Dart applies for development on either side of Esterley Tibbetts

This aerial image shows the area that the mixed-use development will cover, spanning from the Cayman Islands Yacht Club to Seven Mile Beach.

Dart has submitted a planning application to create a mixed-use, resort and residential development that will span an area from the Cayman Islands Yacht Club to Seven Mile Beach, and may involve cutting a canal under the Esterley Tibbetts Highway bridge.

The company applied to the Central Planning Authority last week for a planned area development, known as a PAD, on either side of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway. The specific application relates to an area of land west of the Cayman Islands Yacht Club, between the Governor’s Harbour and Salt Creek roundabouts.

If the plan is approved, it will mean that Dart’s resort/residential developments in that area will extend from the yacht club at Governor’s Creek to the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa on Seven Mile Beach.

According to a press release on the project, the new PAD area is designed to be developed in phases over several years. The resort areas and the residential neighbourhood will be connected through a network of roads, pedestrian paths, bicycle trails and waterways.

PADs, of which Dart’s Camana Bay is an example, enable the development of mixed-use, master-planned developments, although each project within the area requires separate planning permission.

“The PAD application covers Dart-owned lands currently zoned Hotel/Tourism and Residential, anchored by the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa and the Cayman Islands Yacht Club and Marina. The neighbourhood will also include the recently approved Seafire splash park and the new Hotel Indigo, subject to planning approval,” the company stated.

Dart announced plans for the 10-storey Hotel Indigo in December.

“The conceptual master plan for the area is still a work in progress, including the possibility of canals to meet the continued demand for waterfront homes in the Seven Mile Beach area,” the company stated.

“One of the canals would run under the bridge on Esterley Tibbetts Highway, an option initially conceived when the roads infrastructure was expanded in 2012; it would require permitting through the usual process and would terminate in a turning basin just after the bridge.”

The turning basin area would be in part of the site used for the 2019 KAABOO music festival.

Dart’s chief executive officer Mark VanDevelde said in a statement, “As evidenced by our flagship development at Camana Bay, Dart’s master-planning takes a multi-decade approach and aims to balance economic, social and environmental interests. Our focus is on creating places people want to be, incorporating sustainable design, pedestrian connectivity, native landscaping and open spaces.”

He added, “In the midst of a pandemic, these small islands have punched well above their weight and proved their mettle in the face of adversity. At Dart, we are enthusiastic and optimistic about the future of the Cayman Islands.”

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