Pageant Beach, Treehouse sites to be redeveloped

Two long-vacant parcels in the North Church area – the site of the old Almond Tree restaurant and Treehouse residence, and Pageant Beach – appear headed for redevelopment, possibly as a hotel and “mixed-use.”

A US$5.75 million deal for the 1.82-acre Treehouse site closed in November. Buyer Naul Bodden and his NCB Homes registered the sale in mid-December.

The group, which may include other local investors, is looking at a boutique five-story hotel, accompanied by commercial and residential development on the small beachfront cove.

Matthew Wight, NCB managing director, acknowledged the acquisition of the Treehouse site, describing it as “a beautiful location, so we want to do the right thing,” but declined to reveal plans. He said designs have not been completed.

In October last year, Mr. Bodden and five partners acquired 80 percent of the nearby Wharf restaurant for an undisclosed price.

Meanwhile, the 7.1-acre Pageant Beach site is “pending conditional,” meaning the potential buyer is studying a range of development requirements, including traffic management in the area adjacent to The Wharf restaurant, Kirk Market and the three-way intersection with Eastern Avenue.

The 900-foot beachfront site has been vacant since Cayman’s first tourist hostelry, the 36-guest Pageant Beach Hotel, built in 1954, burned down in 1975. Property owner Susan Olde has long sought between $20 million and $23 million for the property.

Citing the property’s “conditional” – and confidential – status, real estate broker Kim Lund declined to identify the potential buyer, saying he held the property “under contract, meaning somebody is doing a deal.”