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Sugar Estate Senior Housing Unveiled In Government Ceremony Held Today

Sugar Estate Mapp

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The grand opening ceremony for the territory’s newest housing community, Sugar Estate Seniors Affordable Housing, was held on St. Thomas told and attended by numerous government officials.

The development, located just north of the Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas, includes eighty apartments, a community room, a laundry room, and a sizable enclosed parking area.  It also features a view of the harbor and West Indian Company cruise ship dock.

Gov. Kenneth Mapp and Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett and numerous other government officials ceremonially cut the ribbon for the development in an event held in Sugar Estate today.

The Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Housing Authority, Robert Graham, hailed the new development as one which will “set the standard for development throughout the territory.” 

Graham praised the construction, the view, and the accommodations as fundamental changes in senior housing design. He said that VIHA is providing homes, not simply housing, where “seniors can now live in joy and dignity.” 

According to Noreen Michael, President of the VIHA Board, “With quality, affordable, and safe housing, we’re contributing to seniors’ quality of life.”   Based on the Sugar Estate Seniors Affordable Housing model, she said, “We’ll be able to develop affordable housing for vulnerable groups throughout the territory.”

Mapp commended the collaborative effort of the local and federal governments, and the private sector, to produce the new housing community.  He noted that he has created a Housing Strategy Group which, among other things, will seek ways to close the wide gap between housing demand and housing stock.  He told the Grand Opening audience that his vision for the future of housing development in the territory will involve more than construction.  He said future building must be planned in ways that transform attitudes and add activities to make our communities better places in which to live. 

Currently, thirty-two units in the new Sugar Estate development are occupied by eligible seniors. It is the first seniors housing development on St. Thomas in 18 years, the last being Contant Knolls, which opened in 1996. The newest property is managed by the Interstate Realty Management Company.

Sugar Estated

Sugar Estate Senior Affordable Housing

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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