The product of long-time Cayman Islands and Jamaica developer Hugh Hart, luxury residential project Casa Luna is under construction on four acres in South Sound, on the seaside of South Church Street near Denham Thompson Way.
“We believe that Cayman is ready for an upscale development,” Mr. Hart said via e-mail. “Casa Luna is exclusive in that it is separate homes set in a uniquely landscaped area with the convenience of strata management.”
Architect Eduardo Bernal and designer Sandy Urquhart have worked in tandem to integrate the structures with the landscaping, which revolves around native, endemic and indigenous species such as silver thatch palm, birch and naseberry trees. The topography of the site will undulate from a central valley to hills, and the two- and three-storey villas will feature landscaped courtyards connecting with the entrances to the homes at the second floor.
‘A green park’
“The landscaping is a beautiful project, with the houses taking advantage of its richness. The whole project becomes a green park – 18 villas in a green park,” Mr. Bernal said.
Mr. Hart said between US$30 million and US$40 million is being invested in the project. When completed, the project will comprise 18 owner-occupied houses, green landscaping, sandy beach with a cove, ponds, bridges and hills.
“I was inspired by the vision of the client. He had a very clear image of what he wanted. I was simply instrumental to realise that vision, of a special little town rich with landscapes with an European flair,” Mr. Bernal said.
From a horticultural standpoint, the “skeleton” of the landscape is Caymanian, while only the “flesh” will be exotic tropical plants, which is Mr. Urquhart’s signature approach to his projects, including the adjacent Dart Family Park and the landscaping at Camana Bay.
“I’ve been given the privilege by the owner of being able to start the landscape process much earlier than you would be able to normally in a common development. We have our own nursery, and we were allowed to save the major trees,” Mr. Urquhart said.
Completion in 2014
The sea wall for the development took about three to four months to construct, and was completed in February by West Indian Marine Group. Contractor Arch and Godfrey is in charge of the actual construction of the project.
“The crux of the project is the buildings’ interface with the landscape,” Arch and Godfrey Construction Manager Ryan Galloway said.
Mr. Galloway said his company has worked with Mr. Hart on about 20 projects over many years. In Cayman, Mr. Hart’s developments include Lacovia, Cayman Coves, Admiral’s Retreat and commercial buildings in George Town, Mr. Hart said.
The Casa Luna project has been in the making for about 15 months. As of Friday, contractors were still constructing underground works for the future buildings. However, above ground construction should start within the next month.
“The walls are currently being built; they will be visible above ground in about two weeks,” Arch and Godfrey Site Engineer N. Andrew Mellaneo said.
Mr. Hart said Casa Luna construction should be completed in 18 months, barring major events such as a hurricane.