Dart completes Hyatt purchase

Offers jobs to former Beach Suites staff

Dart is the new owner of Grand Cayman Beach Suites on Seven Mile Beach. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

The Dart group has officially taken ownership of the former Hyatt properties, the Grand Cayman Beach Suites and the Britannia Golf Club.

The sale, announced in March, was completed last week, paving the way for the group to begin planning the future of the three properties, which add to Dart’s already significant land holdings in the Seven Mile Beach corridor.

Jackie Doak, chief operating officer of Dart Realty, said Monday that no concrete plans had been prepared yet.

“The newly acquired properties are now part of Cayman Shores Development Ltd., and we are in the process of conducting inspections to identify and address any safety and security concerns, in particular with the stripped-down hotel buildings, the surrounding grounds and the pedestrian bridge over West Bay Road,” she said.

“As we turn our attention to the future design and use of the properties, we believe there are multiple opportunities to create meaningful connections between Britannia and Camana Bay, which are all very exciting.”

Mark VanDevelde, CEO of Dart Enterprises, added, “As with all of our development properties, we intend to carefully study the options and to create communities that are characterized by design excellence and innovation.”

The Beach Suites will continue to be operated by former owner Embassy Investments until it closes on Sept. 1. Dart has not announced plans for that building either, saying it has been concentrating on finding jobs for Beach Suites staff.

Mr. VanDevelde said, “Since we announced the agreement to purchase the properties in March, our priority has been on facilitating future employment opportunities for the staff at Kimpton Seafire or within the Dart group of companies.

“Representatives from Kimpton and our own Dart teams met with each of the 108 employees who chose to interview from the total staff of 115. From the group that were interviewed for jobs at Kimpton Seafire, 74 people have received offers as of this week. We are especially pleased that this number includes 42 Caymanians and permanent residents, and the process to provide information on other employment opportunities is ongoing.”

The Dart group is already at various stages of development on a variety of projects in the Seven Mile Beach area, including the Kimpton Hotel, which is due to open in November.

It has previously discussed a potential partnership with Britannia to create an 18-hole golf course next to Camana Bay.

In an interview with Cayman Compass sister publication The Cayman Islands Journal in May last year, Mr. VanDevelde discussed the possibility of Dart, which also owns the North Sound Golf Club, having a hand in as many as three courses in that area.

At the time, the company was contemplating a partnership to expand the nine-hole Britannia course into an 18-hole course, largely using the neighboring Limestone property, which it acquired in 2006.

Dart said Monday it hoped to include Britannia property owners in the discussion about what to do with the property during the master planning process.

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  1. The Hyatt was a place I always admired on the West Bay Road; it was just so different and so beautiful, now I just cannot wait to see what the Dart Group will do with it. That place is still so beautiful and feminine looking; and do hope it will continue to regain some colonial look about it with amazing colors. Congratulations again to the Dart Group.