The group behind the planned Margaritaville resort has bought a second property on the Seven Mile Beach strip, which it plans to transform into a boutique hotel aimed at business visitors.

“It’s going to be a new brand introduced by the Howard group. We’ve been calling it Project X.”

Now the Howard Hospitality Group, which is close to completing the renovation of the old Treasure Island property, has bought the property.

The three-story building on West Bay Road, near the intersection with Lawrence Boulevard, was built as a small hotel by the previous owner, but never opened.

James Stephen, the group’s director of sales and marketing, confirmed the group aims to renovate the property and open a 42-room hotel. He said there would also be retail and restaurant space on the ground floor.

The Howard group has established an office in Grand Cayman and is looking at other potential development opportunities.

It aims to open Margaritaville early next year. The business hotel is slated to open later in 2017.

Mr. Stephen said, “A lot of what we needed was already in place. The building is in good shape. It’s in a great location close to downtown, close to the beach and the resorts and to Camana Bay. It’s a good place for a hotel aimed at business visitors.”

Though the hotel is close to the Margaritaville site, it will not be part of the resort.

“It’s going to be a new brand introduced by the Howard group. We’ve been calling it Project X for a little while.”

The site, next to the Laguna del Mar complex, was granted planning permission in 2000 as a 40-room hotel with swimming pool and restaurant. Though the structure was built, a hotel never opened on site and the property was sold.

In a separate development this week, the Howard group announced the opening of its Cayman office and the hiring of several on-island directors.

“We’re thrilled to expand our global presence and to have a new office in Grand Cayman, supporting our aggressive growth program,” said Michael Wilkings, chief operating officer of HHG. “Grand Cayman is in the midst of a major evolution with the hospitality and tourism sectors on a major upswing.”

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Congratulations to a new resort, however I am wondering who is preventing these investors to build in the Eastern Districts. If those in command and who give the permission for everything to be built on the West Bay Road would only consider encouraging investors to look to the Eastern end of the Island. The drive is only about twenty minutes and there is more to see, more culture, better diving enchantment of the seas, meet the Cayman people and enjoy fresh island breeze, local fruits food and juice. Very soon there will not be any space on the west bay and George Town road to build anything.

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  2. It is true that very soon every inch of West Bay Road will filled with hotels, restaurants, condos and other buildings. At least through the Seven Mile Beach area.

    While it may be a nice idea to develop the eastern end of the island like SMB, I suggest residents and property owners take a close look at West Bay Road, and ask themselves, “Is that what we really want for our side of the island? West Bay along the SMB corridor is an unsightly strip of cramped shopping plazas, building on top of the roadway, unsafe sidewalks all covered with hard pavement. With the exception of a few private residences and condos, there is no real green space. The suicide lane traffic design is difficult for users (especially tourists) unfamiliar with traffic patterns to navigate. The lack of traffic control causes long ribbons of cars to stream along the road with few changes to merge into traffic, forcing drivers to take unnecessary chances.

    With the elections coming up, it would be a good time to look toward an administration with forward thinking, having an eye to looking at the big picture and a planned design that considers aesthetics, traffic flow, traffic relief and quality of life for those permanently residing in the area.

    The current administration seems only concerned about cramming as much development on every inch of property it can. This design concept looks nice when buildings are shiny and new, but what happens in 25-30 years when buildings are older, poorly maintained, and no longer attractive to the jet set? Will this simply be solved by another Ivan, or will government instead plan for the long term, creating a new, modern environment with touches of history, culture and the “old” Cayman? Will government proceed in this manner developing a classic island atmosphere that will gracefully age, or will it allow for minimum disposable development renewable and tosses away every 20-30 years?

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  3. Yes Rodney I agree that the way the Island has been developed is a stupid way to develop a small Island like Grand Cayman, and to over develope one part could say that it’s all controlled from one wheel house and Captain without obstruction .

    I must agree too that come 2017 election there should be a change with the way the politicians are running and developing the Islands . But we have to be careful with what we change for .

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