St. Thomas Virgin Islands Celebrates Start of Sugar Estates

Share Article

New Community Being Developed by VIHA and The Michaels Organization Brings Much-Needed Affordable Housing for Seniors to the East side of the Foothills.

seniors affordable Michaels VIHA

Rendering of Sugar Estates

We are proud to bring this much-needed affordable housing to the seniors of St. Thomas

Donning hard hats and with shovels in hand, The Governor of The Virgin Islands, accompanied by Island legislators, federal officials, and executives from The Virgin Islands Housing Authority and The Michaels Organization, “turned the first dirt” for Sugar Estates, a brand new affordable housing community for the elderly being constructed on the East side of the Foothills, behind the hospital at 62-4 & 62-5 Estate Thomas.

“This development reflects the Board of Commissioners commitment to building modern state-of-the-art housing for seniors of the Virgin Islands” said Luis Sylvester, V.I. Housing Authority Chairman of the Board.

Sylvester, along with Governor John P. deJongh, Jr. and Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen, were among the dignities who spoke at the ceremonial groundbreaking.

The $31 million community, being developed in a public-private partnership by VIHA and The Michaels Development Company, is expected to be completed by December 2015. The community will offer 80 apartments, all handicapped adaptable, for seniors with low to moderate incomes.

Each residential unit will have living, dining and kitchen areas, complete with energy efficient appliances and ample storage. Additionally, Sugar Estates will offer a series of amenities to the residents of the building, such as on-site parking, laundry facilities on each floor, a large community room with kitchenette, a "living room" which will serve as a quiet reading and/or visiting room, computer learning center, and on-site offices for management and social service functions.

Within the community spaces, social services will be provided that are centered on the needs of the senior residents and will emphasize wellness and resident empowerment through independent living. The social services will include case management, medical screenings, nutritional counseling services, training programs, financial workshops and social and recreational activities.

“We are very proud to be a partner on this beautiful new community and feel privileged to work with VIHA in bringing their vision for much-needed affordable housing to reality,” said Milton Pratt, senior vice president of The Michaels Development Company.

Financing for the development includes $26.6 million in equity raised by the sale of 9 percent federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits allocated by the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority; Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority Territory funds, Virgin Island Housing Authority disposition proceeds, and a New York Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program award. The tax credits were syndicated by Prestige Affordable Housing Equity Partners, LLC, with Boston Financial and Mass Mutual as the primary investors. Red Capital is the construction lender.

Other partners in the project include Prestige Building Company, which is serving as the general contractor, and Springline Architects, a full-service architectural firm based in St. Thomas. Interstate Realty Management will serve as the property manager and will ensure that Sugar Estates remains a long-term asset to the community.

Joining today’s celebration was the Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra, which provided musical entertainment for large crowd gathered for the event, and the Reverend Dr. Bentley Thomas
of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, who offered both the Invocation and the Benediction.

About The Virgin Islands Housing Authority
The Virgin Islands Housing Authority is an independent, federally-funded agency with a mission to create vibrant, dynamic, sustainable communities so families can evolve economically, and to improve lives and strengthen communities through quality, safe and affordable housing. The agency helps provide housing assistance to approximately 4,000 households through low and moderate-income Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs. Through partnerships with Territorial service providers, we offer residents opportunities to improve their lives. The Virgin Islands Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners is empowered with the responsibility for planning, financing, constructing, managing and creating attractive Affordable Housing Developments in the Territory. The agency has offices on St. Croix and St. Thomas. Its website is

About The Michaels Organization
Michaels Development Company, Interstate Realty Management, and Prestige Building Company are part of The Michaels Organization, a family of integrated but independent companies dedicated to excellence in affordable, mixed-finance, military and student housing. Serving more than 100,000 residents in 360 communities across 34 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and with a development portfolio valued in excess of $3.5 billion, The Michaels Organization is a national leader in the residential real estate industry, with full service capabilities in development, property and asset management, construction, and mortgage finance. More information is available at

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Laura Zaner

Lydia D.W. Hughes
since: 07/2010
Follow >
The Michaels Organization
Like >
The Michaels Organization

Follow us on
Visit website