The Dart group’s demolition of the former Courtyard Marriott structure has begun.
The “deconstruction” of the building will take about four weeks, according to a news release issued by Dart Realty (Cayman) Ltd. sent Monday evening.
Local company Jairam Building Contractors is using a claw-like machine to dismantle the five-storey building, starting with the top floors of the property on the southern end, and working to the north in a stair-step pattern to ensure the stability of the remaining structure. Construction manager DECCO is supervising.
Dart plans to create a new 10-storey hotel on the site.
Jairam will follow “green” standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification in processing the rubble pile from the demolition.
Reinforcing bar will be removed and recycled and the concrete will be removed and stored to be used as fill for future Dart projects. Materials will not be sent to the George Town landfill.
According to Dart, the hotel demolition and redevelopment project is projected to create more than 400 jobs over two-to-three years.
To date, local companies have been awarded more than $1.75 million in contracts on the hotel project.
The entire project is estimated to cost more than $140 million.
The original Courtyard Marriott structure was completed in 2000 and opened as a Holiday Inn.
In 2004, the hotel was sold and rebranded as a Courtyard Marriott. The hotel has been closed since Hurricane Paloma struck in 2008. Dart bought the property from developer Stan Thomas as part of a major land deal in January 2011.
Dart originally planned to renovate and add onto the existing structure, but ultimately determined to rase the building and start from scratch.
In February, Jackie Doak, chief operating officer for Dart Realty, said Dart is looking to open the new hotel by late 2015.
The new hotel is part of the ForCayman Investment Alliance between Dart and government.
The closure of the adjacent section of West Bay Road is intended to facilitate the new hotel development.
In exchange, Dart is extending the Esterley Tibbetts Highway all the way to West Bay and creating a new Public Beach park.
Other parts of the deal involve Dart closing the George Town landfill and creating a new waste management facility in the district of Bodden Town, along with cash being paid by Dart to government, and other various land swaps.
On 13 March, Cabinet officially opened the first phase of the highway extension and closed the corresponding stretch of West Bay Road. The road was physically blocked off 18 March.
Traffic diversions still continue due to utilities work related to the project.