St. John Tradewinds News

Palm Plaza Renovation and Resurgence

Cross Island Companies’ David Campbell and Clark Bottner, along with Marc Bigrigg of Cross Island Builders (left to right), have renovated Palm Plaza ­— inside and out.

CHOCOLATE HOLE — David Campbell and Clark Bottner purchased the Palm Plaza Shopping Center in November 2013 with the plan to modernize the dated center and attract new tenants.

After roughly one year of renovations and another six months to add a new lower level for rental storage spaces, they are proud to say, “We are open for business.”

As Cross Island Builders, a local member of the Cross Island Companies, Campbell and Bottner has been leading the rejuvenation of the building for the community retail market. And promoting Palm Plaza as conveniently located adjacent to the Westin Resort with more than eight major retail spaces and parking for all.

Major Refurbishment
A 1990s commercial building, Palm Plaza has received a major refurbishment and conversion by Cross Island Builders to meet the needs of a wide-range of tenants, according to Marc Bigrigg, Project Manager, a local professional construction manager who is committed to utilizing the resources and subcontractors on St. John to complete the project. 

The developers and the development partners are watching their building begin to fill up as the South Shore commercial zone matures around the expanded neighboring Westin resort and time-share development. Now, only two commercial rental units remain available in the complex, which has been joined in the small commercial neighborhood by the island’s newest gas station and supermarket

“It’s all timing,” Bottner acknowledged. “We’re expecting some more calls and commitments. I think the local market is going in the right direction.”
Bottner also noted that he is excited that Palm Plaza will finally feel like a part of the community.

The four-story Palm Plaza building has undergone a total renovation around its long-term tenants Destinations St. John villa rentals and Dr. Cool air conditioning service and appliances showroom. Island Time Watersports aka Cruz Bay Watersports, based out of the Westin, has recently made Palm Plaza its business headquarters. 

With growing competition for tenants, the owners made a decision to convert one of the second floor retail units into a set of four Executive Office Suites with a shared conference room and reception area, this allows local businesses an opportunity to have office space without having to rent a whole unit. Cross Island Builders operates from one of the suites and provides services for design/build, renovations, and commercial/residential construction on projects throughout St. John. 

The lower level was converted into a secure climate-controlled storage area with keypad access from a paved and covered parking area and is now home to St. John Self Storage.

“We’ve got 14 storage units,” Campbell explained in a range of sizes available for commercial and residential users. Yearly or monthly contracts are available, as well as easy communication with property management located on-site.

Signage has been updated and a new Palm Plaza sign along with a new Tenants sign are now adorning the roadside. Another key component to the refurbishment was the professional landscaping around Palm Plaza that provides a welcoming Caribbean resort atmosphere.

“Biggest Asset” Is Parking
“The biggest asset is the parking,” Campbell acknowledged.  “There is no place that has this much parking for these kind of office and retail spaces.” 

Palm Plaza does boast a large amount of parking for its tenants and customers. Parking includes the main outdoor parking in front, but the bulding also has a covered (under building) parking level.

Bringing Palm Plaza up to modern standards allows current and new tenants an opportunity to operate from a contemporary, well-known, and centrally located shopping center on St. John, the re-developers point out.

“That’s our corporate mission, to develop properties here,” Bottner acknowledged during a tour of the renovations of the Palm Plaza property that are nearing completion as the partners finish their rehabilitation and conversion.

Cross Island Companies is a multi-faceted International Real Estate and Construction Organization dedicated to providing an individual and enterprising approach of a small company with the experience, capabilities, and range of expertise of a much larger company. Cross Island and its principals have managed projects having a value in excess of three billion dollars.