RICS Cayman launches chapter with property conference

The local chapter of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is making a splash 28 February by hosting the first Cayman Islands Property and Construction Conference. 

The event at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort will serve as the official launch of the Cayman chapter of the international surveyors’ association, which aims to promote standards and consistency in the profession, as well as to provide advice to the public and government. 

 

Conference 

The all-day conference covers a wide range of topics related to valuing, construction and property management. The first discussion is devoted to public-private partnerships. Moderated by Nigel Bates of the Dart Group of Companies, the session includes panellists from PricewaterhouseCoopers in Canada and Jamaica, as well as Appleby (Cayman) partner Norm Klein, who is head of the firm’s Cayman property practice. 

Topics include examples of private-public partnerships to deliver infrastructure projects in Canada, Jamaica and the United Kingdom, which may be relevant to projects under consideration in Grand Cayman, such as the Owen Roberts International Airport expansion, George Town landfill replacement, cruise berthing facilities and the East-West Arterial. One specific topic is how public-private partnerships may align with the United Kingdom’s Framework for Fiscal Responsibility. 

The afternoon starts with a discussion on the property market outlook in Cayman. Moderated by International Realty Group broker/owner Jeremy Hurst, the panel includes Charterland partner Simon Watson, developer Gene Thompson, Patrick Cover of FirstCaribbean International Bank, Higgs & Johnson partner Gina Berry, Cayman Contractors Association chairman Kris Bergstrom and architect Burns Conolly. 

Topics of discussion include vacant office space in George Town, if an economic boom in East End is imminent, and if there is an oversupply of property along the West Bay Road corridor. 

Following the plenary discussions are three pairs of breakout sessions, falling under the subjects of valuation, construction and property management. 

The topics of the breakout sessions include valuation standards and practice, stamp duty assessment, emerging technology – building information modelling, construction case study (on Willow House in Cricket Square), energy saving – LED lighting, and a presentation on strata law by attorney Daniel Priestley. 

RICS in Cayman 

Uche Obi, senior valuer at the Cayman Islands Department of Lands and Survey, is moderating one of the breakout sessions and participating in another. He is a board member of RICS Americas, which represents some 20 chapters in the United States, Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean. Mr. Obi said the institution has had members in Cayman for several decades, and has about 50 members in Cayman today. 

He said the group is inviting members of the ruling government and opposition to attend the conference, which he hopes will provide an opportunity for lively debate on serious issues. 

Keynote speakers include Governor Duncan Taylor, Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly and Tom Pienaar, head of corporate affairs for RICS Americas. 

RICS was founded in London in 1868 and was granted a royal charter by Queen Victoria in 1881. The group has more than 100,000 members globally, in regions such as Europe, the Americas, Asia, South Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East and Africa. The institution has locally organised associations or groups of members in more than 50 countries. “We really want to educate people as to what surveyors do, and what we can do,” said Alex Farrington of JEC Property Consultants. 

BCQS International director Jeremy Superfine said, “This conference provides an exciting opportunity to bring all those with an interest in property and construction together and seek ways to positively improve prosperity and growth in the Cayman Islands. The quality of our sponsors supporting this event and the presentations at this conference illustrate how Chartered Surveyors provide a key role with all development in the Cayman Islands and across the Caribbean region.” 

 

Registration is $50. For more information call 949-8644 or e-mail [email protected] 

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