Camana Bay building ‘topped off’

Another Camana Bay office building announced

The construction of the Solaris Avenue building in Camana Bay reached a milestone that was recognised with a topping off ceremony on Wednesday, 27 July. 

Cameron Graham, the chief executive officer of the general contractor DECCO Ltd, said the topping off tradition is a symbolic gesture in the construction industry. 

“It represents a change in the trades,” he said, adding that the crews that dealt with the ‘wet’ concrete works will now be leaving the job site, to be replaced by crews that deal with ‘dry’ interior works. 

The topping off ceremony occurred just six months after the ground-breaking ceremony that took place about a month after construction on the building started. When completed in June 2012, the Solaris Avenue building will serve as the new home of the law firm Mourant Ozannes, which will occupy the top two floors of the five-storey, 68,000 square-foot building. Jackie Doak, the chief operating officer of Dart Realty, announced during the ceremony that Aon Insurance Managers (Cayman) Ltd. had just signed the lease to occupy the entire second floor of the building. 

DECCO Executive Manager Gary Gibbs said the topping off ceremony traditionally involves putting the last structural beam in place. In the case of the Solaris Avenue building, one of the few steel beams in the concrete building was used, an elevator hoist beam.  

The topping off ceremony is performed by construction companies in many places in the world. Mr. Gibbs said that in the United States, an evergreen branch is put on the beam for good luck. 

“Here we put a Silver Thatch on it,” he said. “It’s sort of like breaking a Champagne bottle on a boat that’s being launched.” 

During the ceremony, Mrs. Doak announced that another Class A office building would be built in Camana Bay – Solaris Avenue North, the sister building to the one under construction. 

Those buildings will join two other Class A office buildings in the development, 62 Forum Lane and 89 Nexus Way. Major tenants already occupying those buildings include Cayman National Bank, the accounting firm Ernst & Young, the law firm Ogier and Citco Bank and Trust Company Limited. 

Premier McKeeva Bush and several other members of Cabinet and the Legislative Assembly were also present at the topping off ceremony. Mr. Bush thanked the Dart Group for their confidence and commitment to the Cayman Islands. 

“Dart not only gets things done, but gets things done properly,” he said. “The more progress we see here at Camana Bay, the better it is for our community. It means more jobs; more mortgages paid; more money being spent in the community; more food on the table.” 

Mr. Bush also sought to dispel the idea that the Dart Group didn’t hire Caymanians. 

“Caymanians are being afforded opportunities that they might not otherwise have had, especially in the current economic situation.” 

To complete the ceremony, Mr. Bush and the other members of Cabinet, along with DECCO and Dart Realty executives and members of the construction crew signed their names to the beam with markers before it was lifted by crane for placement.  

camanabay

The final beam of the Solaris Avenue building – adorned with a Silver Thatch plant for good luck – is lifted toward its placement during the topping off ceremony.
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