Editorial for 20 April: The value of a road

In response to our recent editorial “Stop the foolishness”,
one of our readers pointed out that the true value to the Dart Group of closing
a section of West Bay Road was not the value of the road itself, but the
increase in value of the land it owns on both sides of West Bay Road.

It is true that the value of the Dart-owned land –
specifically the beachfront property – increases significantly with the closure
of a section of West Bay Road. Because the narrow depth of the land between the
ocean and the road makes that beachfront land almost undevelopable, relocating
the road makes that section of property much more valuable.

Dart owns 2,487 feet of beachfront land in that area. Let’s
assume the “activists” meant to say the adjoining land, and not the road
itself, will appreciate $600 million if part of West Bay Road is closed. Doing
the math, the activists would have us believe closing this part of the road
would increase the value of the Dart’s land by more than $241,500 per foot of
beach frontage. When considering that ludicrous figure, remember that this is
land Dart has already bought and paid for and that it isn’t even considered
prime beachfront land because of the rockiness of the ocean bottom near the shoreline
in that area.

Beyond that, there’s a bigger issue to consider: The people
of Cayman lose only the minimal value of the road itself from the closure and
they gain very much, including having Esterley Tibbetts Highway go all the way
to West Bay, a new public beach and an expanded and enhanced existing Public
Beach.

In addition, since Dart intends to develop the land, it will
create construction activity and jobs for years to come and provide another
upscale hotel for our tourism product.

In assessing the value of the proposed deal, the hundreds of
millions of dollars in economic impact resulting from Dart’s development
activities must also be considered. Conversely, having 2,487 feet of beachfront
property sitting there undeveloped for decades to come benefits no one, except
for a few activists who apparently need to look at the ocean while they’re
driving and who like to camp on other people’s property at Easter time.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. …Conversely, having 2,487 feet of beachfront property sitting there undeveloped for decades to come benefits no one except a few activists…
    our

    Do only a few activists benefit from the public beaches?

    Do we have too much, too few or just the right amount of public beachfront?

  2. I find it very inappropriate for the national newspaper to be clearly taking a side on matters of great importance and controversy such as the closure of the West Bay Road. Caymanian Compass: Be responsible. Stick to your code of ethics. Report neutrally, objectively and in a balanced manner. Thank you.

    EDITOR’S NOTE:
    Most publications in world have an editorial column were they express opinions, quite often precisely on matters of great importance and controversy. People are free to disagree, but newspapers, just like people, have a right – and some would say even a duty – to express opinions, especially since they are often more aware of all the sides of a particular issue than many members of the public. However, when it comes to news articles as opposed to editorials, Cayman Free Press prides itself on being accurate, objective and neutral on all issues.

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