New facilities for St Lucia as West Indies island goes upmarket to attract more lifestyle investors

A new airport terminal, a multi million pound shopping mall, a super yacht marine and luxury casino are among plans that are set to boost St Lucia’s profile as an investment and second home destination, it is claimed.

St Lucia, part of the Windwards Islands chain in the West Indies, did not suffer a property boom and crash as did the US and the UK and is poised to attract more lifestyle property buyers, according to Minister of Tourism Allen Chastanet.
He said that the quality of life is changing in St Lucia and services are developing to support a higher end lifestyle for property owners and discerning travellers. Developers are also building more luxury resorts.
‘The property market has weathered the recession well. Our real estate prices did not boom so consequently did not crash like other destinations. People have bought property to use for lifestyle reasons rather than for speculation,’ he explained.
‘We are redefining St Lucia’s image as barefoot luxury. Luxury developments such as The Landings was a turning point in the island’s development and took it to another level. St Lucia previously was not known as a high end destination but we now have several new upscale resorts such as Cap Maison and Jade Mountain amongst others. We are now developing better facilities to support this clientele,’ he added.
Oliver Gobat, who was born on the island and is sales director at The Landings said that St Lucia has changed over the last few years. ‘Now the island is attracting the more sophisticated traveller and it’s good to see the infrastructure and facilities keeping apace. Not only that but we also have several new world class restaurants such as The Cliff at Cap that are getting great independent reviews,’ he added.
St Lucia has always been a popular sailing destination with many boats starting there and heading to the Grenadines. Now with the opening of new super yacht facilities at Rodney Bay Marina the island is seeing celebrities arriving with their mega yachts. Recent visitors have included rock star Bono, golfer Tiger Woods, Russian entrepreneur Roman Abramavich and US talks show host Oprah. The new facilities can now take yachts on 32 dedicated berths up to 250 feet in length.
The new airport terminal at Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux-Fort is designed to accommodate increased airlift, which is scheduled to triple in the summer of 2010,  and to bring the airport up to speed with international trends and standards. Work started on the new terminal in January 2010 and it will take two years to complete.
St Lucia’s first casino is due to open next month and the Baywalk Shopping Mall in Rodney is close to completion with two floors of retail shops including some of the world’s best luxury brands.