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Feature - APRIL 2007


By Carol Bareuther


Scrub Island, known best by boaters as the location of Donovan's Reef Beach Bar & Restaurant, will be home to a new upscale resort and marina development within the next year.

Mainsail Development Group, Inc., (MDG) based in Tampa, Florida, broke ground in November 2005 on a $95 million development that is being built on a portion of this idyllic 230-acre tropical island. The island is located in Trellis Bay, one mile north of Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, and approximately 12 miles from the famous marlin hot spot - the North Drop.

Joe Brown, MDG's vice president of sales and marketing, says, "We expect to have 65 slips on fixed docks for boats up to 150 feet. Property owners will be offered slips first, then the balance are available for the general public."

Crews had begun dredging the marina earlier this year. Bright yellow curtains have been put in place to protect the reefs and plant life and all the dredged material has been trucked to the isthmus, thus raising the level of this land over 20 feet. This dredging work is expected to be complete by early summer, and will be followed by construction of the bulkhead for the marina. The marina, marina village and welcome center should be substantially completed by fall.

The full service marina will offer a fuel dock with both gas and diesel, in-slip electricity, water, Internet and Cable TV; ice, and a small gourmet grocery with wine market capable of provisioning. A Customs office is also in the works, making it easier for visiting boaters to clear in and out of the territory.

Plans for the resort call for 62 residences - including 2-bedroom marina suites, stand alone ocean view villas and estate homes.

As of this spring, developers were just 'topping-off' the first two Marina Village buildings and were in the process of pouring concrete foundations for the remaining buildings. Construction of the first few residences was also in progress, and building sites for another four residences were being prepared.

The marina village will include two restaurants, two bars and four retail shops, while the resort itself offers a $2-million state-of-the-art spa; eight swimming pools with waterfalls and swim-up pool bars; three secluded beaches reachable by a walk or short drive in a golf cart; a fitness center; tennis courts; a water sports concession with dinghy rentals and fishing charters; helipad, and astronomy observatory.

Brown says, "We've made a commitment to the BVI government to help grow the sports fishing industry and we'll be doing that initially by setting up two annual sports fishing tournaments."

Developers expect to have the marina area up and running by the end of the year, but not take guest reservations until April 2008. In the meantime, boaters who are interested in renting a slip should contact Mainsail BVI at 813-254-3110 to be included on a wait list.

For more information, visit Mainsail's website: go there