Construction of Camana Bay, the new town being developed in Grand Cayman by Dart, is well on course.
At a seminar held at the Ritz-Carlton Wednesday more than 300 people gathered to hear about progress of the multi-million dollar project and the concept of New Urbanism, which is the design basis of the town.
Jim Lammers, chief executive officer and managing director of Dart Realty (Cayman) Ltd. said Camana Bay was well on the way to becoming a world-class community.
‘It’s evident from even a cursory drive by, that a tremendous amount of infrastructure and building construction is taking place, and has been for many months now,’ he told the luncheon seminar.
Work has begun on the town centre and Cayman International School which is due to open its doors to students this autumn.
‘We started with the town centre and the school based on our belief in the importance of long-term sustainability of the new community by putting a diverse, suitably scaled, package of amenities – restaurants, shops, residential, office, entertainment, educational – on the ground from day one,’ said Mr. Lammers.
‘In addition to serving the entire island, the town centre and school will be of especial interest to home owners who see value in being able to live in an environment that reduces their dependence on the automobile by providing a wide variety of proximate services and amenities.’
Facilities due to open next year include a large office building, structured parking, six-screen cinema, retail and garden offices, and a landscaped area known as the Botanical Way.
Accounting firm Ernst & Young will be the anchor tenant in the office building and Cayman National Bank is also planning to open a branch there.
It is anticipated that an inner harbour area with restaurants, homes and offices will be opened in 2008.
‘As to what our next phases will be, in addition to continuing to grow the town centre, a major emphasis of ours will be on the resort and residential villages, especially the residential villages, given the high level of interest being expressed by people who wish to live in Camana Bay,’ said Mr. Lammers.
A community newspaper, The Camana Bay Times, will be published several times a year to keep island residents up-to-date with developments.
‘This will be, in effect, a new town, open to all, providing a diverse community with a wide variety of commercial, retail, resort, entertainment and residential opportunities and experiences,’ said Mr. Lammers.
He added that the new community was not intended to replace others on the island but to complement the already rich fabric that makes Cayman a special place.
Eminent architects working on the master-planned community are Moore Ruble Yudell from California, along with the prestigious Olin Partnership from Philadelphia, in conjunction with the Burns Connolly Group from Cayman.
‘We chose the Burns Connolly Group because of the breadth and depth of their Caribbean architectural practice, the quality of their design work, their knowledge of and interest in master-planning, their knowledge of the island’s history, culture and environment and their proven track record of representing clients effectively, and collaborating with the many government departments, agencies and boards that are integral to the success of a development as ambitious as ours,’ said Mr. Lammers.
Camana Bay will cover an area of more than 500 acres, stretching from Seven Mile Beach to North Sound.
Expected to be rolled-out over three decades, future residential phases will include lofts, townhouses, and a variety of single-family and multi-family homes and condominiums.
The architecture will be complemented by public open spaces with native vegetation and water features.
Pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalks, bike paths, parks, walking trails and direct access to Seven Mile Beach are other planned features of the town.
The design concept is known as New Urbanism, focusing on creating an integrated community which is pedestrian and environmentally-friendly.
Buzz Yudell of Moore Ruble Yudell also addressed the seminar and said it was important that Camana Bay was in harmony with the rest of Cayman.
‘I feel strongly that architecture can and should exist in harmony with the environment,’ he said.
Mr. Yudell added that New Urbanism encouraged the connectivity of neighbours and discouraged gated and isolated communities.