Work has begun on the second phase of Cayman Distributors Group’s overhaul of its headquarters along Eastern Avenue.
The company completed the first phase of its plans a little more than two years ago when it opened its 30,000-square-foot warehouse and office building to the rear of the Eastern Avenue property in Grand Cayman. The new project consists of the renovation of the two older warehouse buildings near the front of the 2.8-acre site.
Together making up around 20,000 square feet, the older warehouses were built around 40 years ago. The larger of the two buildings was the central part of Cayman Distributors under the direction of cofounder Ken Hall, who sold the company to the Dart Group in 2007. The smaller building was known as the “pop shop” and was where the company used to bottle its carbonated beverages, Cayman Distributors Group General Manager Mat Bishop said.
“We’re very mindful of the fact the buildings didn’t look great. The whole road front didn’t look good at all. It’s not a good representation of our company and what we’ve done over the past few years,” Mr. Bishop said.
The company chose to renovate the warehouses rather than knock them down because they’re still serviceable and the company considers itself the “long-term custodians of the buildings”, he said.
The goals of the project, which is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of next year, are to extend the functional life spans of the buildings and improve their aesthetics. The larger building, which is around 15,000 square feet, will be used as an overflow warehouse, while the front of the building will remain as a point of sale for walk-in customers wishing to buy products directly.
The smaller building will become a baking and blending/bottling facility for Blackbeard’s rum cakes and spirits respectively. That activity takes place at other premises the company leases. Mr. Bishop said the rapidly growing demand for Blackbeard’s rum cakes and rums spurred the company to invest in a new facility that will allow them to triple their output, “quite comfortably”, according to future needs.
“We are being choked by the limitations of our current facilities. With the new facility we will be able to meet the customers’ demand, whatever it might be,” he said.
In addition to cosmetic repairs and new paint jobs, the project will also include improved car parking for staff, landscaping and a new garbage area. At the end of the project, the company will be able to use the space more efficiently within the buildings and also between the buildings.
The fronts of both of the buildings have been removed in order to attain the required number of parking spaces for planning purposes, and also to open up the package licence facility to the road.
DECCO is acting as contractor manager on the project, with the actual work being subcontracted out to small local firms. The project involves about 10 workers at any one time, Mr. Bishop said.