The widow of Grand Harbour developer Mike Bell has outlined plans to fulfill his dream to complete a major residential, retail and restaurant development at the site.
The Florida-based developer, who built Grand Harbour – home to Hurley’s supermarket and the Black Pearl Skate Park – in the late 1990s, died in November. Now his wife and children are aiming to complete his original vision for the sprawling canal-front property in Red Bay.
Lorraine Bell said the opening of Salty’s Sports Bar and Mike’s Bar, at the site of the former Dog House and outdoor Keg House to the rear of Grand Harbour Shoppes, was just the start. A wine bar, restaurant and coffee shop are also planned for the shopping complex over the next few months.
Ms. Bell said the long-term plan is to develop the surrounding land.
“Since my husband passed away, we decided to come down and fulfill his dream to finish Grand Harbour. We are planning a major revitalization project and this is just the beginning of it.”
She said she and her children, Christian, 24, and Chelsea, 22, moved back to the island to make the project their major priority.
“We are here full-time to finish what he started,” she said, suggesting the project was personal as well as business. “We were young and dumb and broke when we moved down here to live on a tropical island for a few years and see what we could do,” she said.
“I watched my husband start with this swampland full of mosquitoes and use his engineering skills and his ideas to transform it. I’m in awe of what he did. Here is where we feel close to him, and finishing it is our tribute to him.”
The entire site, which includes various vacant lots, will be developed through a number of joint ventures over the coming years, she added.
She said the original plan had been to redevelop the swampland, put in infrastructure and sell canal and waterfront lots and move on.
“We grew to love it and the dream of the commercial and residential development was born,” she said.
Though Mr. Bell put the site up for sale to focus on his family business in Alabama in 2014, his widow said it was always his dream to complete the Grand Cayman project.
The next venue to open at the shopping complex will be a wine and spirits bar, Table 22, next to Salty’s Sports Bar. A family-style restaurant called the Harbour Grill is planned for the larger building next door, with a coffee and deli sandwich shop, named Locals, planned for the smaller property round the corner.