St. Kitts inks development memorandum

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -- The St. Kitts government signed a memorandum of understanding with the Property Excel Group, a British/Malaysian developer, to develop the island's White Gate area.

The White Gate Development Corp., a government-owned development company, now owns a five-square-mile area on the island's north end, which has been designated for mixed-use development.

If it comes to fruition, the development project will be valued at $1 billion, said tourism minister Dwyer Astaphan.

According to Astaphan, the project will include enhanced residential areas, new commercial centers, golf courses, a marina and small hotels, with a total of 1,500 to 2,000 new hotel rooms in all.

Astaphan projected that if construction of the Port Zante cruise terminal proceeds as planned, St. Kitts' cruise passengers could "easily" double to 400,000 by 2003.

Last year, the 23-square-mile island saw 187,081 cruise arrivals.

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