Ocean Club rebuilding under way

In a development that signals yet another step in Grand Cayman’s recovery after Hurricane Ivan, the rebuilding of Ocean Club Condominiums has commenced in earnest after the construction contract with K Coast Development was finalised two weeks ago.

K Coast Development project

K Coast Development project manager Daniel Van Derwerff, left, and Ocean Club manager Jerris Miller on the site of the condominium development where rebuilding and repairs have begun. Photo: Alan Markoff

Ocean Club was severely damaged by wave surge during Hurricane Ivan. Similar conditions completely destroyed the development Mariner’s Cove, just a few hundred yards east.

Some of Ocean Club’s buildings have been demolished, while others will be repaired, said project manager Daniel Van Derwerff.

‘It would have cost more to repair [the demolished buildings] than to just knock them down and rebuild them,’ he said.

K Coast was selected as the contractor in August over two other final bidders, but the complicated contract took three months to finalise.

Mr. Van Derwerff said K Coast wasn’t idle while the lawyers were working on the contract.

‘We were setting up the site office with phone, fax, Internet and furniture,’ he said, noting that the office was now fully operational.

The gutting of the units that will be repaired was also started, as carpets, drywall and other damaged materials were stripped out and disposed of. Mr. Van Derwerff said the demolition phase of the project is therefore already almost completed.

K Coast also used the time to order and procure the materials it will need for the project, Mr. Van Derwerff said.

Originally, it was estimated the 144 Ocean Club units would take 18 to 20 months to completely repair/rebuild, but it is now estimated the project will be completed in 14 months.

‘It’s an aggressive timeline,’ said Mr. Van Derwerff. ‘We’ve slated a night shift for a minimum of three months, after which we will assess whether night shifts are still needed to meet the timelines.’

Moving the timeline forward will require increased manpower, but Mr. Van Derwerff said K Coast was confident it could meet the schedule.

A labour force of 50 to 80 people will be used by K Coast, and local subcontractors will also be used, so that there will usually be more than 100 workers on site, Mr. Van Derwerff said.

The construction timeline will complete Ocean Club’s six pods in a phased manner. The first pod of 29 units is scheduled for completion mid-March, 2006, with another pod of 32 units scheduled to be ready the second week of April.

Other pods will be ready the end of June, the end of September and the first week of December, 2006.

Pod 6, the one with the 13 completely demolished units, is scheduled to be completed by the end of January, 2007.

Ocean Club manager Jerris Miller said that when the project is completed, the development will be better than ever.

‘Ocean Club will look like it was just built,’ he said.

All the development’s common amenities will put rebuilt, with some being improved, Mr. Miller said.

‘The seawall will be re-engineered and reinforced,’ he added.

The new Ocean Club will feature additional parking spots and new landscaping, Mr. Miller said.

The interior of the units will also have upgraded kitchens, windows and doors. Upgraded 13 Seer air conditioning units will also be used. Owners can choose further upgrades at additional costs.

A website had been set up at www.oceanclub.ky for owners to access information about the progress of the project, to look at upgrade choices, and make change orders with respect to paint colours, fittings and such.

‘Owners will also be able to interact with us,’ Mr. Van Derwerff said.

To gain access to the website, which was scheduled to go on line by today, owners must first register as a user and request a password to ensure proper identification.

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