Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush released details of government’s agreement with The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman developer Michael Ryan for the Dragon Bay project at the site of the former SafeHaven golf course.
Mr. Bush said the agreement was made by the previous government for the 360 acre multi-use development, which includes a boutique hotel, a marina village, and a new public beach among other amenities.
‘There can be significant revenue to come from that development,’ Mr. Bush said.
However, the leader also pointed out that a number of concessions were made by the previous government in order to secure the development project. Those included:
*The extension of the SafeHaven lease to 99 years, and also a lease to the developer for small and large mangrove islands near the project.
*Dedicated space in the Owen Roberts Airport terminal for resort residents and guests, as well as a dock at the airport for use by resort owners and guests.
*Import duties were waived for alternative energy and eco-friendly operations and equipment; for import duties on opening and pre-opening supplies for the new hotel; for duties on construction materials to build new schools; for construction materials to build a church or churches; for construction materials to build public beach facilities; for materials needed for public road development; and for construction materials for a new Port Authority marina.
*Import duties would also be reduced for hotel, golf and related construction, and on duties for residential construction to 10 per cent from the date the main agreement was executed.
*The provision of 50 work permits for key staff necessary in creating the new development and staffing the hotel
*Stamp duties would also be reduced to four per cent for first-time Caymanian landowners on the property.
In return, the Cayman Islands government received the following:
*The construction of a new Port Authority Marina and associated facilities
*A provision for golf membership opportunities for Cayman residents on the new course
*The clean-up and replanting of two mangrove islands near the project
*The development and expansion of the existing Ritz-Carlton resort onto the former SafeHaven land.
Mr. Bush said last week that time would tell whether these concessions for the Dragon Bay development would bear fruit.
‘Since the last government gave these concessions, we as the new government must now make the best of it,’ he said. ‘We must now move ahead to get as much as possible out of the project.’