St. Barts court quashes proposed $170M hotel

Court revokes building permit issued in 2019

Denise Dupré of SAS Saint Jean Beach Real Estate (Mercersburg Academy, St. Barth Essentiel, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
Denise Dupré of SAS Saint Jean Beach Real Estate (Mercersburg Academy, St. Barth Essentiel, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

A proposed $170 million hotel on the Caribbean island of Saint Barthelemy was stopped in its tracks by local authorities.

The St. Barthelemy Administrative Court canceled a building permit for the hotel on the Bay of St. Jean, The New York Post reported. It was being developed by SAS Saint Jean Beach Real Estate, led by Denise Dupré, who is married to billionaire Mark Nunnelly.

The building permit was issued in December 2019, according to the Post. It was modified in June before being scrapped last week. If Dupré wants to continue the project, she would have to start from scratch.

Nonprofit environmental group St. Barth Essentiel is celebrating the decision. The group cited experts in saying construction would decimate St.-Jean Beach.

“We applaud the decision of the court to revoke Hotel Etoile’s building permit,” St. Barth Essentiel President Hélène Bernier told the Post. “We hope that this sends a clear message to all who seek to build properties on our island that the environment must come first for the sake of all who reside here.”

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It isn’t clear whether Dupré will pursue the project. Her company didn’t comment on the court’s decision.

The Post previously reported that the L’Etoile Hotel would be double the size of the previous hotel on the site, including 16 buildings and multiple swimming pools. The foundation for the hotel was in the process of being built as the latest legal battle loomed.

One issue the group took up was an underground garage the size of a football field. the planned garage. They said it could create instability in the event of a flood.

Dupré can instead focus her attention on another hotel she owns with her husband on the island, the Le Barthelemy in Grand Cul-de-Sac. According to the Post, that hotel has also run afoul of the community, receiving two notices from the government for dumping toxic waste into the water.

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[NYP] — Holden Walter-Warner

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