The Journal speaks with Paul Pearson, director of Davenport Development Ltd, to hear about this construction company’s business model here in Cayman and why he feels they are on the right track, even in tough economic times. Business Editor Lindsey Turnbull reports.
Please give me some background to the business.
Davenport Development Ltd was established in 2006 by Ken Thompson of Island Taste, Ray Hydes of Hydes and Sons and myself.
Please tell us something of the major projects the firm has been involved with.
We have completed the Valencia Heights complex, finished Phases 1 and 2 of Lantern Point, and are pre-selling the majority of Phase 3 which is scheduled for completion in February of 2010. And all in the space of just three years!
Please give me an idea of the ethos and history of these projects of the company.
After the devastation of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 which wreaked havoc on Grand Cayman, we all had a vision for beautiful and reasonably priced homes for hard-working folk. And so Davenport Development was born. The first purchase was a piece of high and dry land on Crewe Road which has since been transformed into the extraordinary Valencia Heights, a 33 unit apartment complex designed to suit the glamour and extravagance on Seven Mile Beach but with the first-time buyers and investors in mind. Attention to colour, design and detail are all integral to the construction.
We also felt that it was important to establish relationships with useful partners. To that end, Davenport has co-operated with Scotia Bank to assist buyers with the mortgage process, making the purchase of a Davenport home as seamless as possible.
We then turned to developing Lantern Point on Old Prospect Point. This European-style condominium development, located across from the beautiful Caribbean Sea, is a stand-out with its massive wrought iron lanterns and tropical vegetation. The 24 units of Phase 1 and the 32 units of Phase 2 sold quickly, and 70 per cent of the soon-to-be constructed Phase 3 is already sold. When completed, Lantern Point will boast three pools, lush garden areas, elegant balustrades, Spanish tile roofing, and its classic lanterns.
Quality is of paramount importance to us, so apartments are fitted with generous storage, high ceilings, top-quality appliances and custom cabinetry. The development is also solidly built, constructed from ICF (Insulating Concrete Forms) blocks. These are compressed foam blocks with six inches of poured industrial grade concrete, reinforced with steel re-bar vertically and horizontally. ICF is an extremely strong product and the strongest hurricane protection on this island. It offers an R rating of 30, while traditional cinder block offers only an R rating of 6. ICF also makes the apartments energy efficient, leading to lower monthly CUC bills.
Who is your target market?
We market to a wide range of prospective buyers – first time buyers, middle management, young professionals etc.
Please briefly discuss new projects on the go right now.
We are working on San Sebastian which will be a complex of one, two and three-bedroom townhouses in South Sound, an up market development with Spanish flair.
We also have San Marino, a collection of 24 upscale town homes to be located on the canal at Grand Harbour. Each unit will have a boat dock for their own personal enjoyment.
How does the business view the market right now?
It’s soft, but we believe it will soon rebound.
Do you feel this present economic downturn will have an impact on your business (good or bad)?
There is always a market for quality people selling quality products for a reasonable price, no matter what the market conditions. People recognise the value-for-money they get with our developments.
What’s your company’s view on how Cayman’s construction industry (and Cayman’s economy as a whole) will fare throughout the recession?
This current economic downturn will weed out any “bad” construction people and again people doing good quality work will always survive, even in tough times.
What in your view is the best way to weather this current economic storm?
Keep offering good quality products at great prices and plan for the future with that in mind.