The building which formerly housed the hospitality department is now abandoned and left in ruins. It is my understanding that some of the other buildings which were abandoned for several years are now being repaired. Another sad story of our education sector.

I have only reached the Cul De Sac valley in my listing of abandoned buildings. I am close to $ 500 million worth of investment. I have not reached to Le Paradis and all the other buildings spread across the rest of the island. I would strongly suggest that the focus at this stage of Saint Lucia’s development, should be on these abandoned buildings.

John Peters

Civil Engineer, Castries, Saint Lucia

1 COMMENT

  1. This is regression, not progression as far as I am concerned. It seems like a land of derelict buildings and failed business ideas, but how many of them were started by locals. See, there are no incentives for the poor locals nor the diaspora, nothing but for the Friends, Family and Foreigners (FFF).

    There is not one boutique nor a store in the north of the island where a gentleman can find some proper outfit to purchase, but only in the South where the poor vendors pay high import taxes for their imports. Another problem is customer parking. Business owners only provide parking for their staff and hell with customers, try parking anywhere downtown will have you in and out of the gas station and police officers prowling around with multiple ticket books to grant you a hefty one, while parking fees at the carpark is unobtainable for the poor people coming from out of town.

    So what do we have, Syrians come and buy up those small businesses, yet they struggle just the same. We need to select/elect persons with a plan for the people and country and not for money and power as we have been doing.(I have no interest in politics so I’m out).

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