St. John Tradewinds News

Grande Bay Resort Condo Owners Will Not Be Forced To Close on Units

 

Owners of condominiums at Grande Bay, above, were not forced to close on their units after they filed a lawsuit alleging mold and structural issues at the Cruz Bay development.

Grande Bay Resort condominium owners were not forced to close on their units on December 26 thanks to a December 21 emergency ruling by V.I. Superior Court Judge James Carroll III.

Bay Isle notified buyers of 11 units they were expected to close on December 26, prompting the mid-December filing of a lawsuit against the luxury condominium developer by 22 owners alleging environmental contamination and structural issues at Grande Bay.

At the December 21 hearing, Bay Isle, represented by attorney William McConnell, reportedly agreed not to schedule the closings until at least 10 days after a preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for January 28.

The lawsuit also names the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, which should not have issued partial certificates of occupancy for units in building D due to issues with mold and the structural soundness of the building, explained plaintiff’s attorney David Bornn.

“We have named DPNR as a defendant because we feel they did not have all the information they needed for the issuance of these partial COs,” said Bornn. “In this project, DPNR — as it has with several other large developments in the territory — relied upon private inspectors hired by the developer to do the inspections and certify that the project is ready for the issuance of COs, rather than having its own independent review.”

“These inspectors are paid by the developer,” Bornn added.

Second Lawsuit Filed by Owners
DPNR was represented at the December 21 hearing by attorney George Phillips.

Owners are also unhappy with the incomplete nature of their units, lack of promised amenities and the developer’s use of substandard materials including doors and cabinetry, according to the suit.

This is the second lawsuit filed by Grande Bay Resort condo owners, who in June 2007 filed a motion requesting a temporary restraining order preventing Bay Isle from filing new condo documents, which the plaintiffs alleged were “significantly changed,” with the Recorder of Deeds. The temporary restraining order was granted, and the plaintiffs later settled with Bay Isle in that case.

Other litigation against Bay Isle continues, with the late December filing of a motion for partial summary judgement by four owners of the Cruz Bay cottage Paradise Found — Alexander Jadan, Natalie Jadan, Anastasia Trey and Liza Trey — asking for the removal of the top two stories of Grande Bay Resort, and damages to be determined at a trial before a V.I. Superior Court judge.

The families filed their original suit in November 2005, alleging zoning violations of height, density and lack of lateral support.
Bay Isle has not yet responded to the motion for partial summary judgement.