Nine-story, 64-unit Condo Project Planned at Pastory Gardens

An application has been submitted to DPNR for a 64-unit condo development, reportedly planned to be nine stories high, at the site of Pastory Gardens, above

The St. John building boom may reach new heights with plans for a 64-unit condominium project in Estate Pastory.

The island’s lushly landscaped Pastory Gardens miniature golf facility will be dismantled to make way for the development. An application has been submitted to the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) for what would be the tallest building on St. John.

Plans for the development at the site of Pastory Gardens call for a building height of nine stories, according to a St. John Tradewinds source familiar with the project plans.

DPNR officials would not confirm the height of the project or other details at this stage of the application process.

Ownership Clarification
DPNR Commissioner Dean Plaskett has asked the developers to clarify the ownership of the two lots the plans encompass, according to DPNR.

“We did send them a letter, because there is no proper proof of legal ownership,” said DPNR spokesperson Jamal Nielsen. “There are two separate lots with two separate owners, and the commissioner wanted them to clarify that.”

The owners are asking for a group dwelling permit, and the application is currently under review by the building permits division and by comprehensive coastal zoning, Nielsen added.

“It is a group dwelling permit, and that’s why zoning is invol-ved,” he said.

The alleged nine-story development would feature views of St. Thomas, Little St. James, Great St. James and possibly the north shore of St. John.

Controversial Architect
The architect for the Pastory development is St. Thomas-based William Karr, who also designed the Sirenusa luxury condominium development.

The 48-unit Sirenusa project has recently come under a partial DPNR stop work order for zoning violations including illegal building heights.

Although the application does not include provisions for the demolition of Pastory Gardens, a St. John Tradewinds source said Karr has confirmed the restaurant, bar and miniature golf course will be demolished to make way for the condominium development.

“It’s not about demolishing,” Nielsen said of the DPNR permit review. “It’s a new development for some 64 units.”

The permitting process is “far from complete,” Nielsen added.

Hearings were conducted six years ago for a zone change at the Pastory Gardens site. At the time, developers asked for the rezoning to B-2 to allow the construction of a bar, restaurant, golf course and approximately six residential condominiums – in addition to a butterfly museum.

Zoning Was Changed
The B-2, or Business-Secondary/neighborhood, zoning rules have no maximum height limit, except in an historically certified area – where development is limited to three stories.

Although Pastory Gardens is adjacent to the entrance to the historic Bethany Moravian Church, the area is not historically certified.

The identity of the developers of the Pastory Gardens condominium project could not be confirmed on Friday, April 7.