The Virgin Islands Port Authority is making progress as it undergoes several projects throughout the territory, most notably, the renovation at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport Terminal.
The executive board met on Wednesday at the HERA Terminal to provide their end-of-the-year reports. Currently, the Rohlsen airport is undergoing renovation. The first of the four-phase project is now complete and consists of the renovation of the pre-clearance terminal. Now, VIPA will incorporate additional concessions in the area.
The VIPA property committee gained authorization to proceed with issuing a request for a proposal for three concessions in the pre-clearance area of the HERA Terminal in order to service traveling locals and visitors.
The recommended concessions include a walk-up restaurant and bar, two vending machines, and a retail gift and liquor shop. The restaurant and bar will be a 1,200 square foot area and include sit-in dining, a full-service bar, a grab-and-go counter, high-top table seating, and will accommodate breakfast, lunch, and dinner patrons. In addition, the gift store will provide duty-free, locally made rum, magazines, clothing, books, toiletries, non-alcoholic drinks, snacks, and locally produced gifts, while the vending machines will provide non-alcoholic hot and cold beverages and a variety of snacks.
The project’s next phases include the construction of jet bridges and the build-out of the second floor of the terminal. During the board meeting, American Infrastructure Development, Inc. was approved to provide the design, bidding, and permitting services related to the construction of the second floor. The design for the terminal can include up to four passenger boarding bridges.
According to VIPA, the project was funded via a $7 million grant from the United States Economic Development Administration, with a $1.6 million local match provided via an appropriation from the Legislature of the Virgin Islands. The entire project is estimated to cost about $140 million.
At the Cyril E. King Airport, Alby Investment Corporation, which operates concessions that sell cigarettes and perfumes in the baggage claim, pre-clearance, and curbside areas of the airport, requested to lease its concession to its affiliate company, Virgin Islands Tax-Free LLC. During the board’s executive session, the request to assign a concession lease from Alby Investment Corp. to V.I. Tax-Free LLC was approved.
Relating to VIPA’s projects, the St. Thomas-St. John’s engineering department anticipates the financial management of capital and operational expenditures to be $40,126,691.20. Of the 40 million, 11.5 million has been paid to the respective contractors for the eleven projects. The projects are the C2021-03 CEKA Parking Garage & Transportation Center, St. John Ferry Dock Improvements, Red Hook Customs Building (Design), CEKA Commercial APRON, CEKA Environmental Assessment, CEKA Gate-5 Pavement Reconstruction, VIPA Purchasing Building, CEKA Charging Stations – Supply Power, Purchasing Building Build-out, Gate 1 Hallway Renovations, and the Demolition of Parcel 16 Crown Bay.
Of the projects, three are near completion: the VIPA Purchasing Building (96%), Red Hook Customs Building (95%), and St. John Ferry Dock Improvements (92%). The CEKA Gate-5 Pavement Reconstruction project and the CEKA Commercial Apron are pending and on hold.
On St. Croix, fifteen projects created $60,639,026.01 in capital and operational expenditures. Those in progress are the HERA Terminal Expansion Phase 1, HERA Terminal HVAC Refurbishing, HERA Runway 10-28 Shoulder and Electrical Vault Construction, Gordon A. Finch CARGO Building, Gordon A. Finch RO/RO Dock, Gordon A. Finch Terminal – Molasses Pier Dredging, and Container Port Cargo Warehouse projects.
Those on hold are the Schooner Channel Maintenance Dredging, Frederiksted Pier Blow-Out Panels, and Structural Repairs, Frederiksted Pier Bollard Repair, and the Anne. E. Abramson Marine Facility Water Filtration Install projects. The completed projects are the HERA “Old ESSO Building” Design/Build Project, HERA Overgrown Vegetation Clearing, Seaplane Stabilization & Environmental Containment, and Container Port Road Repair projects.