Press Release
22 November 2018 - 3:00pm

The Government of the Virgin Islands has entered into a Development Agreement with Audubon Holdings to develop Norman Island as an environmentally conscious, luxury residential and tourist destination.

The Agreement was signed between the Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and the British Virgin Islands Belonger and owner of Audubon Holdings, Dr. Henry Jarecki.

Premier Smith said, “This agreement marks an exciting time for the BVI and its resurgence in the tourism industry. As we continue to re-introduce and re-invent our tourism products and services, it is imperative that we take the necessary steps to ensure that we create products that are environmentally sustainable and attractive to our residents and visitors alike.”

Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Jarecki said, "This project offers an exciting opportunity to create hundreds of business opportunities and good jobs and establish a model for environmentally sustainable development. We are committed to making sure this project benefits all the people of the BVI."

The plan, developed in association with the Atlanta-based U.S. development company, Bullock Mannelly Partners (BMP), anticipates leaving over half of Norman Island as green space and maintaining the island’s long-standing reputation as one of the BVI’s premier tourist destinations featuring the iconic 132-acre Bight and world-famous Caves.

Principal of BMP, Alan Bullock said, "We see exciting synergies between the roles of the Norman Island team and BMP. By combining each party’s relationships and experiences, we will create the most environmentally friendly and attractive destination in the region, if not the entire world. Bringing this type of world-class development to the BVI as part of the community’s recovery process is a privilege for all involved."

The project calls for the construction of an all-new tourism destination that will expand the existing facilities offered by the popular Pirate’s Bight restaurants with the addition of another restaurant, a floating pool, a beach bar, and a water sports centre.

The plan includes sites for three potential 20-30 room hotels, boat slips for day visitors and residents, a spa, and an observatory. It also provides ownership opportunities for 75 to 100 residences discreetly nestled within the island's 610 acres.

Home sites of various sizes will be scattered throughout the 13 miles of shoreline and along the four-and-a-half mile ridge line. Buyers will design their own holiday-oriented residences with the help of local architects and builders.

The Bight, one of the most unique natural anchorages in the Caribbean, will continue to provide overnight moorings for boaters, while day visitors will have access to the expanded tourism facilities through the island’s existing ferry service and day dockage.

The project is anticipated to require substantial external investment in the Territory’s economy over the coming years, both during construction and as the destination opens to new homeowners and visitors.

Subject to meeting planning and environmental approvals, the first phase of the project is slated to start in the course of 2019.

Note to Editors:

Dr. Henry Jarecki has been a member of the BVI community for over 45 years and is best known for his ownership of Guana Island, lauded yearly as one of the top resorts in the world. Guana Island is particularly recognised for its commitment to environmental sciences and agro-ecotourism and for the preservation of the Caribbean culture and its traditions. He is also known in the BVI community for his philanthropic activities ranging from the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) in Tortola´s East End/Long Look, to his service as a Governor on the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College Board. YEP has provided community-based extracurricular activities to over 3,000 BVI students and teenagers since 2005. Bullock Mannelly Partners (BMP) brings over 35 years of experience with lifestyle destinations, most notably with Bakers Bay in the Bahamas. As the project progresses, overseas and local investors, developers, and vendors are expected to contribute additional skills and services. 

Photo Caption:

  1. Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and owner of Audubon Holdings, Dr. Henry Jarecki pictured delivering remarks during the Norman Island Development Agreement. (Photo credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS)
  2. Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and owner of Audubon Holdings, Dr. Henry Jarecki during the signing of the Norman Island Development Agreement. (Photo credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS)
  3. Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE; Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool; Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Marlon Penn and owner of Audubon Holdings, Dr. Henry Jarecki pictured during the signing of the Norman Island Development Agreement. (Photo credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS)

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Author

Bria Smith

Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
Telephone: 468-2747
Email: BriaSmith@gov.vg

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