Airport Commercial Park takes off

 

Six years into the project, Cayman’s Airport Commercial Park is taking shape on 30 acres north of Owen Roberts International Airport.  

Currently, the filling of the land is completed, surveys are registered, roads and utilities are installed, and the canal has been opened with docks under construction for new owners, said Billy Culbert, sales associate at Rainbow Realty Ltd. 

The park is composed of two distinct areas called the Airport Business Centre and Airport Marine Centre, both zoned general commercial. The Airport Business Centre will provide office space, commercial space, showroom/office space and distribution warehouse facilities, encompassing multiple buildings on 18 land parcels ranging in size from 0.5 acres to 1.2 acres. 

Located adjacent to Barcadere Marina and the new Scotts Marine facility, the Airport Marine Centre will provide office space, canal front retail and restaurant space, and tourism-related commercial facilities for water sports, water taxi and other marine interests. The Airport Marine Centre comprises more than 13 acres with nine land parcels – ranging in size from 0.5 acres to 2.85 acres – along 1,500 feet of canal front docks providing direct access to North Sound.  

In the Airport Business Centre, a showroom and distribution building for Uncle Clem’s Meat and Grocery was completed last year, and a six-unit office condominium complex called Building 102 is currently under construction. Additionally, 3.5 acres of road frontage property next to the Airport long-term parking lot will be developed into a rental centre for Cico Avis Rent-A-Car. Across from the new Cico Avis site, a 75,000-square-feet distribution centre is being built for Foster’s Food Fair IGA. 

Mr. Culbert said the park developer is AIP Ltd., “a consortium of Caymanian businessmen with a long track record of successful developments in the real estate industry”. Phase I of the park is 80 per cent sold, with two bypass frontage lots still for sale. Phase II (final phase) parcels have just been registered, and new purchasers are now taking title. Phase II has four inland lots and seven canal lots available. Land prices in the park range begin at $16 per square foot. 

The full build-out of the park is expected to continue “well into the next decade”, Mr. Culbert said, aligning with the proposed redevelopment of the airport. In 2007, a consultant group commissioned by the Cayman Islands Airports Authority published a series of plans laying out $158 million in various undertakings for the airport, including updating the passenger terminal and lengthening the runway. In July, Premier McKeeva Bush said redeveloping the Airport would spur air passenger growth from 950,000 annually to 1.25 million per year. 

Mr. Culbert said rights of way are now in place to create direct access to the park and marine facilities from the north end of the airport property. The first lane of the bypass road system was put in place by park developers and connects the airport’s long-term parking road to park property and through to the Barcadere Marina and North Sound Road. He said the connection is expected to be upgraded further when the new Scotts Marine building opens in early 2012.  

When completed, the new road system will create a second access loop for the future General Aviation Terminal, which according to plans would be relocated to the northeast of the existing main terminal. Starting at the long-term parking lot, a 100-foot-wide road parcel has been created along the southwest boundary of the park for the proposed airport to Harquail Bypass/Seven Mile Beach corridor connecting through Camana Bay. Supported by the National Roads Authority, the bypass corridor land clearing and technical studies for the extension through Caymarl Industrial Park started in 2008, Mr. Culbert said. 

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View of the Airport Commerical Park property, facing south.
Photo: Submitted
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