The charred facade of Meada’s Plaza, which has darkened the center of downtown Cruz Bay for more than a year, is finally due for a facelift.
The building, owned by Myrah Keating Smith II, was set ablaze on September 2, 2005, in the wake of racial unrest which erupted last August after a Ghanian-born East End woman alleged she was raped and beaten by white men.
The Federal Bureau of Investi-gation headed an investigation into the allegations, which were considered at the time to be suspected hate crimes. No one, however, has ever been charged with any crime relating to the case and the FBI has closed the case.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms launched an investigation into the suspected arson of Meada’s Plaza and even offered a $10,000 reward for information related to the incident.
No one has been charged with any crimes relating to the fire and the ATF has not released any information regarding the status of their investigation.
Meanwhile, the blackened exterior of Meada’s Plaza has remained unchanged — but not for much longer.
“We got the permits and everything but we’re still getting quotes on the construction costs,” said Larry Landis, property manager of Meada’s Plaza. “Renovations should start within the next month.”
Renovations are expected to last around six or seven months at the most and in the end the building will be restored to what it looked like before the fire, Landis explained.
“We’re going to put the building back to the way it was and we’ll lease out the rental spaces again,” he said.