Objectors call proposed hotel ‘cheap and nasty’

| 04/02/2019 | 109 Comments
Cayman News Service

Location of proposed hotel on the West Bay Road

(CNS): Objectors to a proposed 10-storey hotel at the northern end of the West Bay Road have not pulled any punches in their criticism of plans for this new land-side project across from their luxury beach-side condos and an empty lot on Seven Mile Beach. They described the proposed development as “cheap and nasty” and said it would “devalue” surrounding properties and threaten their privacy and the tranquility of the “quiet end” of Seven Mile Beach. The objectors said this “monstrosity” and “awful” proposed project would have a massively negative impact on their homes, as they urged the Central Planning Authority to deny the application. 

The plans for a $20 million, 129-room hotel, with a restaurant and bar on the ground floor, located on Block 10E Parcel 65, a few metres north of the Yacht Drive roundabout, are expected to be heard on Wednesday, according to the CPA agenda.

But dozens of objections have been submitted, with owners in the area calling it a budget hotel that would attract “the worst kind of tourist”, who would be able to look into the windows of their condos across the street at the upmarket Mandalay and other nearby homes.

Some objectors said they were “horrified” to learn about the proposed hotel, which, if approved and then built, would be the tallest building in the area on a plot that is about 150 feet wide, which objectors said is too small for the project and pushes at the legal limits for development density.

In addition to objections from the owners of the luxury beachfront condos at the Mandalay, owners at the Villa Royale, which is next to the proposed site on the West Bay Road, have also filed lengthy and extremely critical objections. Objectors from the nearby Commonwealth Club have got together to instruct lawyers on their behalf, who expressed concerns that a high-rise, high-density hotel would have an impact on the value of their beachfront condos.

“It is inevitable that the proposed sterile monolith will impact negatively on the value of the units at the Commonwealth and the other homes in the area,” they stated.

The project has also stirred up the issue of beach access, as objectors again suggested that the beaches in front of their properties are theirs and they would be overrun by hotel guests leaving litter, disturbing their enjoyment and trespassing on their property in order to access Seven Mile Beach.

Owners at Discovery Point Club said the nearest access would be at their condo complex, adding an extra burden on them to maintain it. Owners at the Heritage Club, the Renaissance and the Anchorage Condominiums are also among the many objectors.

The developers of the project are listed as The Shores on the CPA agenda but identified as Libanon Corporation by objectors, who also say the applicant failed to properly notify all nearby owners.

But in their application the developers refute all of the objections and claim the application falls within the parameters allowed by planning legislation.

“The zoning of this area is Hotel/Tourism, and the current planning law allows 10-storey buildings. The proposed development follows the regulations and restrictions of the law …which were drafted in coordination with [the Department of Tourism]’s policies of activating the Seven Mile Beach corridor into a vibrant tourist destination, able to efficiently accommodate the increasing number of visitors to our Island,” the developers stated.

“The proposed hotel is not planned to be a ‘lower quality hotel’ and the number of stars of any hotel development should not be a factor when considered for planning approval,” the applicant argued, and noted that beaches are not for the exclusive use of residents of oceanfront properties. “Cayman’s beaches are public, and for the use of all.”

Some government agencies have also raised concerns, including the Department of Environment, which pointed out that the site is low-lying and consists of tidally flooded mangrove habit. The experts warn the area is currently prone to flooding and a storm-water management plan would be needed if the CPA grants approval, which would cause the loss of even more mangroves, thereby increasing the flooding problem.

The DoE said it assumed that the need for the hotel had been “appropriately evaluated by both the planning and tourism departments against available relevant information, including the current hotel stock, occupancy rates and the projected visitation rates for Grand Cayman”.

At the meeting on Wednesday the CPA will also hear Dart’s application for a ‘pop-up’ bar on its beachfront property close to Royal Palms, for which there are no objections, plus a new beach bar in East End, which does have objectors, and an application by Tortuga to build a distillery at their retail outlet near the Turtle Farm on North West Point.

See the planning agenda here.

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Category: Business, Construction, Local News, Tourism

Comments (109)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Let us pray that it’s intended as a casino.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dry run, just testing the waters.

  3. Bloody Caymanian says:

    Most of the hotels around here are cheap and nasty while blocking the view of our beautiful ocean. Thought it was the trend to just pop up nasty hotels around the place. Would be hell of a improvement to just demolish half of the nasty ones still standing around here.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      It is not so much the hotels as the condos built in 80s by those Canadian brothers. They are all the same shoe box design, poorly designed and poorly built as was demonstrated in hurricane Ivan, particularly those at the north end of the beach. Cayman’s condos pale into insignificance when compared with those at Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sad but true. You can find your way around most apartments in Cayman without ever having been in them before

      • Anonymous says:

        Does mentioning “those Canadian Brothers” make your point any more salient?

        Why not state the names of the Developers? Or does that not help your sweeping and rude comment?

        Are you for or against the 50 story towers being floated by Mr. Bush?

        There is an 80s look to SMB. That’s enough.

  4. Anonymous says:

    To the professionally outraged class. Get over it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I used to do some cheap and nasty stuff at the Islander back in the day.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Cheap and nasty should fit in very well here. What’s the beef?

  7. Bertie :B says:

    Nope half that debt is Not from Obama , try adding Bush /Clinton / Bush / Reagan / Carter / Ford / Nixon and ME.!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I agree with some of these objections. I really don’t see the need for hotels on the stretch of Seven Mile Beach north of the Kimpton. Hopefully this new Plan Cayman takes things like this into consideration. The West Bay Road stretch south of Public Beach is already home to many hotels so let that be the area they remain in. Leave north WBR for smaller developments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone complains. CPA will rightfully pass and the local economy will benefit from it.

      • Chris Johnson says:

        Libanon Corporation is an exempted company whose registered office is at Intermational Corporation Services Ltd., a company owned by Travers, Thorpe and Alberga. As an exempted company unless Libanon is furthering its overses business I cannot see how the company can legally trade locally. No doubt the CPA will ask that question before they waste any furter time.

        • Anonymous says:

          As an exempted company, it cannot obtain a Trade and Business Licence to carry on business in the Cayman Islands.

        • Anonymous says:

          Good answer Chris. So for all we know it could be Russian or Chinese money behind the company?

        • Anonymous says:

          They will get an exemption since we need development and they will buy a lot of materials from the local store. The Chairman of the CPA will steam roll it thru, not a problem bro!

  9. Anonymous says:

    What’s with these recent concrete block designs? The Dart Kimpton hotel is like 2 blocks of shoeboxes, the Lacovia towers complex (actually, why would anybody want to live on such a crowded little piece of the beach compared to what they had?), and now this bizarre thing, it looks like Jenga the game in real life…..i wish we wouldn’t continue with all the development, i wish there would be a moratorium on SMB period until East is developed and the infrastructure is in place for next generations, and i for sure wish we’d stop allowing anything above 3 stories on a coast line anywhere….but mostly, i wish there was a development oversight committee worth its salt, some sort of standards….if anyone took a drive around Crystal harbor you can see what happens when development goes totally unchecked and you have a total mismatch mess of styles …imagine that all up and down SMB, because it’s coming….seriously, why are we letting short term-ism rule….such a shame, such a shame

  10. Anonymous says:

    Condo bots seem to be out in force today!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Instead of aiming for exclusive preserve of the jet set, a louche assortment of minor royals, fading sportsmen and old-school film stars this country is aiming for Walmart crowds. No wonder none visits the “paradise”.
    Keep destroying everything you can and even Walmart shoppers would avoid visiting- there would nothing unique about “just another overdeveloped rock in the Caribbean”.
    I feel sorry for people who invested big money into real estate in the CI. Overcrowding and the Dump weren’t in their vision of living in paradise.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your sentiment is nice but your facts are wrong. Real estate has done very very well.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think many of them learn about the Dump after they had purchased a condo. They have nothing else left but pretend, like everybody else, it doesn’t exist (harmless, will be capped soon, etc.)
        No sane person would purchase anything within 3 (at least) miles from the Dump.

  12. Anonymous says:

    i love it when people who have benefited from development then complain and try to stop new development……..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      Bingo. I worked for one of these people. Always complaining about development even though his entire fortune was made directly and indirectly from development.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It’s laughable…….

    1. the amount of hotels build will push each other out of the market or force rates down
    2. if there are claims that there is a need for all these hotel rooms due to increase of overnight tourism, how does this support an argument for the cruise berthing facility?

    Cayman – the new Miami Beach! Next will be a Walmart

    • Anonymous says:

      Erm, we need more rooms to force the prices down. If you would have checked then you would notice that it costs US$1,110 a night to stay at the Marriott at this time of year.

  14. Anonymous says:

    When enough is enough? How much more money do you need? The more money the Cayman Islands government makes, the more it wastes. Its budget already exceeds 1bil.
    Beach towns everywhere else limit the hotels heights, yet this villige size country aims for the sky. Are you even able to build earthquake and hurricane resistant buildings, let alone high-rise hotels? Do you have an adequately trained and equipped fire department? Do you even have high-rise buildings safety codes and standards?

  15. Diane says:

    I have owned a condo on the Island since 1989, and I hate all the changes that have taken place on our beautiful Island. I hate what all the building of highrise buildings, hotels and condominiums has done to this once unique Island. The changes to the roads is another issue! Who ever thought there would be tunnels on Grand Cayman!! I see greed as the only motive for all the changes that are being, and have been made, only for money. It appears Mr. Dart has bought the government and is allowed to do anything he wants, good or bad, for the Island and residents that live there year round or owners, like myself, that come to the Island three or four times a year. If I wanted to share our beautiful beach with non owners, I would stay at the Westin or other hotels on the Island. One of the appealing reasons to buy a condo is to have less bodies around you on the beach. Cayman Island is becoming just like other Islands that have been destroyed by the all mighty dollar! If this continues Grand Cayman will rank right up there with the less desireable and less expiensive destinations. The beautiful beachs and amazing water is the only draw there is to vacation on the Island, I miss the good ole days when one could get down town in 15 minutes from West Bay. It is sad what has happen to Grand Caymans in the past 30 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      people with condos complaining about new condos being built…
      the level of hypocrisy is staggering….

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t take his comment out of contest. Don’t compare apple and oranges. High density vs. luxury condo complexes.

    • Anonymous says:

      I presume you were aware the beach is public before buying your condo. The public are allowing you to share “their” beach with you – you just get closer and quicker access to it. Beaches are public spaces across the Caribbean and many other places, there is nothing unique about that aspect for the Cayman Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        kind of selective application of the Law. Nothing should have been built on the beach side. Across WBr- OK. Grandfathered building could stay.

      • Say it like it is says:

        9.28am You miss the point – it’s not the public that’s a concern it’s the thousands of cruise sheep and budget hotel guests that will soon be swarming West Bay Beach like a plague of locusts.

        • Anonymous says:

          There are no budget hotels in Cayman. This will be mid-priced at worst

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m one of those “budget hotel guests” that concern you? Why? Because I choose not to spend $$$$ on a hotel room does not mean a thing. Please realize that I have a professional career making very good money, but choosing not to give it to the Ritz or Dart does not make me any less than you or your family. I swim in the same sea, watch the same sunset….

    • Anonymous says:

      How much you want for it and are 60% of the other owners willing to sell as well?

    • Anonymous says:

      Mrs. Mann,

      Time to sell your condominium on Grand Cayman.

      The days of which you speak are long finished.

      Grand Cayman is doing things that some people are going to like and some people, like yourself and myself, are not going to like.

      Coming on a forum and complaining is not going to help your plight nor your sanity.

      Take your gains and move your holiday time and money elsewhere. We did. We are happier for it and, trust me, there are places in the world which are comparable to the Cayman Islands of days gone by.

      Regards to you.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I am a budget traveler, but just to let you know I am also in my early 50’s , a professional, and have been traveling to your island for over 20 years. I travel on a budget because I can not justify spending a lot on a hotel room when I am never in it. I only sleep and shower in my room on holiday. Why would I pay big bucks for that? I would rather take 5-6 trips a year. In Cayman especially it doesn’t make sense to me to spend $$$$ on a room when they all share the same beach. I spend my money on food, entertainment, and longer stays and as I said, more trips.
    I do not like all the building in recent years on the island and probably would not stay in a 10 story hotel( do your fire trucks have ladders), but no matter, I certainly wouldn’t be staring in windows of condos. These tall buildings are ruining look of island, imo.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Would be nice to know who are behind Libanon Corporation.
    Will give you an idea if it will get built

    • Anonymous says:

      Isn’t the Shores one of Dart’s companies ?

      • Anonymous says:

        You know what, I think you’re right! All along their grand plan has been to build low budget room stock overlooking the multimillion dollar homes in their Salt Creek development! How is it that you are so much smarter than everyone else and managed to figure out their evil scheme?

      • Anonymous says:

        Different company.

    • Anonymous says:

      The people of Cayman should have a right to know who is behind Libanon Corporation. Russian and Chinese laundered money is flooding into Caribbean real estate developments. Who knows Libanon?

      • Anonymous says:

        I know Lebanon. And Enthropy in a simplified sense, stands for lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t know who they are, but they have owned this land for at least 15 years

        • Anonymous says:

          Do they own the land or is it one of those parcels of Crown Land on a lease?

        • Anonymous says:

          OK then 12:31. Tell us who they are. Why the big secret? Transparency is really needed in Cayman when it comes to real estate development.

          • Anonymous says:

            I have no idea who they are but they have been the owners from 2002 according to land registry. Cayman box number.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Syrians and Israelis?

  18. Anonymous says:

    More people trying to get on the beach….good luck!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Give up! Let’s go cayman. Build build build!!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    My, my, my….how difficult the lives of the rich. The ” not in my backyard ” unless I can materially profit from it crowd. These are the same people that hide assets, employ others to raise their children and then mock others as ” the worst type of tourists “. I wonder what you call the worst type of rich, arrogant Islanders?

    • Anonymous says:

      My, my, my what a chip you have on your shoulder. You don’t know me or my neighbors and what you have said describes no one I know. So, you think this development is in Cayman’s best interest?

      • Anonymous says:

        They may not be the people that you know, but I have met many arrogant owners of condos that believe it is “their” beach. They egg on (normally in numbers) their poor security guards to chase off the riff-raff.

        • Anonymous says:

          Security guards on work permits being ordered to break Cayman laws and infringe on Caymanians rights by people who often do not even live here. You could not make this crap up.

    • Say it like it is says:

      5..20pm These are people who invested in a peaceful and tranquil beach property. If this “Carnival” hotel goes ahead they will have upwards of 300 people descend on the beach in front of their condos in season.This is a dangerous precedent and should not be allowed, and I fully support their objections.

      • Anonymous says:

        They won’t be able to comply with international high-rise buildings safety standards. Therefore they must NOT be allowed to build unless they comply. And that would take a lot of money.
        Even in low-rise building elevators are never inspected.

      • Anonymous says:

        They invested in a property that fronts the beach, knowing full well it is a public space. Use of public space (or any space) can change at any time in the future. Where did you note that “Carnival” are behind this. Are you aware of the brand for the hotel? Please post a link. BTW, if it is not a five-star hotel, are you saying people that can “only” spend, say $500/night should not be able to come to Cayman? Not everyone can afford $1,000 plus a night. Honestly, how many tourists who come on stay-over vacations are a problem for the public-at-large? I get the cruise ship thing, but almost every stay-over I have met has been middle class or “better”, is respectful and wants to enjoy our island.

      • Anonymous says:

        The beach is bombed every day by thousands of cruise shoppers and you are worried about a 126 room hotel? Ridiculous…

  21. Anonymous says:

    Carnival Cruise Hotel.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Just say no. Have hotels put in their applications and allow them to build in that order, one at a time in each district and only on condition that at least 50% of the workforce be local, and hotel occupancy (Island wide) remains above 70%. Unless you do that we will experience economy-destroying boom and bust cycles with environmental degradation all around.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too sensible. What you describe is the very essence of planning, but of course, that is not what our planning department does. It should be renamed the approving department.

      • Anonymous says:

        And don’t forget that a certain individual sits on the planning board who’s other business interest financially benefits from construction and the acquisition of materials.

        • Anonymous says:

          not only does he sit on the Planning Board but is the Chairman and he owns the biggest hardware store in the country. Should our fearless leaders not be more discerning than to allow this? why aren’t any and all of the boards rotated from time to time? do any of these boards change year in and year out? We have enough bright and educated people that can step up to the plate.

    • Anonymous says:

      We are already experiencing the boom-bust cycles via the repeated attempts at farcical supply side economics by our neighbors to the north, there is absolutely nothing we can do to insulate ourselves from the global economy or idiotic American fiscal conservatism.
      Anyone who has studied economics can tell you supply side economic policies lead to a predictable end result recessions/Depressions and at the end of the day the only people who benefit are those who are already wealthy and can ride out the economic downturns they cause while the working middle class continues shrinking and slipping between the cracks.

      • Anonymous says:

        if you are not rich who is to blame, if you slip between the crack you wont have to worry!

      • Anonymous says:

        6:49, You make some good points however, in the 2 years of the Trump administration, we have not seen idiotic American fiscal conservatism but the exact opposite. Trump has been spend, spend, spend. There is a national emergency of spiraling out of control debt with Trump. He has committed America to massive debt for years which will result in rising interest rates later this year, and a very good chance there will be a major recession.

        Trump runs the American Government like the Trump Corporation, taking on massive amounts of debt and not being able to repay. Note that Trump has declared bankruptcy 3 times in the past 20 years. So much for fiscal conservatism.

        • Anonymous says:

          Trump has cut taxes for the rich
          and has focused on deregulating industries

          He passed his “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” with widespread GOP support

          That is the bread and butter of supply side economics
          The entire concept is explained using the Laffer Curve and supporting BS trickle down economics to sell it to regular people
          Conservatives believe that if you “let market forces take over” by cutting taxes and regulations that it will unleash huge amounts of economic growth that will benefit everyone and end up leaving the government in a stronger position than if they regulate or tax.

          What it does in reality is create artificial growth in the markets (with things like stock buybacks being the prime and a very noticeable example)”
          Rich people hoard their resources, and use their exorbitant wealth to gain more influence in the political system
          Which is why some americans act as if conservative ideas have never been implemented when they have been put into place under multiple administrations and all led to the same result

          Prior to the Great Depression taxes were cut and industries were deregulated, the Great Depression occured and legislators said never again
          they put in economic safeguard to prevent another meltdown
          and they stayed in place for a while. Reagan got into office, cut taxes and deregulated, after he left office there was a recession in the first few months of George HW Bush’s term as President
          10 years later When George W Bush took over he did the exact same thing, cut taxes and slashed regulations, and by the time his final year in office rolled around the writing was on the wall, ( I don’t think I need to remind any of you about the Great Recession)

          • Anonymous says:

            Wages up. Unemployment at historic lows, particularly for minorities. Enjoy it.

            • Anonymous says:

              1:53 name me one program Trump has implemented to assist minorities?

              • Anonymous says:

                2:42; Are you some kind of nut?

                • Anonymous says:

                  Name one program 2:42 that Trump has implemented to assist American minorities? A simple question. Are you smart enough to give CNS readers an answer.

              • Anonymous says:

                His entire economic program has assisted minorities. That’s why their wages are up, their unemployment is down and their labor force participation is up. Far better than hand-out dependency programs.

      • Anonymous says:

        Anonymous 6:49pm – Calm yourself. Your insightful exaggerated drivel is the reason I stopped listening to the mainstream media.
        I bet you’re a Canadian… Second guess would be British.

        • Anonymous says:

          Supply side economics is farcical
          almost any economist who knows what they are talking about can tell you that
          One only has to look at the patterns
          Also for the record I am Caymanian

        • Anonymous says:

          8:55, Not sure what a nationality has to do with debt. Perhaps you could explain yourself. So here is something for you to chew on. Sorry this is a fact not exaggerated drivel, however, perhaps you also do not listen or believe the American Treasury Department.

          According to the U.S. Treasury Department, as of January 3, 2019 the American national debt stands at $21.974 trillion. The American national debt increased 10% since President Trump took office in January, 2017.

          • Bill Clinton says:

            Bring back Bill Clinton, he balanced the budget!

          • Anonymous says:

            At least half of that debt counts against Obama.

            • Anonymous says:

              @ 1:55…… Yes. Obama ran up more debt than ALL of the Presidents before him combined!
              See: http://www.usdebtclock.org/

              • Anonymous says:

                Fighting wars started by GWB
                If Obama had withdrawn troops or ended operations

                Conservatives would have jumped down his throat not to mention he had to pull the US economy out of a recession started by GWB

                Of course the debt increased under Obama’s watch but his only other option would have been austerity policies
                Which seem to have worked out so well in Europe, right?

                Looking at the economic numbers at the end of his 2 terms tells you all you need to know about Obama
                He was a capable steward placed on a sinking ship with one bucket told to prevent it from sinking, and he did his best

                • Anonymous says:

                  Yeah, and GWB was handed a downtrending economy and a terrorist calamity that was allowed to be planned unfettered. The economy was actually on the rise until 2006 when the democrats took over both the house and senate and the presidency in 2008. Excuses excuses. Obama had not a single policy that was friendly to business or job creation other than printing and dumping money at an alarming rate. Not very creative.
                  At least Trump is defending the jobs of his citizens by finally taking on China and the other horrible trade deals that have existed for decades.

        • Anonymous says:

          8:55 You do know that 80% of American debt is owned by the People’s Republic Of China? They have been buying by far the majority of American T bills issued the past 10 years.

          • Anonymous says:

            Fake news.

          • Anonymous says:

            2:48 a 2 second google will tell you that you are full of crap. China owns less than 2T of a 21 Trillion dollar debt. So to answer your question for 8:55, No I’m sure 8:55 doesn’t know it because it isn’t true.

      • Anonymous says:

        You do realize that many economists including nobel prize winning economists think of supply side economics as anything but farcical. Saying a 22 Trillion dollar economy can be built on farcical, idiotic principles seems a tad..well…farcical.

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