A $39 million plan for the first phase of the Cayman Enterprise City campus was approved by the Central Planning Authority this week.

Around half of the 220-plus businesses within the zone, currently housed in rented office space across the island, will be the first tenants in the new development, which will include a four-story “gateway building” and a two- and three-story office block, connected by a bridge.

Ultimately, a network of interlinked office buildings and amenities sprawling across a 53-acre campus is planned for the site between the Cayman Tennis Club on South Sound Road and Fairbanks Road. It is envisaged that a proposed network of interior roads within the development will link to Fairbanks Road via a new connector road.

Cindy O’Hara, chief development officer for Enterprise City, said work should begin this year once construction documents had been completed and building permits issued.

“We are excited to gain planning permission for the first phase of our new purpose-built 53-acre master planned campus,” she said in a statement to the Compass.

“We see the campus development as key to fostering a vibrant community of innovative companies and entrepreneurs, and look forward to CEC’s continued growth and positive impact on Cayman’s economy. We are thankful for all who have helped move the project forward and look forward to the hard work ahead.”

A Planned Area Development for the wider project has already been approved, but the component elements still require individual planning permission.

An architect’s rendering of how the new Enterprise City buildings will look.

The application for the initial buildings came before the Central Planning Authority Wednesday with a recommendation that it be approved.

In its notes to the CPA, the planning department indicated the proposed buildings were in line with the approved Planned Area Development and within the permitted building height for commercial property in that area.

The Department of Environment re-iterated previously aired concerns about loss of mangrove habitat and the potential for flooding. The report noted that a stormwater management plan, approved by the National Roads Authority, would be a condition of approval.

Cayman Enterprise City – the island’s special economic zone – was launched in 2012 to attract international companies, which do business off island, to the territory. The long-term plan has always been for the businesses to be housed together, with phases of the campus being built as the project grows and demand increases.

Charlie Kirkconnell, chief executive officer of Enterprise City, indicated that tech companies are providing a new growth surge for the zone.

In the next five years, he said, it will grow to more than 500 businesses, with over half expected to be technology companies.

Cayman Enterprise City hopes to have more than 500 businesses working from its new campus within five years.

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