Premier reveals talks for Dart skyscraper

| 28/02/2019 | 282 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin at the CEO conference

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin opened a new can of worms Thursday when he delivered his ‘state of the nation’ address at the Cayman Economic Outlook conference and called for a national discussion about drastically changing building height limits to accommodate a Dart proposal. He said that Dart Enterprises has asked government to consider allowing an “iconic tower” in Camana Bay that would be many stories taller than the current maximum allowed, suggesting it could become a national landmark.

In his address at the conference McLaughlin said, “I believe we must at least take a long, hard look at the potential for the kind of tower Dart is proposing… The potential economic benefits are considerable.”

After the premier’s speech Dart posted a media statement on its website about the proposal, suggesting it would “create a new skyline”. The company said it would invest another US$1.5 billion, supporting local economic growth and resilience in the face of a possible recession.

The Dart Group said it had approached government about the possibility of a tower to signal Cayman’s standing as a global centre of excellence and attract “ultra-high net worth individuals”.

This echoes comments made by House Speaker McKeeva Bush, the leader of the CDP, the PPM’s partner in the Unity Government, in his New Year’s message this year, when he said that government should allow at least one 50-storey building for the “wealthiest among the wealthy”, suggesting that the proposal was submitted to government by Dart some time ago.

In the release, Mark VanDevelde, CEO of Dart Enterprises, said that “discussions have been preliminary and no agreement is in place”. He said it would provide ongoing employment and be an economic engine for the government for decades.

“Dart welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Cayman Islands Government in creating an iconic building that would be recognised around the world as a symbol of our national identity,” the CEO said, adding that with limited land available on Seven Mile Beach, the ability to build upwards would provide new opportunities.

In his address at the conference, the premier said he expected the announcement would be highly controversial and ignite considerable debate.

“If so, good; that is my intention because this is a debate that the country needs to have,” he said. Increasing building heights was a way of meeting the growing demand for property development and pressure to go beyond the current maximum of 10 storeys.

“I pose this as a series of questions that we as a nation should now consider: do we want to continue with the approach of incremental change? Or is now the time for us to think bigger and act more boldly when it comes to our land use and building heights? If so, how high and where do we want future development to be allowed?” he asked, as he sought to trigger the debate.

The premier told the CEO audience that his government had already removed many of the constraints that had prevented innovative planning approaches in George Town and was willing to look further and remove other obstacles, such as restrictions on building heights.

He said the Seven Mile Beach corridor was another area where “there may be no obvious limit to building height in terms of what the market will bear”.

The question, he said, came down to what the community was willing to see happen, which would depend on the benefits any such development brings.

“[I]f we are to take bold steps then there must be clear and tangible benefits for Caymanians. If development is seen to be just about luxury hotels and accommodation for rich foreigners then our community will rightly reject it. If, on the other hand, it is not just seen to be, but actually is about, the delivery of improvements in infrastructure and in the economic and employment opportunities and the social conditions of Caymanians, then I believe this is a debate we should be willing to engage in,” the premier stated.

With proposals for a number of redevelopments along Seven Mile Beach of condos built in the 1970’s and 1980’s to new 10-storey luxury residences, he asked whether they should continue “gradually ratcheting up building heights”, with the result being just a higher wall of glass and concrete.

“The alternative is to be bold and look at something different: a more proactive approach that considers taller buildings and that conserves ever scarcer beach land on the important Seven Mile Beach strip; taller buildings but in particular hotel developments that generate much more income and economic activity for our islands than other types of development do; taller buildings that will require developers to give back more of the beach and to have farther setbacks, creating a large open space between the building and the beach.”

The premier appeared to look favourably on the idea, which he said would meet the needs of a different kind of tourist and a different kind of resident, and serve as “a much-needed buffer over the next few years when the inevitable next recession occurs”. Such a proposal would also bring forward infrastructure investment, such as road improvements, schools and affordable housing, the premier suggested.

“As a Caymanian, I am excited about the idea. As premier, I am determined that we engage positively with Dart and with any other developers who might want to bring forward such ideas to see what might be possible,” he said. “There is an awfully long way to go before such ideas might come to fruition but now is the time for a national debate. The Plan Cayman process gives us a timely and appropriate vehicle to have that national debate.”

McLaughlin stated that the next phase of consultation will be on an area plan for the Seven Mile Beach Corridor and the potential for a landmark development could be addressed as part of that consultation. He said that no commitment has been made about the Dart tower proposal but he made it clear he believes it should be considered.

Tall buildings are landmarks that, over time, become symbols of national pride and identity, the country’s leader stated. He pointed to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which is 2,722 feet, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, which is a mere 1,063 feet. The current building height limit in Cayman is 130 feet.

“Before people start taking to social media to decry this idea, hear me out,” McLaughlin said. Noting that a proposal for any major development here would generate objections, he said that the Eiffel Tower was controversial in its day, but now, it “is not just part of the Paris skyline, it is the very symbol of the city itself.”

“Could we in Cayman imagine a similarly iconic structure here that would come not to threaten our cultural heritage but to reimagine it and to symbolise the bold future we want for our islands and our people?” the premier asked rhetorically.

See the premier’s full CEO address in the CNS Library

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Super idea! Only the miserable and jealous would be against this. But there are plenty of those.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure this in itself is a super idea but at least it’ll get the 15/20/30 storey limit pushed thru which is probably the real plan, but am sure a super idea is capable of being thought of if we want to make some form of landmark…although maybe getting rid of the dump problem would be the most super of all….we can have 100,000 people, loads of massive towers, a huge cruise port and so on….but the dump is slowly killing us all and there is no end in sight nor solution….we’re doing everything the wrong way round…fix the dump, sort education and healthcare….then build baby, build.

      • Anonymous says:

        Correct. Why transform our economy when the social and physical infrastructure is not in place so that success can be achieved and Caymanians/locals benefit? If we want to have grand plans, we need to prepare.

  2. Anonymous says:

    i think this is a great idea, but that’s because i’m high….where would we be without the vision of a few people with absolutely no experience in development (Alden/Vandevelde/Mrs Doak/Ken D himself) but with access to more money than sense….and then to let them spend it on anything…literall, anything….incredibly, anything thats proposed….because there are no budgets that make sense to anyone, anywhere, at all, apart from these 4…maybe Mac also….the whole thing is beyond ridiculous, including camana bay and all the loss making investments….but at least we have tunnels…and kaaboo….guys, what the f^ck is going on?

    • Anonymous says:

      you forgot the roundabouts….i love them, we need more…and a big one along the reef all the way around the island please…

  3. Anonymous says:

    You have several people building and investing in low-cost housing. It would help if you looked side to side while driving ( Frank Hall homes) Another group is also making low-cost Mr. Alberga. There are more than 1500 contractors and believe it or not they are looking work.
    Miami is doing very well in high rise building. None of them fell over when four hurricanes went through in 2004. We need older people driving public buses. The youth know only one speed full ahead. We can quickly move all the people on this island with 100 busses like the ones they drive in the states.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Just imagine.

    50 storeys high and a fire breaks out on the 30th floor. Where are the 30-storey ladder trucks for the fire brigade ? And can anyone really rely upon the fire brigade anyway ?

    Or is the sole (grounded) helicopter or the mosquito plane going to spray water from on high ?

    How many of us already work in a 2/3/4/5/6/7 story building, and complain like hell when CUC suffers an outage, and the building’s air-con goes out for 2 hours ? Imagine the increase in pain for 20/30/40/50 storeys.

    But really, the suggestion of a tower – and I like the idea someone else mentioned of a finger – is just a distraction pushed on to everyone by the supporters of the port project.

    As for the finger: someone once asked “the whole finger ?” and the reply was “no, the one next to it”.

    • Anonymous says:

      All you got to do is watch ‘Towering Inferno’ because that’s how it will end up.

      • Anonymous says:

        3:17 When was the last time you saw a fire truck in the world with a 30 storey
        High Rise buildings are Design and depend on sprinkler systems.

  5. Wikipedia says:

    “Building skyscrapers can be difficult for factors other than complexity and cost. For example, in European cities like Paris, the difference between the appearance of old architecture and modern skyscrapers can make it hard to get approval from local authorities to construct new skyscrapers. Building skyscrapers in an old and famous town can drastically alter the image of the city. In cities like London, Edinburgh, Portland, and San Francisco there is a legal requirement called protected view, which limits the height of new buildings within or adjacent to the sightline between the two places involved”

  6. Anonymous says:

    A bit late to the comment box, but here goes. The term ‘Financial Apartheid’ springs to mind. Slowly but surely, you will have an island of two halves, those who live in their ivory towers and manipulate the system to ensure that they are at the top of the pile and to ensure that they stay there. Everyone else, more than likely local Caymanians who have been left behind and the $6 / hour migrants who are paid to ensure that no one else enjoys the luxuries that are on offer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Intellectual and application discrimination is objectively justified. Those looking to moan are just self-pitying wastrels.

      • Anonymous says:

        I like this comment simply for what it represents, needs an slight edit though,

        Intellectual and application discrimination can be extraordinarily objectively conceited, – especially when compartmentalisng those as wastels because their opinions may differ from my own.’

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dart have hired Baha Mar alum who are used to 1000 acre projects with 26 stories and multiple hotel franchise tenants. Formation of a casino/gaming commission will be next.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Many pros and cons, but if CIG allows it they should have Dart also build a nice residential tower/s for affordable rent to the locals who are being priced out of housing.
    10 stories or less.
    Not slum buildings but nice inland housing, especially for elderly.

  9. Anonymous says:

    let us hope that there are sensible young people preparing themselves to run this country when this lot of idiots have been swept out of the House or before.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Now that would be an astute political move for Cayman to consider, wouldn’t it Alden & Mr VanDevelde, – an iconic Dart tower/Govt partnership ‘recognized around the world as a symbol of our national identity,” – essentially one big effing iconic ‘team FU’ to countries like Argentina, Belize or Greece (as well as other immediate financial institutions and ethical watchdogs around the world) and built with the money extorted from them. Being our top politician/leader in charge ____ (fill the gap), surely this can’t be the only time this one’s been pushed your way.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I see the Premier is now drinking Dart’s Kool Aid!!! While you at it, let him open up SMB and dredge straight into the North Sound.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Careful Cayman! The timing of this discussion is simply a Trump-style distraction from another more crucial and serious topic – the port development. Caymanians, DO NOT take your eyes off that ball!!

  13. Conservative says:

    “And they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.’ And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’ And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built.”
    (Genesis 11:3‭-‬5)

    Question: Is this the beginning of the end?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Tower of Babel? I’m an atheist but even I can see where you’re coming from here and it’s an interesting analogy. As Churchill said, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

  14. Anonymous says:

    Let’s hope the tower plans come off. DART is the only body that has brought first class facilities to Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      One can still have first class facilities without a 50 storey building. Keep it to 10 storeys and don’t bring South Miami Beach to Cayman.

  15. Johnny Rotten says:

    Funny how MacKeeva mentioned 50 storeys (roughly equal to his IQ score), Now Alden supports a much higher structure, small you know what complex? Go figure…

  16. Anonymous says:

    As medical insurance climbs to the heights of the new tower, and traffic becomes unbearable, I for one will not have to concern myself about what happens to this island as i will be leaving and taking my retirement funds to spend elsewhere.

    I don’t think I am alone is this thinking.

    • Anonymous says:

      8 47am – Good riddance to you and your type. Buncha negative losers and users!

    • Anonymous says:

      8:47 DITTO

    • Anonymous says:

      It seems an increasingly common sentiment from Caymanians that economically they will have to retire elsewhere to maintain a standard of living. What are some solutions to this dilemma?
      I wonder aloud- is there an opportunity for Cayman Brac to position itself as a retirement community for Caymanians who still love their home, but yearn for a the simpler, quieter lifestyle of days gone by?

    • Anonymous says:

      The cost of medical insurance is driving me and my family away too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Y’all will be back!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thanks premier for not pandering to all the foamers at mouthers and the professionally outraged. This is extremely exciting and would be a massive a boom to the economy.

    • Anonymous says:

      I remember signs ‘for sale’ everywhere and professional firms struggling to recruit new staff.

  18. Naya Boy says:

    Time has now come Cayman to remove Alden and install Dart as premier we shouldnt had to suffer and deal with the 3 Stooges let us hear from our defacto leader himself! God save Dart! Caymanians stop praying to those who are clearly allowing and are benefitting from this happening Start praying for us and our children’s future. Under Dart!!!

  19. Tobin Frost says:

    Well well we now see where babbabuska got his little mind conditioning program from now come Cayman’s no# 1 dunce with the same idiotic nonsense pooring cement down a 100 foot hole to anchor this baby skyscaper is going to be real fun. it should put right next to both their private residences I would support that. How much more are we going to allow this destruction of our island by this menace they have sold our birthright to Cayman we can,t stop his Mafia style Juggernaut business but we can stop what fuels it material and manpower you want this destruction to stop Cayman then stop supporting all these people and political minions who are feeding it especially those facilitators in our government pushing it’s agenda covertly and publicly .This is a very small place we all know . Unfortunately it maybe be too late for some iconic places but it’s our very future and independence now that is being threatened with our political crash test dummies trying to convince us that this is a better option to our colonial tyrants scheme to deprive us of their lifestyle. Time to act Cayman before we loose it all.

    • Anonymous says:

      It won’t be built.

      Laying foundation of a skyscraper on outcrops a submarine mountain range would be a challenge. It might not even be possible. One can only imagine how it would affect structural integrity of existing buildings in vicinity to construction site.

      Then, they would have to meet hurricane-seismic-zone building codes, let alone fire safety codes. The cost would be astronomical. Not just to built, but to maintain it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Miami does it just fine.

        • Anonymous says:

          7:00 That’s dumb comment and you know it. Miami is not in a seismic zone and it’s anchored to a 125 mile wide piece of land – I’ve driven or flown across it more than a few times.

        • Anonymous says:

          That is why eduction is your #1 problem.

          To lay the most stable foundation possible, the bedrock (solid rock underneath the ground’s soil) must be reached.

          Try too see the difference:

          The Floridian peninsula is a porous plateau of karst limestone sitting atop bedrock known as the Florida Platform.

          The Cayman Islands are the outcrops of the submarine mountain range associated with the Cayman Ridge. The islands are formed of marine limestone and dolostone that was uplifted during the late Miocene epoch Their position near the Oriente Transform Fault and the Mid-Cayman Rise means that they are located in a tectonically active area.

        • Anonymous says:

          Miami is not in an earthquake zone.

      • Anonymous says:

        12:52 just like what was done in NEW YORK!
        I think you are trying to say DART don’t have that kind of money!

        • Anonymous says:

          The bedrock underlying much of Manhattan is a mica schist known as Manhattan schist of the Manhattan Prong physiographic region. It is a strong, competent metamorphic rock created when Pangaea formed. It is well suited for the foundations of tall buildings.

          New York City is primarily composed of sediments that were metamorphosed during the Taconic and Acadian orogenies roughly 500 – 400 million years ago. It is in these hard rocks that the city skyscrapers have their foundations.

    • Johnny Be Good says:

      Don’t worry, the engineering cost will be prohibitive, even for Dart. Besides the geologic conditions are shaky at best so I’d really like to see a consultant risk his ass by signing off on the foundation alone.

  20. Anonymous says:

    This is what happens in a country without leadership. There is no one at the helm so you go where ever the current takes you. Grim.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The only island that time forgot is Little Cayman. So if you don’t want to change, I will tell you all to buy and move as quickly as possible. Crime is increasing in Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman and has nothing to do with Rich people. It has to do with low morale and low IQ people. All you have to do is drive to work in the morning and watch public bus drivers and tinted honda cars road raging down the road. If you think this represents “the island that time forgot” you are sadly part of the problem. Then cut back on the weed and join this time zone. Then spend time with all your children and make sure they have done their homework and got breakfast in the morning. So that they at least will get a good job where they can afford a larger home than a two car garage. It’s not that hard. Make sure they read a book that pertains to science, English, and math and drop lousy English. It is not going to prepare them for a middle class or better life. Make sure your kids learn their multiplication tables by ten years of age that’s 4th-grade work.
    So go and build a thousand story building if they can, its the future.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dart forms all his own companies to build, design, and maintain. None of this 1.5 billion will go to a single caymanian company. All for one

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart is Caymanian. So are most of his staff. Also, many Caymanian general contractors and sub-contractors are involved in Dart projects. 1.5B buys a lot of material and labour nevermind on-going costs and maintenance. Try thinking on a macro level.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:15 who are qualified and certified has a chance!

  23. Johnny Be Good says:

    I would really like to see how the Burj Kalifa might survive a Cat-5.

    • Anonymous says:

      Burj Kalifa does not sit in a Hurricane Zone

      • Johnny Be Good says:

        Duh, really? You obviously don’t know what I’m insinuating do you?

      • Anonymous says:

        Shamals peak at 70-90kph…tropical storm strength. After 2013, codes were changed for new construction to withstand Mag5.9, but Dubai has not really been tested in modern times.

    • Anonymous says:

      Collectively how do 99% of the structures in Cayman fare against a cat 5? Something tells me a dart project, even a skyscraper stands a better chance of survival in a cat 5 than the typical building in Cayman.
      Something tells me storms, fires and other potential calamities will be calculated. He seems to have a grip which is lacking in most of the comments here.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I hope this gets approved. It’s such a huge hedge against future economic hardships. I like the idea on it’s face without all of the direct and indirect benefits. I just don’t see the downside for anyone other than a selfish obsession with nostalgia.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I hope Who returns from vacation soon.

    We need him, or someone with similar conviction, to lead a response to this.

    • Slacker says:

      Don’t worry, Chagos was in the news last week following a UN report. “Who” will be back any minute…

  26. Anonymous says:

    Let him build it and let a Cat 5 blow through here and was Dart, Alden and Mckeeva away with the building too

    • Anonymous says:

      You hot air balloons don’t have enough sense to realize a Cat 5 will not target Dart alone what about your two Dollar shacks!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Stop with the dart hating. He has done great things on our island, he gives jobs to caymanians and makes the island attractive to tourists with places like camana bay. See the bigger picture!,

    • alaw says:

      These people don’t have, and cant give a sensible reason why they hate Dart its just the name they don’t like!

  28. Rob says:

    I’m not from Cayman, but I love the idea… 1.5 billions $ investment with 62000 persons on the Island. It’s 24000 $ per person that going to be inject in the local economy. Plus all those new person that could come could be billions of $ in new money inject every year in the economy. This is big! The wealth of all people on the Island will increase. The Financial services is changing fast with all pressure around the world. Dart understand Cayman need to be diversify, the faster, the better before it’s too late.

  29. Anonymous says:

    He is only doing that to get government to agree to give him $300 million in duty concessions, then he will change the plans and use the duty concessions elsewhere.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Iconic? It should be in the form of a 50 story finger, just so we all understand who is in charge.

    • Anonymous says:

      10 storeys is enough for this island if we don’t want to become South Miami Beach Caribbean. The infrastructure could handle,with a new dump, 10 storeys, but anything more is going to bring excess traffic to the SMB area and lower the overall quality of life. Let’s use common sense and not cow tow to all Dart’s demands.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Changes gonna Come” if its not Dart it will be someone else, so why not DART.
        This is not BACK to the Future!

      • Anonymous says:

        A lot of you people are not old enough to know just awhile back a 3 storey was a

  31. Anonymous says:

    My amateur opinion.

    The skyscraper concept helps fulfill the target of a population of 100,000 people.

    My assumption is that ‘someone’ has calculated that 100,000 consumers is the number needed to support $x in investment.

    My concern is what if 100,000 turns out to be insufficient and then needs to be increased? Where does it stop?

    Has any other country or territory experienced the rapid growth in population, per capita income, and change of the landscape that Cayman has?

    What will the Islands That Time Forgot look like in another 25 years?

    • Anonymous says:

      When they can’t get the numbers needed nor the cruise shipper numbers, we will be facing the dreaded VAT
      Bahamas went down this same road. And if you have seen their cruise berth plans, it is turning into vegas. Unreal.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the sad part of this whole 100, 000 population target is we have about 66,000 people now and we stuck in traffic more than 4 hours each work week. Imagine another 30,000?

    • Anonymous says:

      Singapore. It experienced the rates of growth that we have, and is what we will look like in 25 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      If Time Forgot some thing you don’t look for it!

  32. Anonymous says:

    I’d rather the turtle the symbol of our island identity than some lousy skyscraper. At least the former represents the tranquil way of life we had enjoyed and shall fast be losing to the latter in the future.

  33. Anonymous says:

    If Dart can build this what is to stop every other investor being given the same opportunity?

  34. Anonymous says:

    This is nothing more than Dart having an Edifice Complex. This has happened for centuries, rich and powerful individuals feel the need to construct big buildings and monuments, as a testament to their greatness.

    • Anonymous says:

      To quote from a classic Joan Baez song, ‘Men die to build their Pharaoh’s tombs,’ and how many will be killed building this? We don’t have any effective workplace health and safety laws covering the existing developments so what happens when they try to go 500′ or more up? I have a feeling it ends with a dull thud.

  35. Anonymous says:

    !! This announcement happened the day the “Your Plan Your Future” Development framework ended !!

    Someone tell me why was this not floated during the time the CIG was looking for public input!????

    This is madness.

    Cayman get moving. Get yourself some yellow vests and start a revolution. This government is supposed to work for you, not walk all over you and fill their own pockets.





  36. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been sitting here reading these comments and the thought just struck me…….why don’t we encourage Dart to forget Cayman and move to Cuba?. they could use his help there.

  37. Anna says:

    This is ridiculous. Cayman does not need this. Can’t anyone with foresight see what’s happening to our island?! Pure greed which will only bring ruination to our beautiful “as was before Dart” country. Shame.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:34 yea miss the good old days riding my donkey with my smoke pan and using the grape trees for rest room, I guess you are the same!

  38. Anonymous says:

    **rolling eyes in the back of my head**

    First off, Alden is, as disrespectfully as possible, an idiot. You can just see the strings on all of these no good politicians backs.

    Does anyone remember years ago when they showed an area of Africa where the ‘ultra-rich’ were on one side then this nice high fence separated the poor people from them?!

    At this point I am going to do my best to achieve citizenship in other countries because at this rate, me a Caymanian, can barely afford food much less CUC and the rest of the bills.

    I personally know something about Ultra-high net individuals….they don’t take lightly to flaunting their wealth especially in ‘rich’ countries where the locals are starving. I don’t know how comfortable Alden think these rich people will feel when they realize the population of locals are seriously disenfranchised and disregarded by our Government. I have more faith in their humanity and common sense than in Alden or anyone of the other elected officials.

    Still so upset by Austin and his sell out self. What a travesty.

    Well I am honestly looking forward to the upcoming campaign to vote them all out. Every. Single. One. Their excuses will not be considered. At. All. If there are no good options I will run myself.

    I’m not perfect but I’m pretty sure I’d be better than them. My motto would be ‘Protect the young and old, Caymankind style’. Everyone in the middle will succeed just by focusing on our young and old populous. Education would be my #1 priority. And not Alden’s idea of Education. I would really research what works, like the Japanese model of Education, especially for preschool age children. I’d invest in land, like Dart, but for our future generations.

    Anyway, God help us all.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think you can run for office anonymously. Or should I say: I. Don’t. Think. You. Can. Run. For. Office. Anonymously.
      As for Caymankind style… the people under 30 aren’t going to vote for you unless you run on a Moneykind style. Or maybe an AudiKind style.

    • Anonymous says:

      DONT FORGET next time you will have to VOTE to for the ENGLISH MAN!

  39. Anonymous says:

    The ladies at CNS must pray every night that Alden will say stuff like this. Talk about traffic to their website!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you to CNS for having the bozoingas to publish this type of news and allow a commentary.

      I hope the powers that be are reading this, and, failing that, also the the world at large is seeing what type of catastrophe is happening in the Cayman Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        I certainly hope the powers-that-be don’t establish policy by reading the anonymous comments from the fringe citizens against virtually everything sect.

        • Anonymous says:

          4:22, Mind to give us your definition of “fringe citizen”?

        • Anonymous says:

          CNS has established itself as the ONLY place where people can feel free to voice their opinions without fear of repercussions. Anybody is able to have an opinion. It is a great way to see what the general sentiment is on most topics.

        • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        If you really expect your comments to be taken seriously you wouldn’t 0
        Post them as anonymous.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tourists are following these articles- don’t worry- hate the skyscraper proposal and ruining natural habitat!

  40. Anonymous says:

    What is wrong with Mac and Alden. Oh we need to get these big buildings because we cant feel that we are first world until that happens. I’ve been to Dubai. It sucks. I’ve been to New York. It sucks. You know what sucks even more. Driving the street next to the so-called 7 mile beach and not actually being able to see the beach. Progress is one thing. Trading away your quality of life and the uniqueness of this country in pursuit of what everyone else has while they consider where you live to be paradise is just plan weak.

    • alaw says:

      Have any one ever seen the Hands on a CLOCK working backwards!
      that’s what some people want and don’t even know!

  41. Anonymous says:

    “Dart Enterprises has asked government..” I like how they pretend they’re separate entities.

  42. Two Cents says:

    Dart didn’t become wealthy by being complacent; he is clearly an aggressive entrepreneur who is continually looking to become even richer. Likewise, no one can argue that he has adopted a good standard for his development. It should also be clear to all by now that Dart’s pursuit of more wealth in Cayman is in no way impeded by any respect for the Cayman he found; he is quite content to reshape and alter the environment and appearance of Cayman to further his aims. And hiring persons who we have ‘made Caymanians’ such as Mark VanDevelde and Jackie Doak does not mean that the values and interests of Caymanians will suddenly be protected. Their responsibility is to make Dart richer and I imagine that they likely benefit directly from doing so.
    There is nothing unnatural about any of those things.
    Anyone who heard or read of McKeeva’s introduction of this latest idea several weeks ago, and saw David Legge waving it around like a flyer, knew that something was in the works. Actors have their roles to play.
    Dart is following one of two strategies here. Either:
    1. he realises that if the government is serious about reviewing the National Development Plan, this is the perfect time to have discourse on this subject and see whether the Caymanian society is willing to entertain such a radical revision to what is allowed. After all, we already unbuckled our pants a few years ago when we allowed building heights to go to 10-12 storeys.; or
    2. he realises that this is likely the last hurrah of Alden and McKeeva, who only managed to remain relevant by engaging in a ‘same political-sex’ marriage, and their Central Permitting Authority, and in turn his last chance to get whatever he wants regardless of public opinion or existing legislation.
    I was not surprised that after all these years, he and McKeeva have not come up with any vision of the Cayman that they want to see and had anything to share with the audience in this regard yesterday. Dart’s idea would have been an ideal complement to something from them. But they have nothing.
    It is clearly now Alden’s turn to take the stage and do Dart’s bidding. If it were not, he would not have ‘called for a national discussion about drastically changing building height limits to accommodate a Dart proposal’. He would instead have used the proposal as an example of why the nation needs to engage in the revision of the National Development Plan. And he should have been proud to say that while his government had acknowledged Dart’s interest in such a structure, he had made it clear to Dart that the consideration of this would only be possible if the NEW National Development Plan favoured such a structure and the corresponding legislative provisions are enacted to allow it.
    And if he was really astute as leader and guardian of our Cayman Islands, he would have recognised and told Dart that before we engage in another of these ‘marriages-of-Dart’s-convenience’, his government will commission an independent assessment of what Cayman is getting vs what it is giving up. This isn’t simply about allowing Dart to build a landmark building and Dart investing $1B in Cayman. This should be about what Cayman needs and what it will get at the end of the day. Clearly Dart and his people know that they way the game has been played so far, they can make a healthy return on their $1.5B. We are ‘not getting’ substantial revenues and we ‘are getting’ substantial needs (infrastructure, services, etc) that we have to meet.
    Sadly, for these reasons, I feel strongly that Dart is following strategy #2. If he were not, I would not have expected Alden to have been as complimentary of the idea as he was yesterday. Once again, Alden has failed. He showed himself to be the third actor in Dart’s cast of McKeeva (you break the news), David Legge (you spread it) and himself (you make it happen).
    We can do better than this Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a great assessment.

      I just wonder why he says it is up for public discussion when he is so against the port referendum?

      Why does one giant infrastructure change get a public discussion and the other does not?

      Great read and I agree with your points.

      I look forward to seeing where Legge ends up in April.

    • Anonymous says:

      You might want to double check how those two Caymanians were “made”. Hint: it wasn’t the mass status grants. Otherwise, good rant.

  43. Do we really need a tower? says:

    Nothing said “Cayman” more to me than the old open waving gallery at the airport, but sadly that is now an architectural icon of the past. Just because you want to build something that will stick out like a dog’s balls does not make it iconic.

    • Anonymous says:

      The old “waving” gallery didn’t exist until 1984. If that’s what says “Cayman” to you, then you’re a Johnny-come-lately and really shouldn’t be talking about “architectural icons” of the Cayman Islands, particularly since that A-frame structure said nothing about traditional Cayman Islands architecture.

      • Anonymous says:

        Designed by a Syrian nonetheless.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually, a Persian born Russian Armenian British Caymanian if you want to be specific.

      • Anonymous says:

        what is traditional Cayman Islands architecture?

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry, you dunno what was before….

        Before the waving gallery we were all on one level separated by a fence and before that there was no fence.

        We have become a divided society and that is not good.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Will this tower be made out of Styrofoam? Maybe Dart can just build it on top of the landfill! Priorities people… priorities!

  45. Anonymous says:

    Go to Dubai before you decide you want to be like it. It is a nasty place.

    • Anonymous says:

      One is a small country ruled by an elite who do whatever they like without fear of repercussions, with a workforce composed largely of cheap foreign labour for blue collar work paid poverty wages and treated like crap and imported expatriates for the white collar, with both groups keeping their mouths shut for fear of losing their right to work, with a ruler who thinks he is God’s gift and can do no wrong and opposition is to be snuffed out, where the only measure of quality or value is money, with a once pristine environment heading for the toilet due to massive development, much of it in residential real estate owned by foreign non resident owners who acquired it to shelter money outside of their home country, and the other is exactly the same.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Welp! That’s just ANOTHER way to mark your own island.
    Does anyone think, going forward, that Cayman will be thought of as anything other than Dart’s island?
    And yes, it IS too late to stop this train. The only thing you can say now is “Gone clear!”.

    • Anonymous says:

      But every politician who has bowed down to his demands/ requests, everyone who has sold to him, everyone who continues to support his direct and indirect business, those businesses who moved to Camana Bay because it was nice and new and shiny, and every employee of the company and its affiliates are complicit in aiding and pushing this agenda and so there is a vast number of people on this island who only have themselves to blame for the way this once beautiful piece of nature is being turned into a concrete block in the Caribbean. Yes, Cayman had flaws, but with the amount of investment that has gone into turning it slowly into Miami it could have taken a different path if our politicians and people had any spine. We are almost all complicit in enabling this and sooner or later someone who is willing, prepared and able to stand up and be counted needs to make it clear that this is a step too far. My MLA will not be getting my vote next time around, but where are the young contenders who are prepared to make sure that the Cayman Islands remain the Cayman Islands in more than just name?

      • Anonymous says:

        We desperately need new politicians who can’t be bought I will not be voting for any of the current bunch in the next election

      • Anonymous says:

        11:17 you really think a bunch of young Camanians will know anything about walking from Bodden Town to G Town or paddling from Rum Point to G Town
        ask my Grand Mother.
        Is that the remain CAYMAN you are talking about or another one.
        That wont HAPPEN AGAIN!

  47. Anonymous says:

    If he built it on the 12-mile bank then he could open a casino there as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great idea. Let’s create a fourth Cayman Island – before the Chinese do!

    • Anonymous says:

      Who owns 12 mile bank? Please don’t give the Chinese ideas or we could end up being like the banks off Philippines.

  48. Anonymous says:

    I’m not against this idea, but its not a pressing need. We NEED affordable housing (and I don’t mean slums, I mean lower middle class to middle class homes) and effective public transport NOW!

  49. Anonymous says:

    Dart can’t even sell the condos they have at Seafire….but they want to now try and fill a skyscraper as well?

  50. Anonymous says:

    size does matter…another symbol of wealth and authority upon which to hang their insecurities

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden looking for the ‘knighthood’ or wah?

      • Anonymous says:

        I never thought the day would come when Ezzard made more sense to me than any other politician, despite his verbal delivery shortcomings. He has waited his turn on several matters of national interest and importance, and has provided clearly thought out analysis and solutions. IQ clearly makes a difference.

        Now on the other side we see Alden and Mckeewa pandering to the biggest players with no vision or long range plans of their own, but always reactionary it seems to local and foreign plans and events.

        We need the brightest Caymanians to run modern day Cayman politics. Persons who are clearly for the Caymanian people, and can think beyond the concrete structures mindset and no self interest. No discussion on the privacy issues on the surrounding landscape has been presented if such a high building should proceed.

        Why politics does not attract more talented and brighter Caymanians who have world class experience, and have been exposed to living abroad either at university or otherwise, is a question that requires answering by the voters.
        Instead by and large, we are getting these mediocre wannabes who become all powerful and act as Lords over us once they get our vote without regard to our wishes. When will this madness stop? It will only stop when we take back control and encourage a new set, but wiser and brighter to lead.

        • Anonymous says:

          4:01 when the young and brightest CAYMANIANS take over then you will really see skyscrapers, they will not be going back to donkeys and THATCH HUTS
          And when EZZARD becomes Premier he will have to join the MONEY train
          or be left out,then he will play the other side of the record.

          • Anonymous says:

            This is classified as a comment that can’t offer a sensible rebuttal. We don’t live in thatch huts or ride donkeys now do we? The point is that development must be reasonable otherwise you will “kill the goose that laid the golden egg”. Where are the policies to ensure sustainability for Caymanians?


      • Anonymous says:

        Based on what, his failure as a Minister of Education.

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