FREDERICKSTED, ST. CROIX-Throgmartin of Florida is planning a 1,250-acre eco-resort on the mountainous west end of St. Croix, the largest of the US Virgin Islands. The land for the project was acquired in November from the developer of Carambola, an adjacent resort.

A source at Throgmartin tells that the project calls for up to 1,000 rooms in three hotels to be developed over the next 15 years. Each hotel will have its own beach, and units in one or more of the hotels could end up as fractional ownership properties.

One hotel is envisioned as an all-inclusive beach resort, another is slated to be a very high-end boutique. The third hotel will fall somewhere in between the first two and will have a casino and a convention center, according to the source.

Throgmartin intends to develop the site to about 50% of the density for which it has been improved, according to the source. As a result, about 70% of the land area will remain undeveloped save for hiking and horse trails.

Development of the site isn’t expected to begin until late 2007. That is when it is expected the government will be done fixing the road that leads to the property as part of an incentive for the development. The first buildings could open in 2008.

“As soon as they get that road in, then the machinery required to build the resort infrastructure can go in,” says the source. “Right now the road is too screwed up.”

St. Croix, an island of 55,000 residents, is the largest and most populated of the three US Virgin Islands. The unemployment rate is 8.6%. The Throgmartin development is expected to create 1,000 permanent jobs in addition to hundreds of temporary construction jobs.

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