CIG signs amended deal with Dart

| 31/05/2016 | 88 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughline and Chief Operating Officer at Dart Realty (Cayman) Jackie Doak sign the final Dart deal

(CNS): After three years of talks over the final amendment to the controversial deal with Dart, government has signed the third amendment, though few details have been released. In his Budget Statement delivered Monday, Premier Alden McLaughlin said the deal had been signed, but it is not clear what the full agreement now entails. The 50% accommodation tax rebate that had been in the original document has been removed, he said. Government has, however, increased the duty waiver cap the group receives, though the figure has not been revealed.

The deal commits Dart Realty (Cayman) Ltd to more road expansion and to continue rolling out its development plans, but there is no indication about what land has been exchanged to compensate for the West Bay Road closure, and the proposal for a public beach north of the Dart’s Kimpton hotel site appears to have disappeared.

In his Legislative Assembly address, the premier said there were aspects of the agreement negotiated by the UDP administration that “in our view were not good” for Cayman and he described the negotiations as a “long journey” to reshape the third amendment.

McLaughlin said it committed Dart to “certain levels of development” (which he did not specify) “sooner rather than later”, as well as the road enhancements. Pointing to work already underway to expand the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, he said government was also partnering with Dart to construct two more lanes on that road from the Century 21 Roundabout to the Butterfield Roundabout in town.

“The NRA Third Amendment also removes the concessions on tourism room tax, which had been given away by the UDP administration,” he said. “The new terms will guarantee construction jobs once the Kimpton is complete — jobs working on the roadways that Dart will build and jobs that will come once Dart starts to build out Camana Bay, as well as new resorts.”

He said Dart had plans to build another resort, which when finished would “create unique experiences” for tourists and residents, but there was no mention of another public beach.

Dart is currently seeking to remove a sample of beach rock on Seven Mile Beach at one of its now many beachfront properties to see if would be possible to completely remove the natural phenomenon, which a release from the group described as an “unpleasant experience” for its guests.

It has applied for a coastal works licence for the test work and the Department of Environment recently confirmed that it has reviewed the application and sent its recommendations to Cabinet. However, a DoE spokesperson said they were unable to say what was in that report until Cabinet had reviewed the findings of their research and analysis. Environment Minister Wayne Panton recently told CNS that Cabinet had not yet discussed the proposal.

That development concerns one of at least three major beachfront properties that Dart is proposing to build in addition to the Kimpton, but it is not clear if development there is contingent on digging up one of the last unspoilt sections of Grand Cayman’s famous beach.

The islands’ largest developer also recently acquired the former Hyatt site and the Beach Suites Hotel, which it is closing in September. Although Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell has stated on a number of occasions that the site is going to be redeveloped for tourism, Dart confirmed to CNS last week that, as previously stated, it had no plans for that site.

“Our position remains the same as previously reported in March and again in May – we have no definitive development plans for the recently acquired properties,” a Dart spokesperson stated.

Following McLaughlin’s revelations in the LA, Dart circulated its own release about the new deal, pointing to the economic activity it had generated and the jobs it had created since it was signed, but there were few details on the revised agreement or plans the group has for the Seven Mile Beach site and others scattered over Grand Cayman, from Barkers to East End.

“This marks a major milestone in a six-year process between government and Dart Realty,” said Chief Executive Officer Mark VanDevelde. “What began as conversations on how to stimulate the economy during the global economic crisis evolved into an innovative agreement to create road infrastructure and incentivize our long-term development activity in the Cayman Islands.”

Since the initial NRA agreement projects started in January 2012, Dart said it had provided more than 3.1 million hours of work, or the equivalent of 344 continuous, full-time jobs. Accepting the consensus of this new third agreement to eliminate the 50% tourism tax rebate, it welcomed the increase in the development duty waiver cap and “other duty abatements and waivers related to Dart’s development over the next 30 years”.

Under the new deal, Dart has agreed to invest US$400 million in development activity, including the road expansions. It also provides for a legal mechanism for the development of an elevated plane over the Esterley Tibbetts Highway and for the group to buy the freehold title to the former Safehaven land, which includes the North Sound Golf Club.

Dart has agreed to a pedestrian link south of the Camana Bay to create safe passage beneath the Esterley Tibbetts Highway to the National Gallery and Harquail Theatre, as well as the sports facilities being planned on the west side of the road.

“Our working relationship with the Cayman Islands Government and the National Roads Authority has proven to be positive throughout the process, characterised by collaboration to achieve the goal of continued economic stimulus,” said Chief Operating Officer Jackie Doak. “In addition to fulfilling our commitments under the NRA Agreement, we are moving ahead with diverse development projects which reflect and reinforce our confidence in the ongoing growth and prosperity of the Cayman Islands,” she added.

CNS has requested a copy of the deal which will be posted on receipt.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (88)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Looks like Jackie has been taught that “pressure on the knuckle” handshake technique.
    Things should go much smoother now.

  2. William Watler says:

    There’s a saying, “It takes one to know one”. Do they mean a thief or dishonest person? If someone wanted to know a bit more about Dart, they only have to do a search on the internet. Dart’s record is about as shady as they get. I would not deal with him in any way, and I would be leery of anyone who did. Look what he did to Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Greece and the Turks and Caicos.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget Bahamas. He tried it on there too but was told to get packin! At least they saw right thru him. Shame there’s too much greed here to see that. And in saying that, this is the perfect place for him to infiltrate! Easy pickin’s here.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And yet you still deal with McKeeva Bush after all his many public screw ups, bad deals, double dipping, etc., etc. We get it. Your a proud Caymanian. Only Non Caymanians are bad. Or is it Bad Caymanians are good/ Or both?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The deal and all deals like this should be published for the public to see and digest and then open to public input BEFORE being signed off by the government.
    We have lost control of our Government this just proves that Dart is the entity that is making the decisions in this country and the PPM/UDP are just puppets of his.

    I am truly saddened by this We are supposed to have faith in our leaders to make decisions for us; but they do not trust us to help with the decisions. One thing for is sure. I was smart enough not to vote for the UDP because of their dealings with Dart, This time I have another party not to vote for, PPM. I hope they are getting paid well for this as they will not be around for another term.

    How the hell can they think of collecting stamp duty on residential leases to collect about ONE million dollars because we are so broke, when they give away multi millions to Dart and other developers. Hell they even gave duty concession to Mike Ryan for his new project when he never paid us the 6 mil he owed from part of the Ritz development.

    • Anonymous says:

      To 9:06 I like your posting. The PPM has seen the writing on the wall. I believe their days are numbered. When you see stalwarts like Mr. Anthony Eden, a God fearing gentleman with an unquestionable love for his country, having to abandon the PPM camp that tells me that their leadership is in a lot of trouble.

    • Anonymous says:

      How does this prove that Dart is making the decisions? Did your Mama tell you that?

      • Anonymous says:

        My mama is a woman of towering integrity, and just yesterday she said to me “Boy, you fool? Don’t you know that Papa Dart controllin the whole Island?”.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wow!, PPM came out yesterday with the civil servants pay rise, and marijuana oil- the little nice stuff to make us say, yes PPM. Then today they come out with the tough stuff. Alden is one slick Willy . Have no fear he will soon come back telling us where the dump will be move to. Do you all really believe that the dump is not included in this plan? I think it is but they are not yet ready to tell us.

  5. da-wa-u-get says:

    It’s incredible, most of the comments on this topic are people bitching and complaining! Yet, all these complainers have to do is, tell Caymanians not to sell anything to Dart Inc. And it will stop! However, many are only too happy to cash in!

    • Tot says:

      Dart is Caymanian; doesn’t matter who sells or not. He owns about a third of the island. It’s no big deal for me, he provides opportunity and beautifies the place. I appreciate his investments as a Caymanian.

      Dart only did what the wealthy Caymanians refused to do collectively; because they are too selfish, greedy and lack vision.

      Signed: Born & Bred Caymanian.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Removing “a sample of beach rock on Seven Mile Beach” – you mean the iron shore? Part of our culture that we’re kinda famous for? Sure. Why not? Maybe they can remove all the sand too. Those grains can be an uncomfortable experience for guests. Let’s just concrete the place while we’re at it.

    • Jotnar says:

      No, not ironshore. Wiki definition “Beachrock is a friable to well-cemented sedimentary rock that consists of a variable mixture of gravel-, sand-, and silt-sized sediment that is cemented with carbonate minerals and has formed along a shoreline.” If you have been on that part of SMB you should know what they are talking about – the smooth “rock” in the shallows, typically covered in algae. Not part of our culture that i am aware of.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not ironshore. It’s the coral/coral stone reef formation that’s infront and north of the Tikki beach area that has been there forever providing a home and protective reef to many reef species such as, parrot fish, snappers, grunts, Angel fish and many others (the type tourists like to see and take pictures of whilst snorkeling) but he wants to dig it up because it’s not pleasing to his plan and someone might bump their toe or hurt their feet on it. So yes it will become all sand and concrete eventually.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m moving back to jamacia

    • Anonymous says:

      go back to school and learn to spell while you are at it…

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey, sportsfan, you ever heard about starting a sentence with a capital blinking letter?

        • Anonymous says:

          have our leaders ever learned to consult the peoople before signing anything as major as this? UDP- no, PPM-no

          • Not Rich says:

            I don’t know who “the peoople” are, but I know they are not in our leaders’ loop for consultation………… unless they are rich or have great influence.

            • Anonymous says:

              to quote a previous remark.”Maybe we should pay attention to the ideas people express not their ability to use the language you feel to be the only acceptable one. Many of us here now come for other backgrounds and languages but are now legally Caymanian. We should be exchanging ideas not grammar criticism. Please do not be so narrow minded that we miss good ideas.”

          • Anonymous says:

            You are 100% correct, my friend.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Give it away, give it away give it away now…soon come Cayman Islands (Dart) Ltd.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Did he get lands in England?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeh, according to the Domesday Book, and I have the original 1086 copy under lock and key here in Cayman, Dart owns over three quarters of England, including Buckingham Palace. It’s only a matter of time before he moves on the place.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Any deal made with Dart will be heavily in Dart’s favor. That is the reason the details of this deal are still not clear.

  11. Anonymous says:

    “Dart said it had provided more than 3.1 million hours of work, or the equivalent of 344 continuous, full-time jobs.” Over four years that doesn’t sound like a heck of a lot to me considering how much of Grand Cayman Dart either owns or controls and the concessions that have been handed out to them. Maybe I’m just missing something here?

  12. Sam Putt Putt says:

    Not to be nitpicky, but does the Third Amendment address the minor issue of the Agreement’s illegality as opined as I recall by the former Auditor General?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Auditor General is qualified to give a legal opinion how exactly?

      • Sam Putt Putt says:

        Well, his authority is derived from section 114 of the Cayman Islands Constitution and his legitimacy by virtue of his appointment by the Governor, his education, training, experience, professional qualifications and his responsibility to be the foremost oversight on public management and finance law. Unlike say, any given Finance Minister, who’s financial acumen may not necessarily extend much past the ability to operate a slot machine for instance.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cayman, there’s no other way to put it, you are being ripped off. What next – Dart University?

    • Anonymous says:

      We Gotta Build a Wall!

    • Anonymous says:

      Every time your government does something the people of Cayman get ripped off. There is way to much evidence to just not see it. And you are mad at Dart? I see Cayman’s real problem now.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Anything to do with this aberration of an entity (“Dart”) makes me feel like puking. The worse thing that ever happened to Cayman. Total – and very nasty, to boot – rip off artists, grinning their damn heads off. Wake up, Cayman, you are being taken to the cleaners, aided by that American rag of a publication calling itself a compass of sorts.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Compass is full of er…..nothing.

      • Anonymous says:

        They can’t even spell properly, to boot.What kind of an idiot elects to use American English in a British colony that uses, duh, the queen’s English. It’s insane. Guess the same kind of idiot that drives himself around in a convertible whilst claiming to be in fear of his life! I’ve spoken about this (the stupid American English) to numerous Compass journalists (on the whole great people) and they’ve all said “Speak to the publisher” (please!)

        • Anonymous says:

          Maybe we should pay attention to the ideas people express not their ability to use the language you feel to be the only acceptable one. Many of us here now come for other backgrounds and languages but are now legally Caymanian. We should be exchanging ideas not grammar criticism. Please do not be so narrow minded that we miss good ideas.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bear in mind that at some future date the Compass is hoping to secure a nice lucrative publishing contract with Dart.

      • Anonymous says:

        2:47 Wasn’t the CFP buyout funded by Dart?

        • Anonymous says:

          As was the Cayman 27 buy out. Which by the way is moving into Camana Bay. Remember you have to control the press to take over a country. Dart remembered this

    • Anonymous says:

      You can always leave and go to a land where everything is done your way. Bye.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you don’t like what Dart builds then just what kind of building do you like? Is a grass shack more your style?

      • Anonymous says:

        No building at all would be nice, leave the damn island alone now we dont need anymore tourasses here.

        • Think of all possibilities says:

          “we dont need anymore tourasses here”

          Sometimes, I wonder if Caymanians truly love their country when they say things like this. Tourism is pillar of the economy… the bread and butter that allows you to get on your fancy high-speed internet to come here and comment with your nonsense. You should be thanking every one of these fat tourists for spending WAY too much money on this island. With attitudes like yours, they will soon realize they were overcharged.

  15. SSM345 says:

    The Premier needs to learn how to shake hands properly.

    • Jotnar says:

      Its a special handshake, but Mrs Doak isn’t a member and doesn’t know how to share hands “properly”

    • MasterMason says:

      Its his Master Mason grip from the Lodge house

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I agree, the hand shake does indeed appear rather flacid. Low energy. If anyone is showing a “power hand shake” it is the Dart representative, for sure. Very assertive. Clearly a powerful presence. Like a head librarian.

      • Beaumont says:

        I respect the Premier. However, I’ve shaken hands with him, and it was a flaccid hand I shook. No warmth, no strength and no heart. Probably something he adapted in order to shake more hands. JMHO.

        If you’re going to shake hands, put a little of your self in it. Otherwise, it’s an insult. Like waving at somebody with one finger.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thanks for the correct spelling of “flaccid” – which I had failed to provide, and your good humour. Never too old to learn!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yikes. You’re not kidding. That is not a binding handshake!

    • Anonymous says:

      McKeeva got a kiss.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This last agreement is like the old saying — same / same — just different wording and moving of $$ figures — some old PPM ( “Kettle calling the pot Black” –lol )

  17. Anonymous says:

    I have a feeling that this time the residents of this island would really want the Dump issue fixed. Almost every comment is on the Dump issue. Absolutely nothing else is more important.

  18. Sharkey says:

    But I wonder why these new amendments were never descussed into the LA openly, but a other back room closed door deal has been done on the Island and the people, isn’t that what Mr Bush did ? What would make these amendments better this time for the benefits of the Islands ? They were both done by self serving politicians behind closed doors.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe because wants it done behind closed doors and signed off before checks are signed and the people have a chance to speak up about it. Remember who is in control.

  19. Anonymous says:

    wow…another non-update from the ppm which leaves more questions than answers….
    you could not make this stuff up….pure alice in wonderland stuff…

  20. Anonymous says:

    Unless a solution is negotiated for dart to provide a fix to the GT dump the progressives have failed and these NRA agreements are not in Cayman’s best interests

  21. Anonymous says:

    PPM selling out Cayman to Dart just like UDP

  22. Anonymous says:

    Good thing Dart is patient and forgiving or the island would not get to see competence in action.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Give it up. They have spent the money to find out that they are not smart enough to make it happen. That is the best they can do and all they will do. Move on.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Why is there no mention of the dump!?

    • Anonymous says:

      What dump?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, based on the inferences from the Compass editorial it turns out that landfills kill everyone within 3 miles of them – so there is no way in hell it is ever going to get moved to Bodden Town now. Talk about over-playing your cards!

  25. Ravi says:

    Let’s discuss the dump Mr. Premier. That should be the priority, it’s a stinking heap of mess leaking into our North Sound. It’s disgusting!

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See draft amendment to the Constitution in the CNS Library