A dream of one of Cayman’s stalwart pioneers came to fruition last Monday.
Sadly, Harold Jay Bodden passed away three months before he could witness the historical moment of his family breaking ground at a new property development site in Savannah, one of his largest projects.
His four daughters, Harilyn, Heather, Robin and Christine, along with niece Diana, broke ground on the development scheme three years after Mr. Bodden first envisioned the project.
His family wanted to make sure his dream became a reality by continuing the work he had started.
The development, called The Island at Newlands Sound, off Hirst Road in Savannah, is a joint venture between the Bodden family and Weis Development Group from Maryland. The development is approximately 74 acres of land with 30 acres to consist of 10-feet deep canals.
Government Opposition Leader Kurt Tibbetts said the development concept was a good one; Jay’s last dream.
‘He was a patriot in many respects, and even though he said he knew he did not have very long to live, he wanted to secure a legacy for his family,’ said Mr. Tibbetts.
‘Money was not was it was all about for Jay, he was conscious of the environment around him and what was done to make it better and not worse,’ and for this, Mr. Tibbetts said, ‘he was happy to know his dream was being realised’.
Mr. Tibbetts stated the project seemed to be a large one and should serve the community well. ‘From all indications it is an affordable development for most Caymanians,’ he said.
Mr. Tibbetts also encouraged developers to ‘please think of offering terms when it came to purchasing the lots.’
Filling in for Premier McKeeva Bush, who is overseas, Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly commended the late Jay Bodden and his family for wanting to leave the grounds of Bodden Town and Savannah in a better state than it was before.
She said Mr. Bodden was a true pioneer who spent time with his family and lived to see his community become a better place and she was happy to see that his family was carrying on that same dream.
‘Daddy hated litter and worked to see Cayman clean and beautiful,’ said his daughter Heather Bodden, who has followed in his footsteps by being a staunch advocate for a cleaner Cayman.
She said he spent many hours retrieving litter along Cayman’s roadside because it bothered him so much, as well as being a kind and considerate person who touched many lives in the Cayman Islands.
‘This project was his dream, a community where families could enjoy natural beauty and peacefulness in a relaxing atmosphere,’ she said.
A number of government officials, family and friends attended the ground breaking ceremony to which Alfonso Wright was the master of ceremony.
Mr. Wright shared a bit of the Bodden family’s accomplishments and visions.
Many Caymanians will remember this site as the ‘old marl pit’ or ‘lil well,’ he said, adding that the Bodden family has a longstanding commitment of involvement in these Islands to continue the theme of preserving their rich heritage by incorporating that into the vision of the development.
The Island at Newlands Sound offers 132 canal and inland deeded ownership of one-third acre home sites and 19 signature lots located on a man-made island accessible by a land bridge with private boat docking facilities.
The Island lot prices range from CI$125,000 to the low $400,000s.
Construction can begin on lot sites immediately after purchase and three pre-approved builders are offering a variety of home styles to choose from. Pre-arranged financing with local banks has also been set up to accommodate buyers.
In order to maximise property values, the community will be subject to governance by a home owners association. Home construction will be through approved contractors to minimum specifications.