There are major capital developments and big changes in Cayman's infrastructure to look forward to for 2021/2022. Although many projects halted construction and plans were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, developments have now resumed and you may be seeing some changes before the end of the year.
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Cayman's infrastructure is upgrading and expanding across the island from Health City in East End to the Owen Roberts International Airport and continuous efforts to stimulate growth in the capital.
Health City Cayman Islands ExpansionHealth City Cayman Islands (HCCI) will be expanding their facilities with the construction of a $100 million medical campus at Camana Bay, near the Cayman International School. This expansion will increase patient access and elevate medical and surgical care in the Cayman Islands.
The new state-of-the-art HCCI medical campus will be the first in the region to offer bone marrow transplantation and CAR-T Cell Therapy. Adding to its expansive facility, Health City Cayman Islands broke ground in December 2019 on the Caribbean’s first Cancer Treatment Centre. It will be the first comprehensive cancer centre in the Caribbean, offering medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation, and accommodation for overseas patients, in addition to being a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) facility. The oncology department will include Medical oncology, Hemato-oncology, Surgical oncology and Radiation oncology. The hospital will also include a robust multi-specialty programme which includes robotic surgery, a neonatal intensive care unit, emergency pavilion and critical care.
Construction on the facility began in the beginning of 2021 and is estimated to take 12 to 18 months to complete.
Dart Projects (2021/2022)The Dart Group has been building and developing property in Cayman since 2005. Here is a list of their recent projects:
Cayman International School (CIS)
In January 2021, the Cayman International School opening the doors to the new high school welcoming 160 returning students. The US$60 million expansion project doubled CIS’s current size and capacity to 1,100 students. The project includes the addition of an early childhood campus and 22 new classrooms and other amenities such as drama and music facilities, a double gym and a media centre.
Work continues on OLEA, the town’s first for-sale residences. Ranging from one-bedroom condos to four-bedroom townhouses, these luxury residences will be adjacent to Cayman International School (C.I.S). Phase 1 and Phase 2 are now pre-selling.
A ten storey building which will include 89 for-lease apartments and ground-floor Class-A retail space. Features include a swimming pool and outdoor kitchen with grills, a rooftop observation deck and each residence will have their own private balcony or terrance. Kapok is estimated to be open at the end of 2022.
Hotel Indigo will be a boutique hotel that will offer 282 guest rooms with views across the Caribbean Sea, multiple restaurants and an expansive pool deck ad rooftop bar.
60 Nexus Way
This 10 storey building will be the tallest commercial office building in Grand Cayman. 60 Nexus Way will be built to LEED standards which includes water savings, energy efficiency, sustainable materials, waste reduction and the quality of the indoor environment. Features will include shops and restaurants on the groud floor and a rooftop terrance with 360 views. 60 Nexus Way will open towards the end of 2022.
Grand Cayman Beach Suites
There are also plans for a five-star resort to be built on Cayman’s west coast near Camana Bay, the reopening of the Grand Cayman Beach Suites, and the controversial plans for development on Dart-owned land on the fringes of the Barkers Peninsula National Park.
The proposed development at Barkers includes the removal of 180,000 sq. ft. (over four acres) of turtle grass and the construction of a 300 ft. pier. The environmental impact that this will have has caused public outcry, and a petition has begun to save one of the Island’s last unspoiled beaches from commercial development.
Owen Roberts International Airport & Cayman Airways
The expansion of the Owen Roberts International Airports commenced in October 2015 and has been carried out in phases and ultimately endeavors to greatly maximize the capacity of the existing facility, expanding the square footage from 77,000 to 208,000. This spacial increase has made room for new arrival and departure halls, as well as a new baggage and screening area. Further additions include a children’s play area, mothers’ nursing station, digital flight information displays, common-use self-service kiosks, 39 check-in counters and nine departure gates.
Approximately $120 million dollars has been spent on this project so far. Up to this point the redevelopment and expansion works has included the lengthening and strengthening of the existing runway, a new parallel taxiway, filling in the surrounding ponds and the introduction of an airfield perimeter road, and is progressing well.
Work remains ongoing on the Owen Robert’s International Airport as the government is now looking at upgrading the terminal for private jets. This new general aviation facility will hopefully enhance the tourism product for wealthier guests and attract a wider demographic.
The CI Airports Authority is currently looking for consultants to undertake an outline business case to outline the master plan for all three of its airports, with a focus on a new general aviation terminal at Own Roberts International. This plan will provide the CIAA with guidance on decision making, and will also address new initiatives, and explore opportunities that will facilitate the long-range development of the three airports for at least 20 years.
Progressing with their Fleet Modernization Plan, the first of four Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts landed on-Island and joined Cayman Airways’ roster on December 3rd, 2018. However, Cayman Airways made the decision in March 2019 to indefinitely ground two brand new Boeing 737 Max 800 aircrafts as part of a global move in the wake of two fatal 737 crashes that were seemingly the result of a wiring issue. As such, Cayman Airways has had to push off plans to retire the Boeing 737-300s from their fleet.
Stimulating Growth in the Capital
Stimulating growth in Cayman’s historic capital is still a priority: the Government has assigned a technical team to investigate a holistic revitalisation of the downtown George Town area that will also look carefully at the impact that the Cruise Berthing Facility would have on the area.
Stimulating growth in the capital has been a priority for Cayman’s current government. Proposals that deal with changes to traffic and pedestrian flows, beautification, including planting much-needed shade trees, preserving historic areas and landmarks, mixed use commercial and residential developments, will all be carefully examined by the team.
Cayman’s once thriving commercial centre has experienced a contraction since 2008. Not only have small business in the capital taken a hit economically, many corporate companies have moved to Class A commercial spaces in Camana Bay and other leading business centres such as Cricket Square, leaving some older commercial buildings in George Town vacant or under occupied.
Major Road Works & Expansions
The government has continued its major road works and expansions projects to further fix traffic congestion around the Island. Here are a few projects that the National Roads Authority will continue working on over the next few years:
George Town Revitalisation Project: As part of the George Town Revitalisation Project, development on the road network in and around the capital to help more effectively separate school traffic and reduce congestion around peak hours is on track. This will be a multi-year project. The proposed project will include full pedestrianisation of several streets, adding adequate lighting and providing public open spaces adjacent to businesses. The aim is to increase foot traffic by locals and tourists, security and safety. Other features will include adding a circular monument garden, mature trees, urban lamp poles, seating, underground utility chase, manholes and drainage.
Linford Pierson Highway: The first phase of the Linford Pierson Highway expansion, which was completed in August 2018, has brought some relief to the often-gridlocked road with the addition of two roundabouts and four lane passages. However, due to backlash from landowners, a third of the highway has not been expanded and, consequently, traffic continues to bottleneck. Phase two – the widening of this final section – has been put on hold as Government focuses on other major projects and attempts to settle legal disputes with landowners.
Airport Connector Road: Looking towards the future, plans for the $34 million, two-mile Airport Connector Road are beginning to get underway. The road will join the airport with the Camana Bay South Roundabout on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway. This hopes to provide a swift route for visitors up the Seven Mile Beach corridor, meanwhile alleviating traffic congestion through George Town.
Godfrey Nixon Way: This will connect Eastern Avenue to the main George Town area.
East-West Arterial widening: a 0.6 mile long stretch of the highway will be widened to four lanes from Poindexter Road to Hirst Road.
East-West Arterial Road expansion: this highway will be extended from Woodland Drive, Savannah to Lookout Gardens, Bodden Town pending an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
Seaview Road Intersection Upgrades: turning lanes will be added to alleviate traffic from turning vehicles.
With Cayman’s population growing, and more cars being added to the road every year, it will be interesting to see if these new roads will have a lasting effect on reducing traffic congestion; widening the roads is perhaps a momentary solution.
A priority for the Cayman Islands’ Government, one that is greatly anticipated by the public, is to steer the collection and management of Cayman’s garbage and waste towards a modern solid waste management solution that combines recycling at its very heart. However, with the outbreak of two significant fires at the dump in the first quarter of 2020, each which took days to contain and forced school closures and surrounding residents to evacuate their homes, there has been lots of outcry over what the public has deemed an inability by the government to properly manage the Island’s serious waste issue. Please see our page on the George Town Landfill Site for updates on current efforts throughout 2021.
Visit the list of Grand Cayman’s recycling drop off locations if you are interested in reducing your waste impact. These recycling locations are all in convenient location.