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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsGrocer Seeks Sub Base Business Hotel

Grocer Seeks Sub Base Business Hotel

The owners of Moe’s Fresh Market on St. Thomas want to build a 52-room hotel in Sub Base catering to business travelers, they said at a zoning meeting Friday morning.

The three-story building would replace a rusting steel frame on a parcel once used by the U.S. military. No one at the Department of Planning and Natural Resources zoning meeting could remember when the site south of Nisky Shopping Center was last actively used. Both government officials and would-be developers suspected it had been dormant for many decades.

A rusty steel frame site on the property now. (Screenshot of DPNR meeting)

If approved for a zoning variance, Demah Inc., owners of Moe’s Fresh Market, would put a grocery and storage area on the ground floor and then two levels of rooms above. Each upper level would consist of 26 rooms meant for business travelers. Demah representatives reiterated there would be no pool, no spa, no restaurant, nor any other activities catering to leisure travelers. The main entrance would face south, away from Nisky Center.

The owners of Moe’s Fresh Market want to build a 52-room hotel in Sub Base for business travelers. (Screenshot of DPNR meeting)

Business travelers would be a five-minute drive away from the airport, 10 minutes from Government House.

Construction could take up to three years, the developers said.

Although there were no voices in opposition to the project at the public meeting, Sean Krigger, director of the USVI State Historic Preservation Office, urged the new design to look like an old military building. Krigger shared a black-and-white photo of the World War II-era structure.

Decades ago, the Sub Base area was a military complex. (Screenshot of DPNR meeting)

Demah Inc. is owned by St. Thomas’ Hamed family, which runs Moe’s Market in Yacht Haven, downtown Charlotte Amalie, Red Hook and the newest addition on the Northside. Demah President Waleed Hamed estimated they’d invest $7 million in the hotel project. After construction, the grocery and hotel could likely employ 50 or 60 people, he said. The Hameds started Demah and Moe’s after co-operating at the Plaza Extra Supermarkets on St. Thomas and St. Croix for more than 30 years.

No decision on the zoning variance was made at the meeting. If approved, the hotel could be the second new hotel on St. Thomas to be erected in 30 years, joining a new property at Havensight.

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