George Town waterfront landowners’ fears can be allayed as their land will not be taken off them for port redevelopment.
Atlantic Star Ltd. has no need to acquire any more land in the North Church Street/Bodden Road area for the redevelopment of port facilities.
Atlantic Star Ltd’s Project Manager for the port redevelopment, Gary Lindsay told members of the media on Friday afternoon, ‘Atlantic Star Ltd. have got no intentions whatsoever of purchasing any more property in this George Town region.
‘We have enough property here right now for the project that we’ve put forward with the Government.’
Altantic Star Ltd has signed a formal agreement with the Cayman Islands Government and the Port Authority to enter into detailed negotiations on the port redevelopment.
This will include the separation of cargo and cruise facilities, with cargo facilities being moved north of the existing port and cruise berthing facilities for four ships being built at the existing port site.
The relocation of the cargo dock is possible because Atlantic Star Ltd. owns around seven acres of property north of the port, just south of Mr. Arthur Bodden’s store.
Members of the media were called to the offices of Atlantic Star Ltd. in order to clarify that no more land was needed after misinformation had circulated in the surrounding neighbourhood the previous day.
Following the press briefing on Thursday announcing the port redevelopment agreement a reporter from another media house approached local businesses in the area north of the port telling them their property was to be taken over by the development and asking how they felt about that.
Ms Wendy Moore, managing director of Coral Property Management, which is responsible for The Charles Building housing The Glass Blowing Studios and two other businesses, said she had a panicked phone call from her tenants on Thursday. They were concerned that they were going to lose their rented space because of the cargo redevelopment.
Ms Moore also attended the meeting at Atlantic Star Ltd. on Friday. ‘My concerns have been alleviated through this meeting,’ she said.
‘My concerns arose from another reporter’s misconception about the project and about what is involved in the project and how it was going to potentially adversely affect our property in terms of acquisition and tearing it down – not only our property, but a neighbouring property.’
She said she felt it was important to get accurate information on the situation herself in terms of what was actually intended. So she set about trying to find out where the information could be, which resulted in the meeting with Atlantic Star Ltd.
Mr. Lindsay, stating that seven acres was more than enough for their purposes, said they would only use a portion of that for the cargo facility. Included in the seven acres is over 320 linear feet of waterfront land and they would likely reclaim some more land from the sea with the concept they currently have, he said.
‘I mean, the main thing that’s going to be constructed here as plans go ahead will be out on the water.’
The majority of the seven acres is east of North Church Street and it flanks each side of Bodden Road.
The waterfront land consists of an empty plot and what had previously been occupied by Cayman Hog Tours.
The area of land is immediately south of Mr. Arthur’s store.
When asked what impacts the cargo development would have on surrounding neighbours Mr. Lindsay said, ‘It needs a lot more planning and a lot more negotiations with the Cayman Islands government and the Port Authority.’
The project is very conceptual now and agreements need to be put in place in the forthcoming negotiations with the government, said Mr. Lindsay. ‘Once we have them [agreements] we’ll have a more definite design of what we propose to construct out there and then it will be made more public,’ he said.
They will be welcoming in put from the community, he said.
‘The input from the community needs to come when we have something a little bit more to show the community – the definite plans we’re going to proceed with as opposed to conceptual plans.’
Mr. Lindsay noted that it is very important for people to be given the right information on the project.