A multi-millionaire from Ukraine is threatening to change the physical landscape in the well-to-do area of True Blue in southern Grenada with four massive construction projects earmarked for the area.
THE NEW TODAY was told that the investor known as Oleg Khomenko met last week Thursday night with about 35 residents of the area at the True Blue resorts to brief them on the scope of the projects that he would be undertaking in their area.
According to a well-placed source, among the residents who showed up at the meeting to ask questions and get a briefing was leading hotelier and owner of Spice Island Beach Resort, Sir Royston Hopkin who lives in True Blue.
He said that the Ukranian who was accompanied by a government employee outlined plans to build at least four luxury properties to provide housing for mainly students attending the American-owned St. George’s University (SGU).
He spoke of some of the residents not too happy with the plans of Khomenko for building one of the luxury apartments on reclaimed lands that will see the destruction of a beach at True Blue.
The source said that the Ukranian businessman admitted that he was granted a host of concessions from the Keith Mitchell-led government to undertake his projects in the south of the island.
When quizzed by this newspaper, the source stated that Khomenko did not give any hints about whether he was borrowing any of the monies from local commercial banks or using his own funds to undertake the million dollar projects in the south of the island.
Khomenko is known to be associated with a number of locals in the real estate market including Century 21.
It’s the first time that Khomenko is venturing outside of the base that he set up in the Grand Etang area about three years ago where he has invested millions of dollars in a restaurant and entertainment project.
A resident in the area told this newspaper that the business is often visited by a host of government officials especially Foreign Affairs Minister Peter David who is credited for attracting Khomenko to do business in Grenada.
A Google search done by THE NEW TODAY described the Ukranian as “an experienced entrepreneur with the deep knowledge in property investments & development, real estate management and corporate transactions”.
It said: “Since 2003 Mr. Khomenko served as the founder & Executive Chairman of Goldblat Real Estate, Ukrainian property development firm, focused on prime commercial & residential developments.
“Mr. Khomenko has successful track record in various property developments in cooperation with international investors, developers and institutions.
“Mr. Khomenko serves as a Managing Partner and a board member of Star Development Limited, established in Grenada to develop upscale hospitality & residential projects under Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program”.
The last known person with a connection from Ukraine to do business in Grenada was the infamous Viktor Kozeny known as the Pirate of Prague.
Kozeny who obtained a diplomatic position from the 1995-99 New National Party (NNP) government led by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell had failed to deliver on a number of projects he had agreed to undertake including the Port Louis marina in the Lagoon.