Moravian Church Planning Development But No “Secret Deal,” Says Official

The Moravian Church is planning to develop its land in Estate Emmaus in a project which will include a marina, but there is no secret deal between the church and a developer, according to Reverend Errol Connor, superintendent of the Moravian Church, V.I. Conference.

A letter to the St. John Tradewinds from a “concerned citizen” — printed in the newspaper’s June 5 edition — accused the Emmaus Moravian Church of forging a “secret deal” with a developer to build a marina and 88 condominiums on the church’s expansive Coral Bay property.

There is no secret deal, but church officials are waiting to make an announcement regarding the development, Connor explained.

Marina Development Discussions
“There is no new information,” he said. “There is nothing more than we shared before. We are seeking to finalize discussions about building a marina, but I have said that publicly before already.”

Connor would not comment on any specifics of the proposed development, such as how much of the church’s waterfront land it would encompass, how large the marina will be, or how many condominiums are included in the plans, but he confirmed that development in the area is imminent.

“It makes no sense to put information out there when it might change before it’s finalized,” he said. “We are not even at the permitting process yet. We want to wait until the deal is final, then we will make an announcement.”

As soon as an agreement is reached, the public will be informed, Connor said. “When we have decided and we are clear what we are looking for and what we are hoping to achieve, we will put it to the public,” he said. “They will be part of the process.”

Not Selling Property
The church has no plans to sell the property, Connor added.

“We are not selling the property, we are looking to enter into a lease agreement with a developer,” said Connor. Emmaus Moravian Church officials want to get use out of the Coral Bay property, the reverend continued.

“We are simply seeking to put the church’s property into productive use,” he said.

Rumors about the church developing its land – which runs along the shore of inner Coral Bay harbor from the intersection of Routes 10 and 107 to the Skinny Legs complex – have circulated for years. The church property includes the community ball field, a former playground and the land under the Guy H. Benjamin elementary school.