PFA approves lease for new dive shop at King's Alley Hotel


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ST. THOMAS - The space in the front of King's Alley Hotel, which always was intended to be a restaurant, soon will become a dive shop.

The V.I. Public Finance Authority board approved a lease agreement Wednesday with Dive Experience Inc. for the space.

The dive company was the only respondent to a request for proposals issued by the authority.

The five-year lease will have a five-year option to renew and includes a provision for termination of the lease if the hotel is sold.

The lease begins Sept. 1, and the business owner will be responsible for any build-out or renovations to the space.

King's Alley is owned by the Public Finance Authority, taken in 2001 after the owner, Development Consultants Inc., defaulted on its government-backed loan.

In October 2003, the Public Finance Authority took control of the property and the renovation project, using bond proceeds to fix up the 22 rooms in the main hotel complex and the restaurant.

The simple renovation project was supposed to cost about $2.5 million and be finished by March 2004. The final price tag for the project hit $11.4 million, and the hotel did not open until January 2008.

In 2006, King's Alley Hotel was appraised at $6.5 million, and while the Public Finance Authority has tried to find an interested buyer, the agency has said that to date all offers have been too low.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

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