Dart gets to work immediately on extension

| 13/03/2018 | 137 Comments
Dart tunnel, Cayman News Service

West Bay Road tunnel, March 2018

(CNS): Grand Cayman’s largest developer, landowner and investor wasted no time getting down to work on the controversial tunnel this week after the Central Planning Authority granted one of Dart’s network of companies planning permission to extend the length of the underpass by another 170 feet. Following the CPA’s decision to allow a longer tunnel, despite considerable concerns, work began almost immediately. Work will now continue along the West Bay Road past the former entrance of the Royal Palms, after the entrance road was moved, as the tunnel will now extend to the edge of the Westshore Centre.

Traffic congestion in the area is increasing and CNS observed tourists on a cycling tour struggling through the tight tunnel as construction continues, underscoring some of the problems that the National Roads Authority noted about safety in the area when it submitted its concerns about the extension to the CPA.

News that the extension was granted last week generated more than 220 comments from CNS readers, which reflected the polarization in the community over the project that will in time see the Dart Group construct a hotel that will extend across the top of the tunnel.

There is no indication yet when the work on that will begin or how high the development above the tunnel will be, but there were indications at last week’s planning meet that it could be as high as ten storeys.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (137)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Lord help us if this thing ever pancakes like the one that happened in Miami today!

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  2. Anonymous says:

    There will be some attrition of return visitors to the island as a result of the changes and rampant development. Some will cash out and sell their second or third homes and seek the next up and coming place.

    Many will adapt, not liking all the changes, but seeing the positive for which Cayman still has. They will be the majority I expect. People expect change. Wherever they are visiting from has likely changed significantly in the past 30 years so most accept this.

    The blind spot- is the first time visitors, who know Cayman as no different, that are the question mark in the equation. Will they find it too expensive? Too crowded? Too Miamiesque? Are there enough wealthy people in the US (primary market) to support the more upscale hotels and restaurants? These new visitors arrive with fresh eyes and Cayman may still shine to them compared to other destinations they regularly visit.

    It would be prudent for DOT to invest in some solid departure surveys with guests to hear the feedback, especially from the 1st timers, many of whom would have previously visited the Caribbean islands that were damaged by storms in 2017.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    A new slogan for the new tourist initiative, courtesey of Dart…
    ‘Seven Mile Beach – home of Sun, Sand, Sea and Shade.’

  4. Anonymous says:

    All I know is; EVERY long-term, repeat visitor to the Cayman Islands (some for 40+ years) with whom I have discussed the issue, is bitterly disappointed with the rate and type of development along SMB – including Camana Bay, the road changes, and hi-rise infrastructure.

    Caymanians and residents can argue until we’re blue in the face, at the end of the day, the verdict by those who made Cayman “the place to visit” is not positive.

    Now what?

    – Whodatis

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree , what do you want Cayman to look like in 20 years it’s sad you need progress but in the way that you are trading away your identity as a small natural beautiful island, I couldn’t believe the traffic the first time I was there in 1995, how many more residents and visitors can co exist on a tiny island

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      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s get real. Cayman really isn’t that beautiful compared to most of the Caribbean. We’ve got one nice beach. That’s pretty much it.

    • Anonymous says:

      nonsense….cayman has never had so many visitors.
      if people like old cayman so much…why isn’t the brac overflowing with tourists???

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      • Anonymous says:

        1. Yes, true, and that is often because return visitors are unaware of the head-spinning rate of change and development.

        An older couple expressed to me last summer that would be the last time they come to visit and will instead head elsewhere – because of the changes.
        The wife was especially upset because they’ve been bringing their children and grandchildren to visit since 1988.

        2. Re the Brac, my guess is a lack of connectivity – but who knows, that may just be the change we see in the near future.

        – Who

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      • Anonymous says:

        The repeat tourists I’ve spoken to all have the same sentiment.. Too much development!

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    • Anonymous says:

      You know nothing but we all knew that already.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Right on, Whodatis! Add one more to your list.
      -18 year visitor-

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    • Anonymous says:

      No one likes it but the ones who are filling the new hotels and hi rise condos. I started coming in 1976 and the tourist accomodations were mostly crap. Only 4 decent restaurants. The unspoiled beach was great, however. Of course there was hardly anyone there which is the only reason it was unspoiled. You could even see lobsters while snorkeling. But it was very third world. Lots of people think natives living in poverty are charming to see. They are in the group who don’t like the development.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Old people don’t like change shocker! Conversely friends of mine from NYC in their 30’s visited with their young family for the first time last Christmas, loved it so much they already booked the Ritz for Christmas this year… world doesn’t stand still

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  5. Squab says:

    So our precious beach rock gets to stay? Hallelujah!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Get your head out of what ever you may have it, the country was sold from the moment Dart set foot on this island and had his closed door meetings with the Government at that time. Think back carefully to when that was and remember who was in power. NO Government can do anything about it, as Cayman is so far in DEBT with Dart from that time, that we would need someone else with pockets as deep to buy us out in order to stop our island from becoming the 100% concrete jungle that Dart wants for his money spending clientele that he is building up Cayman for. Tourists do not fill Darts pockets, at least not those that come on the cruise ships or for family vacations for a few weeks. He controls both side of the access from West Bay to anywhere on the island and NOONE does ANYTHING about it, that should tell you SOMETHING!!!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    go uncle dart go….you caymanian…so we happy to have you as a fellow investor?

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    • Anonymous says:

      one rich Caymanian wont hurt

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      • Anonymous says:

        Lots of rich Caymanian. Just don’t employ locals or invest their real money here

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        • Anonymous says:

          How has dart not invested money here or not hired locals? The amount of complaining on the local side is amusing. As someone who promotes locals to be hired and moved up the chain when they deserve it I can tell you are one that doesn’t. Gimme gimme isn’t going to get ya.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And we really like your beach rock removal that won’t cause erosion….it’s just sand going back to the sea right?

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  8. Fred the Piemaker says:

    I wish he would get to work immediately on finishing the ETH between CUS and Butterfield- or is that the NRA?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Can’t believe what is happening here. It’s such a crying shame. I am all for progress but this is too much. I’ve been coming to the Cayman Islands on and off for 30+ years and the charm has gone. Greed is rampant. It’s heartbreaking.

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  10. Bud Fox says:

    “Tell me, when does it all end, huh? How many yachts can you water-ski behind? How much is enough?”

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Can’t you people see what this company is doing to Cayman? They have UNLIMITED financing and a stranglehold on our politicians. None of them will stand up to him because they’re afraid he will pull out. How can he at this point. And if he does, it will open doors for other investors which is BEST for Cayman.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Can we stop the faux outrage every time this happens. Look the sea to sound development plan was envisions over a decade ago. It already contained these tunnels so it was already determined that planning approval would be given as part of the myriad of exchanges between Government and Dart. Dart has known for over a decade exactly every single thing they were going to do down WB road. Giving the illusion of it being developed as they go along is so you with the short memories won’t realise it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Er, no….anyone paying close attention can see that Dart keeps changing their plans along WB road….and as to faux outrage, not all of us speak franglais

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      • Anonymous says:

        why don’t you all ask to see Dart 30 years development plan for the area
        it will slow the grey hair

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    • Anonymous says:

      Kind of like remodeling the Holiday Inn… oopsie I mean building a totally different hotel. Is that what your telling it’s like? STFU oh you of lined pockets.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Traffic was at a standstill in awed disbelief at the frantic pace of extension in the days after the decision. So much urgency for a plan that purportedly doesn’t yet exist. “Get it done quickly before someone appeals” is the modus operandi of almost every development in the Cayman Islands.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    There was a time in Cayman (and its immediate attraction) when wealth wasn’t extolled and divisiveness because of it never existed. As much as Dart claims their developments are for everybody this couldn’t be further from the truth. The flighty few soar with him within their perceived circles and establishments and everyone else burdens and endures the trial whilst the destructive construction continues.

    Our elected Officials are so out of their depth, fooled fools but comfortable in the lap of their Master who serves the canned ego nutrition and occasional treats. This is no underlining philanthropic effort to hoist Cayman to betterment, – this is purely business with a self serving movement to bolster the select few. Those in the LA keeping the Kings cloak above the mud at the expense of your own fine footwear, thank you.

    Let’s not be done for the tunnel is not done either. For when it is done divisiveness will truly exist but then we will at least hypothetically be able to walk from one side to the other in exaltation

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    • Anonymous says:

      8.32, very elegant words, but too late, you missed the boat. Although I do agree that there should be a bit more for everyone. Most of the Camana bay shops are outrageously priced and I refuse to pay their prices, even though I can afford it (mostly).

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    • alaw says:

      who was the first to put bridges over west bay road or is they forgotten already?
      do anyone checks to see how strong or weak they are before they drop,
      I know Dart steel and cement is strong.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The fountains are free. The walkway from cb to the sea will be too. Use away and keep complaining like always.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Well written comment.

      Thank you. @ 8:32 am

  15. Anonymous says:

    Extending anywhere beyond the Dart loyalists this is such an ill conceived concept. Dart and “Kelly-Ann’ Doak have self acknowledged the inconvenience of it themselves with:

    “Officials said they would be protected by a raised walkway with barriers along either side of the tunnel, while elevators and stairs will be incorporated into the structure so people are not compelled to walk through the entire tunnel.”

    Superb, – has anyone extended the thought of this inconvenience to those physically challenged or in wheelchairs etc. So instead of enjoying the scenery now on the way to local merchants and eateries, – enjoy either the hum of traffic through two football fields of concrete or endure the chore of the alternative., – Cayman Kind.

    All for one, Dart for Dart

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    • Anonymous says:

      Keyboard warriors may be able to read but comprehension appears beyond them. I’ll give you a hint: Elevators.

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      • Anonymous says:

        hmmm, ironic, – read it again, – ‘instead of enjoying the scenery on the way to local merchants and eateries’, – keywords ‘enjoying the scenery’.

        The option of elevators was never omitted, – ‘the chore of the alternative’ used instead. Think of as it being at the airport ‘the chore of the alternative’ over use of an open view escalator, – i suppose if you’re ‘keyboard warrioring’ to your latest message on the phone in the elevator it wouldn’t matter anyway.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Enjoying scenery on the way to local eateries? Seriously? You mean looking at the ESSO station whilst driving to Wendy’s? That part of Westbay Rd is a dump.

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      • Anonymous says:

        We’re confident the 120’F elevators will be super-convenient and reliable, just like the Hyatt and Ritz overpasses.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t worry about anything,because the day will come when too much concrete structures and weight is put on this little island and we break off from the ledge that is holding us up from disappearing into the Cayman trench,this is an island not a state,and when it decides to sink(which it will) I hope that all of the so called captains of this vessel is willing to go down with their ship.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You need some help, quickly.

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          • Anonymous says:

            How do you know the poster is wrong? Who has studied the walls of our drop-off to ensure that no sections are in danger of breaking off and sliding into the sea?

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            • Anonymous says:

              11:01 Anon- Catastrophic thinking is not good for ones health. Look it up.

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              • Anonymous says:

                Dude, it’s not catastrophic thinking; it’s realistic thinking!

                You know how small Grand Cayman is????

              • Anonymous says:

                5.12pm… it’s called reality dude. You and all like you need to wake up. What is happening is called environmental destruction.!!!!!!! This place is an ISLAND!!!!! You all get it yet!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      what about runners. ALOT of staycationers run. You can see them doing it, daily. what do they do?

      run……then run up to elevator, press button. wait for elevator while runing in place waiting for elevator. *ding* run into elevator, while running in place, hit the button. wait until elevator goes top floor while running in place.
      Then door opens, they run across the road, still have to look both ways, its’ also a highway up there. Then run in place at the other elevator across the road, while they hit another button *ding*. wait for elevator while running in place.
      door opens, run into elevator. Press button while running in place. wait for elevator to go bottom floor. door opens they run out.

      NO ONE is going to do this. They are going to run through the tunnel. I can guarantee it.

      I have never said a negative word about dart. Not once. But this bridge idea is a very very very bad idea.

      its’ just that simple, He could have built stop lights and a 4 way there, to get to his royal palms oasis.

      the bridge is just a very very very bad idea.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You really forgot to take your dumb pills this morning. Joggers/runners are coping quite well already on the walkways (me included) and whilst it is currently not pretty, Dart has always eventually provided the best and safest routes, including bike lines up the ETH. Sadly many people think of those bike lanes as extra car lanes, however we will deal with the neuron challenged over time. In the meantime go take your tablets.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Enjoying the scenery of fast food restaurants, strip malls, and Honda civics driving 70 mph down the center lane. We would all be better off if the entirety of WBR was ripped up and turned into a boardwalk like we now have down at the Kimpton.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed, WBR is an ugly mess of crappy strip malls, gas stations, power cables and nasty fast food restaurants until you get up north of the Ritz there’s nothing much worth saving. The area was ruined long ago. Obviously the overpass is ugly now but if it looks half as good as Darts other developments it’ll be an improvement on what we’ve allowed WBR to become.

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        • Anonymous says:

          interesting, the kindred Dartbots have already realized subconsciously looking West towards the sunset will no longer be an option focusing instead their gaze the other way

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh dear, apart from the hotels you show me anywhere that ever thought about the disabled, whereas ironically Camana Bay, Kimpton etc all do that very well. So what was your point? Think that’s not going to have been thought through by Dart? Think again, they are way ahead of the game.

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    • Anonymous says:

      when was the last time you saw wheelchairs on west bay road?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Wheelchairs??? Are you nuts? There wasn’t even a proper sidewalk to the west and no sidewalk at all to the east before Dart. I don’t remember you campaigning for sidewalks out of concern for wheelchair users then. There are plenty of roads in busy areas without sidewalks. Why no mention of the plight of wheelchair users there?

      Thou doth protest too much my friend.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    It was never in doubt. A mere flexing of the muscles and an open cheque book and open religious hand is all that is needed in Paradise.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    there is also struggling through the airport extension

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, and no one cares about that..cos its not DART…just proves my point, there is a hate campaign here, with all kinds of stupidity being dreamed up..did you see the comments? Never seen so much rubbish and I suspect deliberate misconceptions in my life. Suspect the Pro Porters trying to upset the apple cart so no one notices when they slip that through…

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      • Anonymous says:

        Hey, 9:51, Here’s some facts that weren’t dreamed up. There is a lot of info on the “Vulture Capitalist” on the internet, but you can save time by reading some facts on Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Dart ) I believe Wikipedia a hell-of-a-lot more than Dart and all his trolls.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You really have no idea what happened there, do you? If you did, you would not have quoted that argument. People take over other peoples debts all the time and try to collect them. Are you saying people shouldn’t pay their debts back? I think we know what kind of person you are.

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        • Anonymous says:

          “I believe Wikipedia”, there you have it folks, everything you need to know.

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        • Anonymous says:

          or even the ‘New York Styrofoam wars’ – New York City decided to ban the use of styrofoam containers due to the impact on their immediate environment and inability for it to be recycled effectively. Fear not, our Golden Prince headed up a court appeal contesting the claim and had the decision overturned producing evidence of picture frames from the recycled material

          Our Govt embracing the shameless continues

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      • Anonymous says:

        Its really only one or two very bitter commenters, nobody pays them any mind. This tunnel does not change the fact that daddy ran his inheritance in to the ground or that the price of duck eggs on this island is just too damn high.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    money talks BS walks there is always a calm after the storm

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  19. Anonymous says:

    You read what you sow. Welcome to the crime ridden concrete jungle know as the Dartman Islands.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dart hires more Caymanians than any other private company. the reason it’s crime ridden is due to the fruits of shit families. Shit families, creates shithole nations.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Your use of the term ‘shit families’ shows you have no clear comprehension of, well… anything

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      • Anonymous says:

        babies raising babies

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      • Anonymous says:

        Shit hole families from shit hole countries,northward prison wasn’t built until the 80s when the population was small and mostly caymanians,you all foreigners come here with your foreign crosses,keeping in mind that the reason why you all left your shit hole nations in the first place was to come here to get away from the stench that you all made and left behind,now the shit has hit the fan you all make it seems like this is the first time smelling it but yet you all decided to stay,(I guess the shit here doesn’t stink that bad)why don’t you all learn a lesson from the biggest shit hole nation to the north of us and try don’t make the same mistakes as they did.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed – praise to the wonderful Dart Group but most importantly or great Premier and the Unity team!

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      • Dinklley dunkley says:

        Hear hear, good to see Dart (a caymanian) giving employment to his fellow islanders

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    • Anonymous says:

      hahahaha “read” what you sow. Education level zero.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    the sooner he starts the sooner he finishes….
    but not impressed with the progress of esterly tibbets extension or the open ended completion date for that project…..

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Good news.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    I have largely been supportive of Dart’s developments…….until this hideous thing. What a complete ugly mess.

    So it is not possible for any architect in the world to design a large, unique hotel using one or two connecting walking bridges similar to that over West Bay Road at the Ritz?

    What kind of monstrosity are they going to eventually put up?

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    • Anonymous says:

      yawn….you know nothing of the completion plans……

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      • Anonymous says:

        Considering Dart didn’t know even know he needed the extension when he started, Dart knows nothing of the completion plans. Dart constantly changes what the “completion plans” are.

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        • alaw says:

          how long has Miami international airport been extending ?

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          • philip says:

            the roof top bar at MIA has just reopened , how many years has that been closed for renovations?, got to bee at least 7.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Since they shut down the little hair salons in front of E .You used to be able to get a hair cut for $16.50 from the Colombian senoritas..

        • Anonymous says:

          AIUI, this was the original plan shown to the public years ago. It was derailed for a while when they were going to build the 4 Seasons north of the Kimpton but as that’s not happening now, it looks like it’s back to the original plan… which looked awesome.

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    • Anonymous says:

      one day you will be bragging about your tunnels, don’t you see every bank is moving to camanabay soon it will be the government building

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    • Hafoo says:

      Spill milk…And now you complain..zzzzz.back under that rock

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    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous st 8:45 pm I fully agree with you. Even though I don’t agree with how the Dart company has been allowed make such changes to the Cayman Islands I must say his developments have been nice looking so far. However this plan to build up 10 stories over the road is rediculous. It is as if they all went to sleep one night and had a terrible nightmare. This is certainly a blotch on Cayman, but moreso an ugly boil on the forehead of every one connected to the Dart group. Does Greed really have to be so unattractive??

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      • Anonymous says:

        How do you know it is ridiculous if it is not built yet,
        you have lived to see 12 stories in our little silver thatch cayman
        our children and grand children will one day see 50 stories.

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    • Anonymous says:

      you are another one that has not seen the plan

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Hadn’t it already begun, those footings have been there a while haven’t they??

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