A luxury condo project planned for Rum Point could lead a new wave of tourism development in the eastern districts, according to developer Joe Imparato.

He believes the Rum Point Club and Residences, which he describes as similar in style and quality to his Caribbean Club on Seven Mile Beach, will set a new standard for that part of the island.

“The reality is that there is nothing at Rum Point that will compare to what we are doing from a quality and return on investment point of view,” he said.

“I am convinced that we will be leading the way for other, similar projects as development migrates to the eastern districts.”

He said the 36 condos, which range in price from US$1.2 to $2.5 million, would be individually owned. Most will be enrolled into a rental pool, meaning it will operate like a boutique hotel.

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The Central Planning Authority granted approval last week for some minor amendments to the plans after the developer agreed to move some parking spaces to satisfy neighboring residents concerned that they encroached on a legally registered path.

The development, expected to be complete in March next year, has faced various obstacles, including strong opposition from neighboring owners at the Retreat complex.

Mr. Imparato is still at odds with the planning department over accusations that work was carried out on the ironshore coastline without permission. The developer claims the work was above the high water mark and in compliance with the law.

He said the work was relatively minor landscaping and a stop notice issued by the department for those modifications had not impacted the overall project. He said a separate planning application had now been submitted, at the request of the department.

Planning director Haroon Pandohie said the developer had not yet met the terms of a planning enforcement notice to either reinstate the shoreline or obtain planning permission. He said the file was now with the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration.

Mr. Imparato said this was news to him.

Either way, he said the continuation of the project does not hinge on the impasse over the ironshore, which he described as a “sideshow.”

He said the bigger picture was the impact the development would have on tourism in the eastern districts.

“We expect the wave of tourism to move in the direction of Rum Point,” he said.

The five-story building features 36 units, but owners will have the option to combine units into larger properties. He said the beachfront development, which also features a spa and fitness center, was 50 percent sold and on schedule for completion in March next year. Luxury Cayman Villas will manage the property.

“Our target market for sales are moderately affluent second home buyers that are seeking an upscale vacation residence beyond that of Seven Mile Beach,” he added.

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