The Dart Real Estate firm has recently been granted planning permission for an underpass along West Bay Road by the Cayman Islands government.
The island’s largest real estate developer plans to start immediately on the infrastructure project as part and parcel of a much larger plan to create “Sea-to-North Sound” connectivity between their Camana Bay complex and the greater Seven Mile Beach area.These works will, in effect, transform a portion of West Bay Road into a tunnel and allow access to other DART properties on the beachfront that are yet to be constructed. An initial underpass for the re-routed highway has recently been built and will come online when the expanded multi-lane highway opens later in 2017. These civic works and new thoroughfares underpin Dart Real Estates’ plan to expand Camana Bay with new retail spaces, restaurants, condos and office spaces.
These changes will impact the surrounding areas in a major way. The lands between the two underpasses will be raised to an astonishing 36 feet above sea level and this will be the new grade/ground level on which the new retail, condo and office spaces will be constructed. This is approximately the height of a three-story building and will drastically change the feel and look of the area and its surroundings. Many in the community have been outspoken as to their displeasure with these drastic changes to this pivotal part of the 7 Mile Beach corridor. Others in the community, however, welcome the changes being made by Dart and see it as the steady march of progress and community improvement.
Dart Real Estate says it is still in the process of master planning how it will specifically use the land parcels between the two highways but says that there are several options being tabled. The elevated section of the new infrastructure will start just to the west of the current location of the Cayman Mac Store in Camana Bay. Planning permission for the work was granted on a condition that Dart Real Estate ensures unimpeded access for people along West Bay Road during construction through a temporary pedestrian path. The normally busy area is certain to become a bottleneck as the construction continues.
When you couple these most recent civic works with the construction of the future Four Seasons property, the recently opened Kimpton Seafire Resort, works in the Cayman Islands Yacht Club and in other areas it quickly becomes apparent that Dart Real Estate is the largest investor in Grand Cayman. It also becomes glaringly apparent that there is little – if any – competition for the goliath corporation.