About Lockhart
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President's Message
About the Business
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In 1884 Alfred Harris Lockhart established his first business in the Virgin Islands (then known as the Danish West Indies prior to their sale to the United States in 1917). A.H. Lockhart had emigrated to St. Thomas from St. Croix, Virgin Islands where he was born in 1861. A.H. Lockhart's business consisted initially of a trading operation, first on the docks of St. Thomas' Charlotte Amalie Harbor and later in the harbor's venerable old warehouses.

A. H. Lockhart
and the Grand Hotel

Alfred Harris Lockhart
and his Wife

By the early 1900's A.H. Lockhart's businesses had expanded to include a major importing company, with exclusive distribution rights to many popular items (including various types of European distilled spirits), a lumber yard, a dry goods store (later, St. Thomas' first general department store), cattle and dairy farms, an abattoir, a hotel, a bakery, and increasing developed and undeveloped real estate interests all over St. Thomas and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Indeed, by the time of his death in 1931, A.H. Lockhart's holdings included approximately one-eighth of the privately held real property on St. Thomas and a larger percentage of St. John as well.

A.H. Lockhart's holdings were somewhat broken up after his death, as they were inherited separately by, and to some degree consumed in the support of, his six children and their respective families. The businesses were first incorporated in 1936 under the corporate name A.H. Lockhart & Co., Inc., by A. H. Lockhart's two sons, one being Herbert E. Lockhart, a daughter and a son-in-law.

  Herbert E. Lockhart
and his family

Over the years some of the businesses under the corporate umbrella were transferred to specific Lockhart family members who gave up their interests in the corporation; and ultimately it was H.E. Lockhart who became the soleowner of the corporation. Using his personal inheritance and what he amassed through his own efforts, H.E. Lockhart deepened the long-term holdings of the corporation. In particular, H.E. Lockhart launched a considerable amount of real estate development, including extensive tract housing on what had been a sugar cane plantation on St. Thomas, popularly known as Sugar Estate. Thus was created the Territory's first privately developed residential subdivision, which initially was intended for sale to the island's returning veterans following World War II.

Regrettably, H.E. Lockhart met an untimely death (of pancreatic cancer) in 1949, before his successor (in accordance with the thinking of the day), his only son, H.E. Lockhart, Jr., then 27, had been formally apprenticed in business in the Virgin Islands. Thereafter followed a period of internal adjustment for the Lockhart businesses - just at a time when the Virgin Islands were gaining in popularity as never before, as the Communist government of Fidel Castro took over Cuba, driving large numbers of American tourists eastward to the safe harbors of the US' own Virgin Islands.

H.E. Lockhart, Jr., oversaw the winding up of many of the Lockhart businesses. On the other hand, importantly, by leasing some of the companies' more prominent properties to the new influx of retail businessmen from the United States arriving to service the burgeoning tourism industry, H.E. Lockhart, Jr. was able to surmount all of the economic challenges to preserving his family's holdings in real property. Morover, in 1955 he established H.E. Lockhart Development Corp. (named after his father) to focus on the family's real estate development interest. Under this corporate umbrella, in the late 1960's H.E. Lockhart launched development projects of considerable significance, including a major turn-key multifamily federal housing project and St. Thomas's first retail shopping center completed in 1972.

In the 1970's, it became apparent that the long-term success of the Lockhart enterprises depended on a stepped-up reorganization of their corporate and management structures, and of the financing techniques used in their support. With the aid of H.E. Lockhart, Jr.'s nephew, George H.T. Dudley, Jr., a great-grandson of A.H. Lockhart, and of Wesley S. Williams, Jr., the husband of niece and fourth-generation Lockhart, Karen Hastie Williams, virtually all of the businesses and investment property in the H.E. Lockhart branch of the A.H. Lockhart "empire" over the ensuing decade, were consolidated into entities conforming with evolving management, liability, financing, and tax planning needs of the day (as well as other purely practical concerns). Moreover, assisted by Dudley and Williams, H.E. Lockhart, Jr. weathered the disastrously high-interest rate environment that characterized much of the '70s by arranging for the sale of 400 acres of Lockhart property surrounding St. John's Leinster Bay, including the off-shore Waterlemon Cay, to the Federal Government for inclusion in the National Park system, and using the proceeds to (i) repurchase the companies' high margin, floating interest-rate debt and (ii) eliminate low-return, non-core enterprises. In 1987 H.E. Lockhart, Jr. retired, whereupon day-to-day control of the Lockhart businesses devolved upon Messrs. Dudley and Williams.

Following H.E. Lockhart, Jr.'s death in 1990, Mr. Dudley and Mr. Williams were elected by the companies' Boards of Directors as Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively. Both are practicing attorneys with specialties in banking, finance and real estate. Shortly after assuming their roles, they recruited experienced professionals from outside the family to manage the daily affairs of the businesses and completed the restructuring and consolidation of the companies' various affiliated corporations and other business forms into today's holding company, Lockhart Companies Incorporated, and its operating subsidiaries. Under the management of Messrs. Dudley and Williams, the Company has experienced a period of substantial growth through property acquisitions and commercial property development. Since 1987, the Company has acquired four shopping centers with an aggregate of approximately 99,750 square feet of rentable space, expanded one shopping center by approximately 6,000 square feet, developed one commercial park, has commenced the development of a light industrial park, completed the renovation of the Grand Galleria, completed the reconstruction of 85,000 square feet of retail space damaged by Hurricane Marilyn in 1995 and updated the development master-plan for Lockhart's commercial and residential undeveloped land holdings. In addition, the management team has restructured the Company's finances and engaged in a series of corporate transactions that have positioned the Company to pursue aggressively its development and growth strategy.

Today, Lockhart Companies Incorporated is engaged primarily in the business of owning, acquiring, renovating, developing and managing shopping centers and commercial real estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands, principally on St. Thomas and St. Croix. The Company currently owns and operates seven shopping centers and one commercial business park, is actively planning or developing seven more such projects, has leased an aggregate of seven acres of undeveloped commercial property for development by others (including tenants of the commercial business park) under long-term ground leases and has an inventory of approximately 415 acres of undeveloped land zoned for residential development of varying densities. This makes Lockhart the largest owner of developed commercial property and privately held undeveloped real estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands.