About the Business
Lockhart Companies Incorporated and its predecessors have conducted business in the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1884, which makes Lockhart one of the oldest continuous business concerns in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The enterprise evolved over the years into the largest owner of shopping centers in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 1972, the Company solidified its position as a leader in commercial real estate development through the construction of the first shopping center on St. Thomas. This facility, Lockhart Gardens Shopping Center, was the first commercial property located on St. Thomas to host national retailers. Lockhart is also one of the largest owners of undeveloped land on the island of St. Thomas, a significant amount of which is land held for sale (the "Land Bank").
Since 1987 the Company has been headed by Wesley S. Williams, Jr. and George H.T. Dudley, two family members who function as Co-Chairmen of the Board of Directors and Co-CEOs of the Company. Shortly after assuming their roles, they recruited experienced professionals to manage the daily affairs of the Company. Under the leadership of Messrs. Williams and Dudley, Lockhart has experienced substantial growth through commercial property acquisitions, commercial property development, and business diversification. Since 1987, the Company has acquired four shopping centers with an aggregate of approximately 100,000 square feet of rentable space, developed two commercial parks, begun the development of additional commercial parks, completed the first phase of renovation of one of St. Thomas' oldest historic buildings in the central business district, completed the reconstruction of 85,000 square feet of retail space, completed the development of a mini-mall within Lockhart Gardens Shopping Center, and completed renovation of downtown St. Thomas' only enclosed shopping mall. Lockhart currently owns and operates seven shopping centers, which in the aggregate contain approximately 300,000 square feet, and owns and operates commercial parks. Since 1996, Lockhart has generated approximately $3.8 million in proceeds from Land Bank sales, and has reinvested the proceeds in higher return assets and businesses. In addition, during 1998 and 1999, Lockhart acquired two property and casualty insurance companies, and two complementary insurance premium finance companies.
On the real estate side of the business, Lockhart owns, operates, acquires and develops shopping centers and other commercial real estate, primarily on the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix. Lockhart administers its real property through its wholly-owned real estate subsidiary, Lockhart Realty, Inc., which manages the Company's shopping centers serving the local and tourist sectors, and which owns Lockhart's undeveloped real estate and operates the commercial parks.