Business View Caribbean | May 2019

46 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN MAY 2019 AT A GLANCE LOCKHART REALTY, INC. WHAT: Owns, manages, develops commercial real estate properties WHERE: St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands WEBSITE: T he Lockhart name needs no introduction In the U.S. Virgin Islands. They are one of the most established and best known land- holding families, and one of the pre-eminent and most visible business enterprises. Founded in 1884, by Alfred H. Lockhart, and incorporated in 1936, parent company, Lockhart Companies, Inc., continues to proudly serve the U.S. Virgin Islands, today, in the areas of property management and development, insurance, finance, and community- spirited endeavors. Its three divisions: Lockhart Realty Inc., Lockhart Insurance Holdings, and Lockhart Finance are deeply involved in rebuilding efforts on USVI, following the massive destruction from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. President & COO of Lockhart Realty Inc., Gershwain Sprauve, reports, “It is a very busy time for us. We have eight properties still under reconstruction since the hurricanes. It has been almost two years and we are still recovering, and will be doing so much of the year and well into the future. The island is still in recovery mode but we are resilient people. We hoped to be further along, but it is a slow process. Living on a small island in the Caribbean, you’re detached from the mainland, so everything has to come by air or sea. We depend solely on those modes of transportation for wares, food, and our tourism product. Because we don’t build or grow anything here, it’s all imported, and we rely on visitors coming to our shores to spend time with us and spend their money.” Tourism has come back in a big way with a few small hotel properties reopened, but the large resorts such as Marriott and the Ritz Carlton, remain closed. Fortunately, the Airbnb program has supplemented the room inventory. A lot of people who own villas on the island have turned some of their living space into quarters that can