The year’s biggest projects approved in Grand Cayman

Through 9 November, the Central Planning Authority had approved more than 330 applications for projects ranging in size from signs to subdivisions of land to multi-story buildings. 

In total, the approved projects for the year 2011 had an estimated value of nearly $129 million, according to official records. Through 9 November, the Authority had met 23 times, with three more regular meetings scheduled for the year. 

So far, the Authority approved 15 projects with a value of $2 million or more apiece, representing a combined value of nearly $85 million, or about two-thirds of the total value of all approved projects. The 15 most expensive projects are in the residential, commercial and public sectors and are located across Grand Cayman. 

While the projects have received planning permission from the Authority – and construction on several has already commenced, that does not necessarily mean all of the projects will be built, or even that all required permissions have been granted for construction to take place, for example from the Building Control Unit. 


Willow House 

The most expensive project that received planning permission in 2011 is the $15 million Willow House, the fifth phase of Cricket Square on Elgin Avenue. Construction on the five-story, 58,600-square-foot Class A office building is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2012. Campbells law firm will be the anchor tenant for the new Cricket Square flagship building, occupying the fourth floor. Additionally, captive insurance company Kane Cayman moved into Cricket Square’s The Pavilion in November, in anticipation of moving into Willow House upon its completion. 

The Authority granted permission for Willow House in July after its first permission from February 2008 had expired. Construction began this summer. 


Casuarina Cove 

The second-most expensive project in 2011 is a South Sound residential development called Casuarina Cove, consisting of 18 houses on four acres near the intersection of South Church Street and Denham Thompson Way. The project applicant listed in documents is Cayman Coves Limited and is linked to developer Hugh Hart. In May, the Authority granted permission for a 20-house development concept, valued at $14 million. However in July, the developer went back to the Authority and received approval to reduce the number of houses from 20 to 18. 

Previously, the Authority had refused permission to build a cruise ship docking facility on the site in 1986, and the Authority granted permission for a 16-house development in 2006. 

The May application called for 20 single-family houses, a swimming pool, a pavilion and two cabanas – with a total building size of more than 60,000 square feet. In July, the modified application called for reduced the number of houses by two, and reduced the total building size to 51,000 square feet. However, the approval of the May application is under appeal, according to records from July. 


Foster’s distribution centre 

The third-most expensive project in 2011 is a $12.5 million distribution centre for Foster’s Food Fair IGA, located on seven acres opposite the airport’s long-term parking lot, within the burgeoning 30-acre Airport Commercial Park. The massive warehouse will be about 75,000 square feet, and be about 450 feet long, 240 feet wide and 50 feet tall. 

Foster’s Managing Director Woody Foster said the warehouse will be a centralised distribution centre and also includes 10,000 square feet for central administrative offices. Currently, dry storage for Foster’s is in a 22,000-square-foot warehouse in Industrial Park, and refrigerated storage is in about 10,000 square feet in the back of Foster’s Airport Centre store. Central administrative offices are on the second floor of the Airport store.  

The Authority granted approval for the project in July and subsequently approved a modified application in late August. Foster said construction on the building has begun. and the goal is to finish in August 2012. 


Cayman Islands Youth Centre 

The fourth-most expensive project approved in 2011 is an $8 million youth remand facility called the Cayman Islands Youth Centre. A project of the Ministry of Community Affairs, Gender and Housing, the Youth Centre will be a 21,000-square-foot facility located adjacent to the Fairbanks prison for women. The Authority granted permission for the project in late August. 

Earlier budget predictions estimated the cost of the Youth Centre at $6 million, with $3 million being allocated in the 2011-2012 budget for construction. 


Grand Harbour home 

The fifth-most expensive project in 2011 is a $6.04 million private residence on 2.8 acres in Grand Harbour. The project is some 24,000 square feet and will comprise a house, two garages, guest/staff quarters, a pool, a gazebo, an entrance gate and walls. 

According to a letter accompanying the application from Chart Ltd., the canal-front property is located on a peninsula in Grand Harbour. According to records, the entrance gate and pillars would be nine-feet high, and the wall would be between seven- and eight-feet high. The development also includes 10 swales for stormwater management. 


Other top projects 

The remaining 10 projects valued at $2 million at more include a proposal for a 14-unit apartment building on 1.6 acres on Rum Point Drive in North Side. The four-storey structure is part of developer Crown World Ltd.’s proposed Dubli Golf & Beach Resort, which also includes a proposed 61-house development on the land side of Rum Point Drive. The Authority approved the apartment building in April. 

In June, the Authority approved a 30-unit apartment complex on Linford Pearson Highway next to Silver Oaks. Called the Royal Pines, the project by developer Pro Plus Construction Ltd. includes one- and two-bedroom units ranging in price from $149,000 to $200,000. 

In late August, the Authority approved a four-storey commercial office development from Platinum Corporation Ltd., to be located on 0.35 acres across from the George Town Police Station on Elgin Avenue. The original approval was for a 19,000-square-foot building; however, in late November the developer applied for a modification to reduce the area of the building to less than 13,000 square feet, in an effort to meet parking space requirements. 

Rounding out the list are a 14,000-square-foot cell block building for Northward prison ($2.5 million), a six-lot subdivision of land by Dart Realty (Cayman) Ltd. near the Midland Acres subdivision in Bodden Town ($2.5 million), a five-bedroom private residence in Patrick’s Island ($2.2 million), a two-storey commercial building by Jacques Scott Group near Republix Plaza on West Bay Road ($2.2 million), a nine-unit apartment complex on Marbel Drive off West Bay Road ($2 million), a three-storey commercial building by Jackie Tomlinson-Smith at Walkers and Hospital roads in George Town ($2 million), and a two-storey church hall by Wesleyan Holiness Church on North West Point Road in West Bay ($2 million).