Montserrat unveils master plan for growth

Want to buy a Caribbean island? Well, at least buy into one? Here’s your chance. Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory, has launched its master plan for growth, a privately funded development on the island’s northwest side. Officials call it an “aggressive layout of post-volcanic” development which will include a centrepiece hotel, marine village and service center, a port for ferries, small- to mid-size cruise ships and private yachts, and a variety of incentive-driven commercial and residential investment possibilities.

You may recall that the southern part of the island was devastated by the eruption of a long-dormant volcano starting in 1995, which buried the capital city of Plymouth in volcanic mud, and crippling the island economy. The volcano continues to vent gas, and that section of the island has been deemed off limits.

But the rest of the island is in good shape, and the Montserrat Development Corporation, an autonomous agency established by the island government, is in charge of leading the island renaissance.

“As we look to investors and developers around the globe who share our vision for growth consistent with Montserrat’s natural beauty, charm and warmth,” said Ivan Browne, chief executive of the MDC, in a press release, “we recognize the importance of this economic and tourist revitalization for the people of Montserrat, local residents and business interests, and future visitors.”

Regarding the volcanic activities, Browne said, “Soufriere volcano is the most studied volcano in the world, with a permanent observatory and team of world-renowned volcanologists and seismologists who are continuously monitoring and have assured us that the combination of island topography with its major hills and bluffs, and location of our master-plan development on the northwest side of the island, provide a naturally safe, protected and ideal focal point for the Caribbean’s newest capital city.”

That new city, as yet to be named, will be developed on a 225-acre site known as Little Bay and Carr’s Bay. It will host an affordable luxury hotel, adjacent hillside private villas, residences and condos, and a mix of leisure and civic facilities.

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