North Sound condo project approved

Caymanian developer plans $200 million waterfront community

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A US$200 million development to create an ocean-front community, featuring 123 luxury condos and town houses overlooking the North Sound, has been given the green light. 

Developer Lewis Ebanks said the project would be a high-end community named Gran Palazzo, with homes in the $1 million to $2.5 million range. 

The development will be built in phases over the next five years, he said. 

Despite some objections from residents in the nearby Crystal Harbor area about the impact of such a large development on the neighborhood, the Central Planning Authority approved the development at its Oct. 21 meeting. 

Mr. Ebanks said his project, which he described as the first of its kind on the North Sound, was supported by government through a package of concessions. He hopes to begin construction early next year. 

The development will consist of 10 six-story buildings, including condos, town houses and penthouse suites.  

It will also include a gym, clubhouse, tennis court, yoga pavilion, several swimming pools with private cabanas and, pending planning approval, potentially a marina. 

He said the location of the development on the water and adjacent to the North Sound Golf Club would make it an attractive proposition. 

He believes the potential purchasers will be a mix of wealthy overseas buyers investing in vacation homes and local professionals. 

He said the fact that it is not associated with a hotel could give it a competitive edge over similar high-end condo developments. 

“When someone spends that kind of money on a home, they want peace and tranquility. They don’t necessarily want to be in a large public resort,” he added. 

Mr. Ebanks, the CEO of Centurion Capital Fund and the founder of Waterfront Developments, estimates the project will create 250 jobs and pump upwards of $200 million into the economy. 

Approvals for the project involve a change of zoning for part of the land and the removal of a Land for Public Purpose designation on part of the property. The zoning change has yet to be ratified by the Legislative Assembly. 

Mr. Ebanks said those changes allowed him to design the community in a way that had the least impact on neighbors. 

Not everyone agrees. Seven letters of objection from residents in the area were submitted to the Central Planning Authority largely focusing on the potential impact of a large six-story development on the neighborhood. 

One objector wrote, “The proposed plan does not appear to be consistent with current zoning and we feel a change to high density will generate excessive pressure on the surrounding area, including additional noise, light pollution, vehicular traffic and high volume of waste.” 

Mr. Ebanks said he had met and exceeded all the criteria required and believes the upscale nature of his development will be in keeping with the multimillion-dollar homes in the area. 

He said financing is in place for the project – the biggest he has taken on – and, he believes, the first development on this scale by an “indigenous Caymanian.” 

Ocean-View

A 3D concept shows how the Gran Palazzo community will look.

12 COMMENTS

  1. So Mr Lewis Ebanks has access to 200 Million for this development. With what previous developments has he been involved. His is not a familiar name in this type of project.

  2. I really do not see where it matters that Mr Lewis Ebanks has 200 Mil. to invest. Neither does it bother me that his name is not familiar in this type of project. All of us whom have adventured into a new business started somewhere. So I say Congratulations to Mr Lewis Ebanks on your new development, and may it be blessed with success.

  3. Wow! With all the latest development projects being approved by CPA, one has to think what are the ulterior motives? I can not understand the magnitude of these projects, yet for one infrastructure are not in place? What about ROW to people’s properties that were promised years ago by CPA and the developers?
    Our ways of lives are all going to be impacted one way or the other with these developments that are approving so urgently as the world appears to be coming to an end tomorrow or maybe people are just greedy especially those making the decisions?

  4. That tiny island will soon sink with the weight of all the new construction !!! What a pity, though, that the buildings are once again aimed at the rich., It would have been so much better to build housing for CAYMANIAN’s pocket books !!!

  5. Looks like Cayman is becoming another Miami Beach. What happened to the, island that Time Forgot? You don’t need another project. You are giving away your Islands. I’ll bet many of you are really mad. Well I am to. I’m an American and ashamed as to what we are doing. This should not happen. You need to stop this.

  6. This is so sad! No one seems to be bothered about the fact that this will ruin the North Sound and the beautiful coral reefs of Cayman! Surely Cayman is developed enough! I would have thought that a marine impact study should have been put in place before this project was authorised. Everything seems to be about greed rather than need! The poor people keep getting poorer and the rich people richer. There is no chance for the marine ecosystem and no-one seems to bothered about this at all.

  7. This is so sad! No one seems to be bothered about the fact that this will ruin the North Sound and the beautiful coral reefs of Cayman! Surely Cayman is developed enough! I would have thought that a marine impact study should have been put in place before this project was authorised. Everything seems to be about greed rather than need! The poor people keep getting poorer and the rich people richer. There is no chance for the marine ecosystem and no-one seems to bothered about this at all.

  8. Now una can click disagree as much as una like, but in straight Cayman Lingo I want to ask one question.
    Why it is det when a foreigner come yaw and build multi million hotel and Condominium ye naw hear a peek outa any one una. Now one lill Caymanian Mr Lewis Ebanks whaan do some ting, an una all object and disagree. Red Eye… Now do ye see why Caymanian don like una?

  9. I am intrigued, from which indigenous peoples is Mr Ebanks descended, the Arawaks or the Caribs? Hang on, I just remembered that there is no evidence that either of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean ever lived in the Cayman Islands. I guess Mr. Ebanks is just descended from expats who got here earlier then.

  10. This actually looks like it will be a beautiful development. I am glad they are only six stories high and it’s great to see a Caymanian investing into the island’s future in this way. I do find it interesting how many people are complaining about this after all the complaints that foreigners and Dart own too much and that Caymanians have nothing. I’d think that more support would be given to one of their own. But I guess that oppose-everything attitude is stronger than pride. For those complaining about his being a new jack at this I’d say give him a chance it’s not your money or reputation at stake it’s his, and everyone had to start somewhere, stop the hate.
    As far as Cayman being the island that time forgot, I doubt it’s in Caymans best interest to stay that way just to appease some visitors that want to see it stay the same way it was 50 years ago. There a lot of people that want to have modern amenities when they are on vacation. The whole world has changed and Cayman is no different. Obviously time has taken notice to Cayman and that is not definitely a bad thing. I am also curious as to how this land-based project is going to ruin the beautiful coral reefs of Cayman as suggested by Christine. Can you explain how this threatens the reefs? And as far as this project being aimed at the rich, why is that a surprise? People embark on these types of developments to make money, not just to provide homes for people. It’s a private investor, not the Government.

  11. I am forced to further comment on this topic. First I must say thank you to Mr. Michael for his very fair comments. Really I say it, how can some of you people continue to breathe air, because you are so bad minded, grudgeful and hateful to see a brother get a break. At least 75% of business in Cayman are not owned by Caymanians. So tell me why on earth that so many people grudge this one Caymanian man because he got money to spend in his country. Una all should be ashamed to live and breath much less go to sleep on this little rock. For me it does not matter who dislike what I say because I am very content with my boldness, and una can’t come te mi face and say anything.
    I am also trying to put together the comments of Sid Barrett. Still I cannot figure out what is being said. If you know about the Cayman indigenous population you will see a coat of many colors. My information from my Grand mother who died at age 106 said that there were evidence of Indians who first Came to Cayman from Honduras to poach Turtles only. But the first occupants were English, Irish, Spaniards and Africans. Where did the English/Europeans came from? Weren’t they the descendants of the early Romans?. Every one of us, our genetic generation originated from somewhere else; However that has nothing to do with a Caymanian who has money and want to spend it. It is nothing about North Sound impact or damage to coral reefs, it is only a bunch of miserable old people who do not want to see anyone have bread on their table beside themselves. Further more you do not see any Caymanian living in USA or anywhere for that matter telling OBAMA not to build sky scrapers. Besides all the foreign investors building in Cayman, I never heard one of you make a comment about what the build or don’t build. I keep saying it all the time if you were happier in your own country you would not be here, so please stop the Red eye and Evil eye, and let others live too, beside when una leave this world every thing will be left behind. Ever considered that.

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