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Island Jewelry - Crucian Gold, St. Croix, USVI
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Seashells, St. Croix, USVI
Christiansted National Historic Site

Explore the historic town of Christiansted

Frederiksted

One of only two towns on St. Croix, Frederiksted has been the site of several historical events that have shaped the history and culture of the island. While the streets are lined with colorful buildings sporting beautiful Danish architecture, many have been sitting empty in recent years. Now, Frederiksted is experiencing a revival thanks to new business owners and residents that are investing their own time and money into restoring and promoting this beautiful town. 

The biggest investors currently building in Frederiksted are the owners/developers of The Fred, Christoper Swanson and Jeff Printz. Located on Strand Street, The Fred property includes the old Totten building and surrounding structures, which were originally constructed in the late 1800s. Soon to be a 23-room oceanfront resort and spa, The Fred will also include a restaurant, bar, resort shop, and pool. Christopher and Jeff have a vision that The Fred will be the happening spot in Frederiksted, not just for their resort guests, but also for visitors coming by cruise ship and local residents. The Fred’s Spa is currently open and accepting appointments, but the remainder of the resort property is still under construction. Stay tuned for details on the opening of The Fred as they become available. 

The Fred, St. Croix, USVI

The old Totten building becoming The Fred Resort and Spa

Since moving to St. Croix, Christopher and Jeff have proven to be valuable members of the West End community. They have reached out to the local businesses and residents to gain support for their project, while proactively pushing to revitalize Frederiksted as a whole. By doing so, they received an outpouring of support from local business owners at their public hearing. In addition to The Fred, Christopher and Jeff also bought and are renovating Liberty Hall. Located at the top of the hill on Hospital Street, parts of the Liberty Hall building date back to 1775. This building also contains 23 units, which are currently apartments. No long-term rental tenants are being asked to leave, but some of the newly refurbished units are already available as vacation rentals.

Local business owners supporting The Fred, St. Croix, USVI

Local business owners supporting development of The Fred at a hearing

Another breath of fresh air out West is Caribbean Breeze Apartments and Vacation Homes. Located on Prince Street just two blocks from the beautiful Frederiksted waterfront, Kathy and Randy Tiddark have poured their heart, soul, and sweat into turning another of Frederiksted’s old buildings into the quaint Caribbean Breeze apartments. Originally built in 1786, the newly renovated apartments offer accommodations that blend old world charm and modern amenities, allowing their guests to experience a true Caribbean vacation with a homey atmosphere.  In addition to offering beautifully appointed apartments for vacation rentals or short term lease, Caribbean Breeze offers a large, private courtyard with a new pool and patio seating, and pets are welcome. Kathy and Randy are also well known in the West End community, and their friendly and fun-loving personalities make their guests feel warm and welcome.

Caribbean Breeze, St. Croix, USVI

Caribbean Breeze Apartments and Vacation Homes, owned by Randy and Kathy Tiddark

The Frederiksted Hotel is also undergoing some updates and renovations, and is changing it’s name to The Inn on Strand Street. Paul Benedict, co-owner of Cottages by the Sea, is currently operating The Inn on Strand Street for the owners, the Vetter family of Denmark. Located right across from the waterfront, this boutique, 32-room hotel offers warm, authentic, Caribbean hospitality in the heart of historic downtown Frederiksted. This charming little hotel has been around since the 1970s, but is now offering newly-renovated rooms, a courtyard restaurant, upgraded Wi-Fi, and bicycles for guest use. Paul’s ancestors, the Benedict family, the Merwin family, and the Armstrong family, were residents of St. Croix dating back to the 1600’s, so Paul is truly a Crucian. His love for St. Croix shows in both The Inn on Strand Street and Cottages by the Sea, and as a local he too wants to see Frederiksted thrive again and grow to it’s full potential.

The Inn on Strand Street (Frederiksted Hotel), St. Croix, USVI

The Inn on Strand Street, formerly known as The Frederiksted Hotel

It’s not just the accommodations that are contributing to the revitalization of Frederiksted. Other businesses and community organizations are also doing what they can to bring locals and visitors to Frederiksted. For instance, West Walk kicked off in 2016. This monthly event was started in order to benefit local businesses, support charitable causes on island, and to promote a renewed Frederiksted. On the second Saturday of each month, you can head out West and follow the trail of footprints leading to participating businesses as you shop, eat and drink your way through Frederiksted while enjoying live local music. 

Founded in 2014 by Virgina Clairmont, Clean Sweep Frederiksted is a community organization described as “a coalition of community stakeholders dedicated to the economic development and revitalization of Frederiksted”. Clean Sweep Frederiksted spearheads various opportunities throughout the year to encourage and engage the community to participate in the ongoing beautification initiatives such as beach clean-ups, painting murals throughout Frederiksted, and picking up trash after festivals and events.

Clean Sweep Frederiksted, St. Croix, USVI

Clean Sweep Frederiksted volunteer painting a mural in Frederiksted

It is inspiring to see the business owners and residents of Frederiksted working together to revitalize and beautify the town. Frederiksted has a lot to offer in the way of history and culture, beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, friendly people, fun activities, and a strong sense of community. All of these attributes, coupled with the new and recently renovated accommodations, will surely make Frederiksted the true Caribbean vacation destination it deserves to be.

– Jennie Ogden, Editor

 

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