Cayman Islander getting back on its feet

Hurricane Ivan will have cost the Cayman Islander close to $1 million, and that does not even include loss of revenue.

But the Seven Mile Beach property is getting on its feet quickly, with plans for the south wing to re-open as soon as March.

As the property was not insured for flood damage it is a costly job to get the property back in shape. The company also forked out $62,000 on cleaning up after the storm.

‘The front of the building was the worst damaged, and of course the top floor of that was taken off in the hurricane,’ explained sole Director of the Cayman Islander Company, Mr. Albun Whittaker.

‘The rest was water and wind damage and structurally the building is fine,’ he said.

The property consisted of 69 rooms before the storm, but now it will have 64, having lost five through the top floor at the front being ripped clean off.

‘We won’t be re-building this top storey. We’ll just put on a roof and leave it as a one storey building,’ said Mr. Whittaker.

Everything going back into the building is new.

Following the first wing opening in March, it is hoped to open the centre building in March or April, followed by the North wing in July or August.

The Cayman Islander will again offer rentals to island residents, with a minimum lease of one year.

‘We want to put back all our old tenants as a priority,’ said Mr. Whittaker.

However, there will be a new mix added in. Plans are afoot for a new bar/restaurant in the centre part of the building and it is also hoped to develop townhouses at the back of the property to withstand a Category 8 storm, said Mr. Whittaker.

The ground floor of these townhouses would consist of a car port while the living quarters would be on the second floor.

Other plans for the existing building include re-doing the parking lot and reinstating the gazebos on the lake side.

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