It’s taken a while – much longer than originally expected – but the Residences at Beach Bay are moving forward.
‘It’s a go,’ said Assistant Manager Jonathan Smith last week. ‘The first of April trucks will start moving in. We wanted to wait until all the [Planning Department] red cards were in place.’
The development will feature 45 luxury beachfront units, a restaurant and lounge, a health centre and spa and other amenities associated with a resort hotel. The big difference is the Residences at Beach Bay will offer two methods of ownership: either outright purchase of a unit or the purchase of a 1/8 fractional share of a unit.
‘Between 20 and 25 units will be fractional,’ Mr. Smith said, explaining that fractional owners will get three weeks usage of the unit during the winter season, three weeks during the summer season and unlimited usage on a space available basis.
The difference between fractional ownership and timeshare ownership is that with fractional, purchasers have registered interest in the property, meaning their names appear on the land register.
‘With timeshares, you’re just a member of a club,’ said Mr. Smith.
The Residences at Beach Bay will be the first of several major projects planned for the Eastern Districts to get under way.
‘We’re the first luxury property to move away from the Seven Mile Beach corridor,’ said Mr. Smith. ‘The developers believe in their product and see building [in the Eastern Districts] as the future of Cayman because Seven Mile Beach is built out, or soon will be.’
Because of its more centralised location in Lower Valley, Beach Bay offers some advantages to other luxury developments planned, Mr. Smith explained. With the completion of the East-West Arterial Road all the way east to Hirst Road, George Town is only about 15 minutes away at non-rush-hour times. East End and Cayman Kai are each only about 20 minutes away. Plus, the area is quite, away from the hustle and bustle of George Town and Seven Mile Beach.
‘We think people will realise Beach Bay is where they want to be,’ he said.
The development will have a hotel-like feel, with full resort-style amenities, including a concierge, a 24-hour front desk attendant, a business centre and room service. In addition, there will be a large infinity-edge pool manned by an attendant for poolside towel, beverage and snack service.
The building site is blessed with 22 feet of natural elevation and the existing condominiums at Beach Bay did not experience any wave or surge damage during Hurricane Ivan in 2004, Mr. Smith said. The development will be built to coastal Miami-Dade County standards with hurricane resistant windows and doors.
‘It will probably be the safest place on the island,’ Mr. Smith said, adding that a large generator will be installed in the building that houses the restaurant and lounge to ensure essential services can be maintained in the event of a power failure.
The building site also features a deep white sand beach and a man-made breakwater, which creates a calm swimming cove in the ocean.
The units will all have three bedrooms – two of which face the ocean – and four bathrooms. All will offer spacious luxury living in about 2,500 square feet of living space.
Prices for full ownership range from between US$2 million per unit to US$2.6 million. There are already contracts on 20 whole ownership units, Mr. Smith said.
Fractional ownership costs US$359,000, which includes stamp duty and full furnishings, right down to silverware, plates and linens.
In addition, The Residences at Beach Bay are part of the Elite Alliance, a luxury residence club that will allow fractional owners to swap weeks for time at other properties in the United States, Mexico and Bermuda. The flexibility of the Elite Alliance will allow owners to customise their annual vacation packages to include several destinations in addition to Cayman if they want to.
Mr. Smith said the developers of the Residences at Beach Bay were not concerned that other similar luxury properties – like the Island Resort and Residences in East End – were also moving forward.
‘In our minds, the more luxury products on the island, the more everyone benefits.’