The construction site just east of Health City Cayman Islands teemed with workers Tuesday as project developer Gene Thompson took reporters, legislators and members of the public on a tour of the area.
“Health City is growing,” he said. “There’s no question about it.”
Mr. Thompson was showing off the $17 million development that will soon become a 59-unit apartment building and commercial area known as High Rock Landing.
Mr. Thompson, a co-owner of Health City Development Ltd., said the project will be largely completed by Jan. 15.
“We are on schedule, though it doesn’t look like that” he said, gesturing to the unfinished five-story concrete structure.
Once finished, the apartment building – named Parrot Ridge – will have 59 units comprising of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, as well as a swimming pool and other amenities. Mr. Thompson said that about half the units will be rented to Health City staff, while the other half will be for patients.
The patient-housing units are necessary, especially during the busy tourist season, said Health City Marketing Director Shomari Scott.
“At this time of year, we have to turn down patients because we don’t have accommodations,” he said.
The 20,000 square-foot commercial space – named Heron Place – will include a grocery store, bank, coffee shop and office space, according to construction manager Ryan Smith.
The development, which started in June this year, will also have environmentally friendly features, such as a rainwater collection system that will be used for the swimming pool and irrigation, and a solar-powered water heater, Mr. Smith said.
This aspect of the Health City development will create about 30 new jobs, including maintenance workers, apartment managers and landscapers, he said.
Currently, the project employs 124 workers, 80 of whom are Caymanian, according to the developers.
“We don’t see it as a great achievement; we see it as an absolute duty to hire and give Caymanians the opportunity,” Mr. Thompson said.
Mr. Thompson said special efforts were made to give people with criminal records a chance to work on the project.
“It’s because [for] some of the people we hire, we don’t do random drug testing, we don’t do police clearances in advance. We just say, ‘Come to our site, and if you’re ready to work and work hard, we’ll work with you,’” he said.