A project to bring a $300-million five-star hotel to the southern end of Seven Mile Beach has moved a step closer after the developer finalized a US$25-million deal to buy the property.
The Howard Hospitality Group, which opened the Margaritaville resort earlier this year, has partnered with New Jersey-based Madison Hill Properties for the project, which is planned for the site of the old Pageant Beach hotel.
The developer obtained planning permission for the project in October and hopes to open a new luxury resort at the site in late 2020.
Michael Wilkings of HHG confirmed that the joint company, Pageant Beach Hotel Ltd., had completed the purchase of the land on Dec. 7.
He said the resort will include 30,000 square feet of conference space, five pools, seven bars and restaurants, a private screening room, spa and gym, and approximately 400 guest rooms and suites.
He said the developer was committed to a “high ratio” of Caymanian employees and would use Cayman contractors and suppliers where possible during the building phase.
He said the resort would eventually employ a permanent staff of around 500 people.
According to plans submitted to the Central Planning Authority in October, the resort will include two 10-story buildings.
Kim Lund of RE/Max, who brokered the sale for the seven-acre parcel next to The Wharf Restaurant, said the project would be good for Cayman.
He said a second five-star branded resort was needed on the island and would provide a long-term boost for the tourism sector.
Mr. Lund said the purchase was a clear statement of intent from the developer that this was a project that would get done.
“This makes it real, for sure. This is significant because it will be the largest hotel property in Grand Cayman, completely modern and contemporary,” he said.
The sale price was US$25 million, according to documents filed at the Land Registry Office.
At the CPA meeting in October, several neighboring property owners characterized the plan as overdevelopment and called for it to be scaled back.
The National Conservation Council has not called for an environmental impact assessment on the site. Director of the Department of Environment Gina Ebanks-Petrie said in June that the “magnitude and scope of the potential impacts really don’t warrant an EIA.”
Mr. Wilkings said the property would be designed by an international team of resort experts and would be environmentally friendly.