If all goes to plan, construction will soon begin on a building at the Crewe Road-South Sound Road roundabout containing fast food restaurants. The two-storey structure will complement the newly opened Scotiabank building. Together the commercial centre will be called Crown Plaza.
The proposal is for the 8,000-square-foot building to have five tenants on the ground floor, including Dunkin’ Donuts, Smoothie King and Papa John’s pizza. The fourth tenant will be another restaurant or a retailer. The fifth tenant could be a small customer service centre for a large commercial airline, said Brian Eccles of DDL Studio, the project architects and project managers.
The second storey will have office and/or storage space for the tenants.
According to developer South Newberry Corp., who also is responsible for the Scotiabank, construction on the new building is expected to start in January, and it will take about six to seven months to complete. The plaza will utilise the existing driveways for access to Crewe Road and South Sound Road, and no new driveways will be built. However, an island will be added to the Crewe Road driveway to aid the ingress and egress of vehicles.
“We wanted the new building to look very close to the Scotiabank building. We made reference to that in terms of its simplicity. We added to it with window treatments and other architectural features to give it a little bit of life,” Mr. Eccles said.
The developer received planning permission for the $2 million bank building in September 2009 and for the $1.08 million restaurant building in October 2010. The development is on 1.08 acres adjacent to Sunrise Apartments, and on the roundabout opposite Grand Harbour.
During the October 2010 planning meeting, residents expressed concerns about the impact of construction and questioned the suitability of the development, which is zoned low density residential. The Central Planning Authority instructed the developer to construct a 6-foot-high wall on the boundary with Sunrise Apartments (2 feet above the usual 4-foot wall), but authority members said the parcel is part of the Crewe Road commercial strip (which already includes the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing headquarters and First Baptist Church) rather than being in the South Sound Road residential area. The fast food building will be located on the western side of Scotiabank, which is bounded by South Sound Road.
Neighbours also expressed concerns about the odours of fried foods. Developers said the restaurants involved would not be frying foods on site. Smoothie King and Papa John’s do not serve fried foods. Meanwhile, Dunkin’ Donuts food products are made at one production centre at the Lawrence Boulevard store (in the Seven Mile Beach area) and delivered to other locations.
The fast food building will feature a double-lane drive-thru, so Dunkin’ Donuts customers can order from one lane, while Smoothie King customers can order from the other lane. The parallel, side-by-side drive-thru lanes will be novel to Cayman, the National Roads Authority noted in planning documents.
The Roads Authority estimated the fast food building will add more than 3,000 vehicles per day to Crewe and South Sound roads, classifying the traffic impact as ‘moderate’.
According to the developer, some 30,000 vehicles pass by the location each weekday, and the bumper-to-bumper traffic at the roundabout during rush hours should only help divert customers to the restaurants.
Dunkin’ Donuts has four locations in Grand Cayman, in Seven Mile Beach, George Town, Bodden Town and East End. Smoothie King has a location in Galleria Plaza on Seven Mile Beach. Papa John’s has a location in Queen’s Court Plaza on Seven Mile Beach.