As Cayman’s first 10-story buildings opened on Seven Mile Beach on Tuesday, Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush called for developers to be allowed to build higher.

Mr. Bush, speaking at the opening of the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, said his vision for the islands includes buildings of up to 30 stories.

Pitching the concept as a balance between development and the environment, he said taller buildings would eat up less land space.

“Cayman can’t be left behind our competitors. We need to think of places like Monaco and Singapore and what they have done,” he told the crowd at the opening ceremony.

“I am saying it is time for us to move to different heights, to 20, 30 stories. We will save land, we will save property and it will be better for these islands.

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“We have to balance our environment with the development we need to feed our families, educate our families and assist our businesses in doing so.”

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Mr. Bush, speaking in front of assembled dignitaries including the governor, the premier and members of the Cabinet as well as senior Dart group executives, said Dart’s planned project at the property next to the Kimpton or at its site near Royal Palms would be ideal locations for that type of development.

“If anybody has done a project right, it has been Dart. He ain’t going anywhere,” he added.

Realtor Kim Lund said Mr. Bush’s comments reflect the reality of the situation, particularly on Seven Mile Beach.

Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush, with Dart Real Estate president Jackie Doak, at the opening of the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa Tuesday. - PHOTO: JAMES WHITTAKER
Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush, with Dart Real Estate president Jackie Doak, at the opening of the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa Tuesday. – PHOTO: JAMES WHITTAKER

He said he has yet to personally encounter a developer seeking to go beyond 10 stories, but he added that cost of land along the beach has increased due to lack of supply, and developers are seeking to build upward to maximize the return on investment.

“Going forward, any new development or redevelopment along Seven Mile Beach will almost certainly be the equivalent of 10 stories in height,” he said.

Mr. Bush, in his speech, suggested higher buildings make sense for an island with limited land area.

He said it would allow “economy of footprint,” greater setbacks from the beach and encourage responsible coastal management, adding that it would also “protect the waterfront as a public amenity while respecting the economic value” of development.

As premier, in 2010 Mr. Bush approved changes to the Development and Planning Law and regulations which raised the building height restriction from seven to 10 stories.

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  1. There is NOTHING similar about Cayman and Singapore or Monaco! Those are countries with a strict moral code for following the law. People can trust those governments to provide safe oversight. In Cayman we cannot handle the simple things like road building, immigration or law enforcement. And how many PR grants will have to give out to fill a 30 story building? We better start now, because at the pace we are going we will have about 10 done when the building is complete.

    I just laugh when we try to compare our selves to Singapore. There is nothing in our “DNA” that is like theres.

  2. I agree J Bodden , and Mr. Bush seems to be thinking only about the height of buildings only .
    Why isn’t he not talking and thinking about fixing the dump so that the garbage from the 30 story building can be taken care off properly , He should also be thinking about that people don’t enjoy vacationing in a sardine can . That’s what it would be like if Cayman becomes more over developed .

  3. Oh, I think Mr. Bush is correct. We should immediately start building taller buildings. Wy stop at 30 stories. After all, Singapore for example has has buildings as tall as 78 stories, Monaco 47 stories. That would be so great for Cayman. Be sure to vote for Mr. Bush and just think of how great it will be to be just like the following cities, as he suggest!
    Here is the population density of those two countries plus Hong Kong, some other well known cities and the population density of Cayman:
    1 Macau 20,848.01
    2 Monaco 15,254
    3 Singapore 7,987.52
    4 Hong Kong 6,442.65
    5 Gaza Strip 5,045.5
    6 Gibraltar 4,490
    7 Holy See (Vatican City) 1,913.64
    8 Bahrain 1,729.06
    9 Maldives 1,320.79
    10 Malta 1,305.87
    11 Bermuda 1,293.31
    12 Sint Maarten 1,167.32
    58 Cayman Islands 208.01

    Remember, Don’t forget to vote!!!

  4. Many travelers come to the Caribbean for a particular kind of ambience, whether in Cayman, Jamaica or St. Lucia. While the cost of land on a small island will always be a factor, it would be a huge mistake to think that those seeking that ambience will continue to come here for an experience they can already get in Miami Beach or Monaco. It will deface our most precious asset – Seven Mile Beach. I hope I never live to see this type of development in the Cayman Islands.

  5. J.Bodden is correct, they can’t even handle a road sign or airport parking or proper, 21 century, waste disposal. They are immune to shame and embarrassment.
    I have already expressed my opinion on this hotel- the buildings look out of place, they don’t blend with surrounding environment.
    I hope (paraphrasing Mr. Bush) going forward, NO new development or redevelopment along Seven Mile Beach will be the equivalent of 10 stories in height.
    Unless people like Bo Miller lead this country it is doomed. Absurdism seems to be rooted in your current leaders minds.

  6. As the election draws nearer it seems the buildings are not the only thing that’s being piled higher here.

    On a slightly more serious note if the plan is to go to 30 stories they will have to think very carefully about how that impacts (and I do mean that literally) flights paths into ORIA. A 100-150′ tall building isn’t much of a safety issue but once you start going 300-450′ it’s a whole new ball game.