Minister commits to George Town renovation

| 06/11/2017 | 48 Comments

(CNS): Following years of promises from the PPM about their commitment to the revitalization of George Town, the new planning minister, Joey Hew, told the Legislative Assembly during the Friday proceedings that the project would get underway in earnest during this administration. The Progressive member for George Town North said that he had prioritised the regeneration plan to energize what he said was the “flagging urban landscape” of the capital, especially after offices and businesses closed in the evening. Hew said that the redevelopment of George Town would play a part in the “fight against crime and decay” as well as economic development.

He said the road network servicing the capital has gone through an upgrade but the Unity government was going to deliver on the next part of the project — redeveloping the business district. He said he intended to fully implement the plan that would see government engage in public-private partnerships to boost the capital. Announcing the reestablishment of the urban redevelopment commission, the minister said this would include the recruitment of a town manager, an individual who would be responsible for the implementation of the plan, engaging private partners and act as the liaison on the project. 

Hew gave no other indication of what the project will entail but the previous minister for planning as well as staff from the ministry have in the past spoken about a review of the planning laws regarding zoning in the capital. The goal would be to provide for mixed-use development, introducing the opportunity for apartments in the centre of town above shops and offices. Other elements have included creating pedestrian-only zones and beautification of the area, with the introduction of more trees and flora and appropriate street furniture.

Given the plans to reshape downtown George Town and make the area more people-friendly and create opportunities to open up the capital at night, the independent opposition member for George Town Central, Kenneth Bryan, offered his support for the project when he spoke on Thursday night. But he queried how comments by both the premier and the tourism minister about exploring the idea of establishing a transshipment point at the George Town harbour would sit with the revitalisation of the capital.

Bryan said the premier needed to come and explain this to his constituents because what he knew about transshipment ports is that they are “ugly, big industrial things”, where massive amounts of containers were piled high across many acres of industrial areas, which he said would not go with plans to beautify the capital. He said the premier “needs to come and speak to my people” because they were never told about a transshipment facility being part of any cargo redevelopment.

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Comments (48)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Car park should be out of town by cricket field area . Then you board a trolley car into fort street. You pick up trolley to return to parking lot at Boilers road. Then you have flow through GT.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ohh. Build a $3million 1/4mile boardwalk for the South sound joggers.
    Great plan that one.
    Next storm will just wash it across the street.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a wonderful idea to revitalise GeorgeTown. It will enhance the town immensely. The planting of trees and flora and placing seating for residents and tourists would be greatly appreciated by all. Hopefully, the dock will be in place pretty soon for the cruise ship passengers to enjoy this beautiful island. These islands rely on tourism and it’s not just for the people that fly in here for a few days diving. Let’s hope it will come to fruition.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    The fist thing that neefs to happennis build that dock. Then the revitalization of george town will be a lot easier

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps Mr Hew could start by ensuring the laws regarding parking on sidewalks/ double yellows etc are being enforced? GT is made ugly and dangerous for visitors (either local or tourists) by inconsiderate people blocking pedestrian routes. This SHOULD be an easy start.

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  6. Caymanian. says:

    More local TREES please. If they get too big just trim them! And please no exported PALMS. Plant some of our fruit trees and provide more seats. Town is a very hot place ?

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey, Joseph! How about we start by moving high end stores like Bon Vivant into town so that it can gain a more upscale feel and inspire confidence of investors and locals alike?

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  8. Anonymous says:

    more soon-come nonsense the do-nothing ppm.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    yeah right.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Saying once per term that this will proceed has become a tradition. I’ll believe it when I see it

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Time to get something done because God knows its been talked about by this administration for years! I even remember Kurt Tibbetts last term talking about removing the old glass house…. and yet it is still there! Can we see some action and progress…. instead of having this list of plans that just talked about and never happen. Is it that try to do too much and end up getting very little done. We watching you Mr. Hew….. Alden soon retire but you have so much potential to really make a difference.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Weren’t Carson Ebanks, Kenneth Ebanks and Kearney Gomez supposed to be working on a revitalization of George Town project? Appointed by Mckeeva some years back.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    This would be so amazing

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Provide the same incentive framework for the downtown core as you provided for the Dart developments and also allow mixed-use downtown re-developments. Worth a try?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    The PPM government tried to develop a program to revitalize George Town during the last administration and it never got off the ground. Perhaps they could have Dart do it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      7.12pm You are wrong. This is a continuation of what they started. I guess you missed the roadworks carried out as part the plan. After all if you are going to restrict vehicular traffic in toen center, then you will ja e to provide alternate routes.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Given the subdsidies Dart gets every day anything and everything is possible. No one can compete with Dart because of the subsidies his operational costs ar much less than anyone else will ever be.

    • Anonymous says:

      Over the last 10-20 years government has torn down all the trees in George Town and it looks barren now. Mr. Tibbets failed to do any real improvements to George Town and now that they are bringing male strippers to Margaritaville the town is losing all remaining respectability. Oh and don’t forget the crime.

  16. Anonymous says:

    These guys are the reason Grand Cayman still has NO Cruise pier, No transshipment port, no George town revitalization, no finished schools, airports or the dump and have already spent millions making sure nothing gets done. If Cayman had enemies (and they do) These guys would be their front line.They are the heroes for the anti Cayman groups. And Caymanians pay them huge salaries to keep sticking it to them. A culture like this is self defeating and will soon kill itself. Please hurry it up. Its getting painful to watch.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Joey Who?

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  18. Aristotle Ebanks says:

    The ppm have been saying the same thing for years. Expanding roads like the Linford Pierson bypass does not mean GT revitalization. Hew’s inability to share specfic details and a master plan is the usual rhetoric. What is the difference between what is being said today and what was promised by the former planning minister Kurt Tibbetts? Anybody recall the turtle shaped ice rink we were told would be the center piece of the new vision for GT that was presented by the ppm?

    The reality for Cayman and this government is that they are wholly dependent and beholden on DART to redevelop GT. Not the government or any other private sector partner will drive the process. The government do not have a plan or the financial resources. Perhaps the minister can provide an update on the National Development plan for the country which would assist any efforts for the revitalization of GT.

    A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one. – Aristotle

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Good luck with this one Joey. Has been talked about for years and years. If you can get this done you will deserve a medal.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Any idea of revitalisation of G.T. having any possibility of success as a ‘Business District’ has been killed by Camana Bay and the de-centralisation of the commercial business sector , to other property developments & regions. There was a time (that time forgot ), when G.T. was the buzzing hub of Grand Cayman, but that was a while ago now , probably only as long ago as the mid 90’s. All you have downtown now are the big legacy banks , the post office and the Courthouse. Kenneth , you will need to get the crime under control first before lauding any great support for your venture ( news today , stabbing on Boilers Rd) , before you see any women walking hand in hand with their hubby for an after dinner stroll , for fear of getting jacked with a knife for their Samsung & wallets. Freight trans-shipment terminals and mega cruise dock on the calendar , good luck with that !

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  21. Diogenes says:

    I know the central town area is meant for tourists and that us lowly Caymanians need to stay out but, Mr Hew may I suggest something that the rest of the world calls “parking space”.
    I know you and the rest of the MLAs don’t notice cause you have your designated parking spaces behind your nice little gate, but for the rest of us finding a spot is hell.

    If you are really planning on redeveloping or putting apartments above the businesses or both, you are going to need it.
    either that or create a reliable system of public transport that isn’t dependent on an autonomous driver with little to no oversight.

    Diogenes

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  22. Anonymous says:

    How about building a multi-level parking block behind the library? Parking is an absolute nightmare!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      The low cost solutions:

      Make all street parking pay parking with a two hour maximum (all the spaces are now filled by 8:00 every morning and the cars do not move all day).

      Harbour Drive should remain open, but if roads were to be closed for pedestrians, Cardinal Avenue to Scotia Bank would be good.

      Change the zoning downtown to allow all buildings to be 10 floors, but they must include adequate parking, ground floor retail, second floor office and the balance residential.

      The higher cost solutions:

      A multi level parking lot on the Tower Building lot.

      Move the cargo port.

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  23. Veritas says:

    Looking at the photo accompanying the article I am tempted to say we are currently meeting expectations.

  24. #notmyrepresentative says:

    Your people? Hell no!

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