New buildings proposed downtown

Last month, the Central Planning Authority approved a pair of significant projects to be constructed in downtown George Town. Additionally, the Dart group has submitted an application to add to its collection of commercial buildings at Camana Bay. 


Gilbert Holdings 

On 15 May, Grand Cayman’s planning board OK’d a proposal by Gilbert Holdings Ltd. to build a four-storey office building at the intersection of Mary Street and Rock Hole Road, according to minutes of the meeting. The estimated cost of the project is $2.5 million. 

The nearly 13,000-square-foot office building would be partly occupied by JEC Property Consultants Ltd., which currently occupies the single-storey building on the 0.33-acre site. Although the footprint of the proposed building encroaches on required setbacks, the planning board determined the applicant had sufficient reason to grant variances, due to factors such as, for example, the existing building, nearby structures, general commercial zoning and the shape of the lot. 

The location of the project is a stone’s throw away from the six-storey Appleby tower, which was completed earlier this year. In its comments on the Gilbert Holdings application, the Department of Planning noted a pattern of development in the vicinity where tall buildings are located near the street. 

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“There are a few properties on Mary Street in close proximity to the road such as the Trilogy, Admirals, Appleby and Walkers buildings. In any case, the authority should assess if it wants to continue the pattern of having multi-storey buildings so close to the main road,” according to the board minutes. 


JIL Ltd. 

On 1 May, the planning board approved an application by JIL Ltd. to build a $2 million commercial building near the intersection of North Church Street and Mary Street (near the Gilbert Holdings project). 

In this instance, the application is for a 9,100-square-foot building on a site that is now vacant. 

In May 2010, the planning board approved an application by JLC Ltd. on the same location to build a two-storey commercial building comprising more than 19,000 square feet. The cost of that project was pegged at $3 million. 


Camana Bay 

According to the planning department’s eTrakit site, Dart company Cayman Shores Development submitted an application 15 May to build a four-storey commercial building comprising more than 100,000 square feet of space in Camana Bay. 

Presumably, that application would pertain to the so-called “Block 5” project on the southwest corner of Market Street and Forum Lane. Dart has been preparing for construction by moving construction trailers, closing the surface parking lot there and relocating Camana Bay’s weekly farmer’s market in May. 

On 15 May, the planning board gave Dart approval to relocate an existing generator within the Block 5 site. 


Heritage building 

On 15 May, the planning board approved an after-the-fact application by the Ministry of District Administration, Works, Lands and Agriculture for a two-storey wooden “Heritage Building” off Sea View Road in East End. 

According to the minutes, the ministry had constructed the 415-square-foot building on 0.8 acres of public open space without obtaining the proper planning permission or building permit. The project had an estimated cost of $66,500. 

This is the second time in recent months that planning records have revealed the Cayman Islands government’s failure to follow proper procedure for a construction project. 

In mid-March, the planning board issued an enforcement notice against the Crown for failing to obtain a building permit for a group of four retail kiosks located at Coe Wood Beach in Bodden Town. 

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