WaterColours going higher

At least one real estate owner
doesn’t believe there will be a bevy of 10-storey buildings going up on Seven
Mile Beach.

Kim Lund, broker and owner of
ReMax, said that despite the fears of critics of the 10-storey limit, buildings
actually attaining that height are going to be few and far between in the
foreseeable future.

“Pretty much everything on Seven
Mile Beach is already developed and any new parcels that would be acquired
would be the older complexes and currently it takes an absolute majority to
redevelop a property,” he said.

He argues that having all the
owners of an existing condo development agree on selling to redevelop will be a
very complex task.

“Right now there is no new
construction planned, and with the time it takes to plan, pre-sell and get
planning approval for a project like this it would be a five to 10 years before
we see a new nine- or 10-storey development right on the beach.”

News that 10-storey buildings will
be allowed came as Mr. Lund and developer Fraser Wellon are watching over the
building of the WaterColours condominiums on Seven Mile Beach.

Once a six-storey complex, the
WaterColours is now transforming into a 61-unit, nine storey structure, its
three- and four-bedroom residences ranging from approximately 3,600 to 3,700
square feet.

“As it turns out it is a great
thing for this developer as he had already allowed for a certain land cost in
his development,” said Mr. Lund.

“He is keeping his profit static
and passing a huge savings onto purchasers by amortizing the land cost over a
further 21 units.”

The units were originally priced
from US$4 million to $5.5 million. By adding an additional 21 units to the
building, the price per unit has dropped by an average of $1.2 million. Now
starting at US$2.7 million, the units average $960 per square foot. Mr. Lund
says the units will stay exactly the same; they will just cost less than
before.

Good timing

Mr. Lund said that since the builders
were completing the substructure work when the announcement was made, they were
able to easily make the necessary fortifications to allow the addition of three
more stories.

“It is certainly easier to do that
kind of work when you are right in the very beginning of the project,” he said.

The reason the project is only
going to nine storeys instead of 10 is because the floor heights are taller
than standard, with the six storeys having been built to the height of a
typical seven-storey building.

Whoever bought units on the sixth
floor will now get bumped up to the ninth floor.

“If they were on the top floor,
they are still on the top floor,” said Mr Lund.

And the price drop seems to be
having an impact.

“We were doing all right, but we
were feeling the impact of the economy like anybody else,” said Mr. Lund.

“Now that we are dropping prices in
the past two weeks we have had two sales and one reservation.”

That brings total sales to 13 with
a further six units reserved.

“This is a one-time opportunity as
the developer had already acquired the land from the seller in the
understanding that the development was to be six storeys,” said Mr. Lund.

With the additional units, the
price per square foot is lower than other comparable properties like Water’s
Edge, the Pinnacle and the Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

“There is no way in the future [for
the price] that anyone can build a development like this on Seven Mile Beach,”
said Mr. Lund.

TOPWaterColoursSTORY

The WaterColours will now be nine storeys instead of six.
Photo: Submitted
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Might as well just increase it to 50 stories and make Cayman like Miami. The Cayman Government is so short sighted and lacking in common sense. Probably think doubling the height of Mount Trashmore makes perfect sense too!!

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  2. Historically condos that are no higher than 3 or 4 stories have retained their value better than higher ones – cases in point South Beach and Naples in Florida. People don’t want to come to the Caribbean and sit on top of a high rise.

    And hopefully they have adhered to proper setbacks for a building that high.,

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