Selengut Negotiations To Sell Harmony To Maho Campground Buyer Stalled

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The six buildings of the Harmony Studios, closed since the sale of the former Maho Bay Camp on adjacent property on the north shore of St. John, are offered for sale as a renovation project or tear-down on two adjoining building lots with million-dollar views.

Almost a year after closing his world-renowned Maho Bay Camps, eco-tourism pioneer Stanley Selengut is having a hard time leaving St. John

After “about 40 years” on St. John, Selengut, 85 years old and almost blind, is trying to sell his remaining properties on St. John – including the 12-unit Harmony Studios on one acre above the former Maho Camps and the Concordia Resort on the southeastern tip of the island.

The platform tent eco-cottages of Maho Bay Camp have been stripped of their canvas leaving the frames exposed to the tropical elements with unobstructed, panoramic views.

Selengut was forced to leave behind most of the structures and infrastructure of his world-renowned Maho Bay Camp property above Little Maho beach between Maho Bay and Francis Bay in 2013 when the underlying land lease he held expired.

Now, Selengut is trying to sell his remaining property at Maho, two lots he owns which contain the former Harmony Studios above the Maho Camps property. Negotiations with the purchaser of the Maho Camp property to purchase his abutting lots are stalled, he said.

The 12 units of Harmony Studios, in six buildings “on two half-acre lots in the middle of the park,” are not listed for sale, Selengut explained.

Selengut acknowledged his representative has been negotiating with a representative of the purchasers of Maho Bay for the sale of Harmony, but that they are far apart on price.

“The guy wants its as a private retreat for his family,” Selengut said of the former Maho Camps property adjacent to Harmony. “The right of way for Harmony runs right through the (Maho Bay) property.”

“We’re about $400,000 apart,” Selengut acknowledged. “They’ve made an offer we’re not enormously pleased about. In the fairly near future I probably will put it up for sale.”

“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” said Selengut of the Harmony property. “You are entitled to have two dwellings on each lot.”

“Someone could redesign them,” said Selengut of the Harmony building, who acknowledged re-purposing the buildings could involve “quite a significant investment.”

“Maho was their umbilical cord,” Selengut acknowledged. Reopening the buildings would require at least a septic system for the lower units and new electrical power service, he added. “They have cisterns; one above and one below,” he said.

While the 12 units of Harmony studios could require “a couple of hundred thousand dollars” in repairs, refurbishment and infrastructure, Selengut said the land itself is worth the investment.

Two vacant lots just above the Harmony property are up for sale, each for a price tag comparable to what Selengut is asking for Harmony..

“The top one is $1.2 million,” Selengut said of the neighboring properties listed for sale. “I’m asking $2 million for 12-units on two, one-half acre lots. I started out at $2.5 million.”

Undisclosed Purchaser
Selengut acknowledged his representative has been negotiating with a representative of the purchasers of Maho Bay for the sale of Harmony, but that they are far apart on price.

While Selengut said he was not privy to the identity of the buyer of the former Maho Bay Camps property, he said he had heard it was a principal of a major U.S. medical technological company.