The Central Planning Authority has given the green light for the construction of an $80 million 10-storey hotel in central George Town.
The 177-room hotel, called One GT, is being developed on Goring Avenue by HPW Investments Ltd.
The CPA approved the application at its 23 June meeting, but the decision was not circulated until today.
This is the latest 10-storey hotel to be planned in George Town. Construction is under way for the Grand Hyatt hotel and residences on North Church Street on the old Pageant Beach site, between The Wharf restaurant and Poinsettia condos.
Amendments were made to the Development and Planning Law and regulations in 2016 to allow for 10-storey structures to be constructed in hotel/tourism zones in Cayman.
One GT is being built in an area that is zoned as general commercial. In its analysis of the project, the Planning Department had noted that there is precedent for allowing a hotel in a such a zone, as the CPA previously had granted permission for the Grand Hyatt development, which is also on a general commercial site.
Among the issues highlighted by the Department of Planning and the Department of Tourism, in their submissions in response to the application, were potential traffic congestion and a lack of parking spaces within the busy Central Business District of George Town. The planning department determined that the application made provision for 85 parking spaces, but a total of 162 spaces would be required to accommodate the size of the hotel.
The developer stated that parking would be provided off-site and a shuttle would be available to take people to and from the hotel. Valet parking would also be an option for guests.
The DoT in general supported the application, stating that it could act as an economic stimulus to George Town and would help diversify the hotel accommodation options for travellers.
The developer agreed at the 23 June meeting to amend plans for a rooftop restaurant and bar, which the planning department had noted would take the height of the hotel to 11 storeys.
The proposed hotel will include 131 one-bed rooms, 40 two-bed rooms and six three-bed rooms, all including their own kitchens.
Previously, the CPA had granted planning permission in 2009 for a four-storey office block in the same location, but that did not go ahead and the land has remained undeveloped in the meantime.