St. Lucia’s new prime minister, Allen Chastanet, signed an agreement with a Hong Kong company to build the $2.6 billion Pearl of the Caribbean development on a 700-acre site on the south of the island near Hewanorra International Airport.

The project will include a marina, a racetrack,  a casino, a resort and shopping mall complex, entertainment venues, waterfront villas and apartments.

DSH Caribbean Star Limited, an affiliate of Hong Kong-based Desert Star Holdings, is expected to begin construction in 2017.

“Overall, the Pearl of the Caribbean development is designed to be a well-balanced project with open space making up over 50% of the overall development. It is designed to be a sustainable and self-contained development and is expected to generate between 500 to 800 jobs in construction during its initial phase of implementation,” said Invest St. Lucia, one of the government agencies involved in the negotiations leading up to the signing of the agreement.

“When completed, the project will be able to house more than 1,000 racehorses, establishing St. Lucia as a racing and entertainment center in the Caribbean and leveraging the international appeal of the sport to promote the destination to a diverse audience base,” the statement added.

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