CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas -- The Yacht Haven hotel -- an eyesore near the cruise pier in Charlotte Amalie since Hurricane Marilyn slammed the property in 1995 -- got a step closer to permanent removal when Gov. Charles Turnbull signed a bill May ratifying a lease agreement and permit for development of the property.

The owners plan to build a new hotel and marina, retail facilities, a yacht club and esplanade walkway, although no timetable has been set.

Turnbull said the removal of the current structure is "of immeasurable value in terms of our image and appearance for the 1.7 million cruise passengers" who visit each year.

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