The Cayman Islands government should seek, within the next 12 to 18 months, to sell some $65 million worth of “surplus” properties the government Lands and Survey Department has identified it as owning, according to recommendations in a consultant’s report.
The government should also seek to enter into purchase and lease-back arrangements with private sector investors to free up capital needed to pursue current infrastructure development projects, the Ernst & Young report recommends. “Government presently holds some 170 operational buildings, the majority of which are described as specialized and of which 16 are described as non-specialized,” states the EY report, completed at the request of the government and issued on Tuesday. “The ascribed value of these properties is $285 million.”
Both the surplus land sales and the purchase and lease-back options could be implemented in the relatively near term and could equate to an estimated $350 million in value to the government.
The EY report looked at the specific properties owned and leased by the government, which included 155 acres of “operational lands” and 5,415 acres of what were determined to be “non-operational” lands. The value of the non-operational lands was estimated at nearly $67 million.
Operational lands include parks and landfill space. The non-operational lands include undeveloped parcels, mangrove and swamp areas, ponds and coastal areas.