Ironwood developer: East-West highway extension to cost $50M

A planned 10-mile extension of the East-West Arterial Highway to pave the way for a new golf resort will cost around $50 million, and construction could begin before Christmas, developer Ironwood said this week. 

Ironwood announced on Monday that its contracting partner on the project would be GLF Construction Company – the same firm that was paid around $2 million in compensation after a contract to build a new cruise pier was terminated by the previous government.  

Denise Gower, spokeswoman for the developer, said financing is in place for the road project and construction contracts were finalized last week. She said the contracts are pending final approval of a “licensing agreement” between government and Ironwood for the road construction. 

The road was originally estimated to cost around $40 million, but the price rose following a more precise cost analysis by the National Roads Authority, Ms. Gower said. 

In May, when the agreement was first revealed, Ironwood officials said they hoped to have “shovels in the ground” within three months.  

But the complexities of the financing arrangement for the public-private partnership and strict requirements imposed by the U.K. for large-scale capital developments have delayed the process. 

An outline business case examining the potential economic impact of the road construction and investigating how it could be financed in accordance with U.K. rules under the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility is expected to be published later this year.  

Assuming that document endorses the project and the mooted financing deal, which calls for the cost of the road to be refunded through duties on any development it stimulates, Ironwood says its financial backers will sanction the full $360 million project. 

In the interim, Ironwood has continued to press ahead with its plans and with marketing the resort, which it says will sprawl across 600 acres and include a hotel, conference center and sports village with homes for around 2,000 people, targeted primarily at “snowbirds” seeking to retire in style.  

Golf legend Arnold Palmer, whose design company has been hired to build the golf course, has been on island to promote the resort, and Joe Beaird, chief operating officer of GLF, was in Grand Cayman last week to finalize construction contracts with Ironwood. 

CTL Capital, LLC, a New York-based finance provider, will provide the construction and permanent financing to Ironwood “subsequent to the execution of the licensing agreement by the Cayman Islands Government,” according to a statement from the developer.  

1 COMMENT

  1. A game changer for Grand Cayman, no pun intended. Valuable long term public infrastructure without public monies being required. Congrats to all making this project a reality.

  2. I am really looking forward to this whole development it will be nice to have somewhere else built to high standards to hang out other than Camana Bay. And to not have to travel to GT would be great as well I really hope they put a theater in there.

    The highway is going to be great to have however I still think they should have negotiated a better deal than having to give up all tax revenue until it’s all paid back. The 50 Percent concession Dart got was way better for Cayman because at least there’s some income for government and that concession is only on the room tax not everything including duty during construction as well as fees for the use of the road which I really don’t understand. In this case there will be nothing for Cayman till the whole 50 Million is paid back. After all the complaints by the current government about Darts concessions it sounds like they gave the IronWood folks a sweeter deal. Sounds kinda hypocritical to me.

    This will definitely bring some additional opportunities to people out on the East Side who know how to see an opportunity when it’s presented and have the since to take advantage of it. It will most likely increase property values all over that whole area, between this and the Shetty hospital good things are happen on the East Side. I hope there’s news about CEZ soon. People that own rental properties in this area should really be working on updating them is needed because there will still be a huge market for people that want to live near these developments but cannot afford to or just don’t want to live right in IronWood and with the new highway commuting from Georgetown will be a lot easier and quicker so will also be able to attract tenants that previously would have wanted live closer to the GT Area. Widening the first part of the East-West Arterial Road to two lanes would also make since, I just pray that the extension is two lanes and built to high standards like the Esterly Tibbetts Highway was built.

    All these things that were put into motion years ago are really starting to materialize now. I hope people see the good in all this and show appreciation for the folks that started the ball rolling not just the ones that picked it up and ran with it.

Comments are closed.