Millionaire condo tower gets $8.2M waiver deal

| 05/01/2021 | 124 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): The developer behind the WaterMark condo tower on Seven Mile Beach currently under construction, where units sell for close to US$10 million, has been granted CI$8.2 million in import duty waivers on all construction materials and equipment for its development until February 2023. Fraser Wellon is the developer behind this latest luxury development, which is unlikely to contribute to the tourism accommodation pot.

The CI$8.2 million given up by the public purse has bought taxpayers some local construction jobs as the developer is required to use his “best efforts” to ensure that 60% of the workers onsite during construction are Caymanians, according to documents released to CNS as part of an ongoing freedom of information request.

In the original grant of the waiver, the conditions laid out by the Ministry of Finance included the requirement for the developer to make a donation of an unspecified amount to a local technical-vocational training programme.

However, in a revised agreement letter, in which the ministry extended the period of the concession because of delays in the start of the project caused by planning and the COVID-19 lockdown, the ministry appears to have removed that requirement. (See pages 185-188 in documents relating to this FOI in the CNS Library.)

The ten-storey condo complex is aimed at high net worth individuals who are very unlikely to put their units in the rental accommodation pot. Experts tells CNS that the units will be acquired as part of property portfolios and investors rather than those who are likely to live in and use the condos on a regular basis.

The WaterMark is the third in a series of luxury condo developments by Wellon on Seven Mile Beach; it follows the seven-storey Waters Edge and the ten-storey Water Colours. While there are units available to rent in these gated condos, they are for a minimum stay of one month. The tower is situated very close to Public Beach, and with the start of the project, local access to yet another area of Grand Cayman’s world famous beach has been lost forever.

As a result these development concessions once again appear to provide only limited benefit to the local population, fuelling concerns that the waiver deals are removing the main benefits of development to the local economy, such as duties and fees.

CNS has contacted Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC) to ask if the developer on this project has met his obligations and how such employment requirements on these types of projects are monitored. We continue to await a response.

Meanwhile, the latest documents CNS has received in our efforts to secure all the details of all the development deals that were agreed under the current administration can be found in the CNS Library. The records include details of the deal given to HHG Cayman Ltd for the re-development of the closed Margaritaville resort, as we reported on Monday.

The documents also include correspondence that show the tougher battle a small Caymanian developer had in securing a waiver of just $46,000 on an increased stamp duty fee charged by government. This increase arose because the developer, who owns the land, had enhanced the value of the property himself before registering the development in a company name.

A residential strata development, Leeward Quay was a small project and it took the developer some two years to get the concession on the additional stamp duty fee.

See all the documents obtained via FOI request in the CNS Library.


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Category: development, Local News, Policy, Politics

Comments (124)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Any duty concession request should be accompanied with “must pay the government 10% of the profit on the project”. I am sure all requests will cease immediately.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is so corrupt

    • Jah Dread says:

      They should give them more because sll Caymanian people do is tslk tslk talk and don’t show their displeasure by going in their face at the glass house and telling them how it go. I na calling Fe riot or terorism but enough talk now or please shut up and take una licks..

      • Anonymous says:

        The glass house hasn’t been used in years as it sits empty contaminated by mold. Going to the glass house would accomplish nothing. You’d see your own face reflected on the glass 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Might have been a good idea to take the money off those wealthy developers and spend it on the local schools that are failing miserably and spewing out ill-equipped and under-educated generations.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t see how that is a property developers responsibility. You have a government for that.

      • Anonymous says:

        I haven’t implied it is the developers responsibility. I am implying the government should take the money and use it wisely.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Can people stop justifying building concessions with stamp duty revenue please?

    STAMP DUTY ON PRE CONSTRUCTION (this includes all the multi million dollar condos)

    “There is a current exception to the law enjoyed by purchasers of pre-construction developments, in that the law only requires these purchasers to pay stamp duty on the value of the raw land rather than the property purchased. This has allowed for substantial savings on the cost of stamp duty for buyers.”

    60 people buying $1M condos on a single lot worth say $5 million are not paying 7.5% on $1M ($75,000) each. Theyre paying 7.5% on their strata share of land ($6,250). Huge difference hence why these developments are 80 and 90% sold out before they even break ground.

  5. Anonymous says:

    There is NO 7.5% stamp duty to the first owners on these developments!!!! How many times does this have to be repeated before people get a clue??? Try to keep up. That has been a huge loophole of lost revenue for years and govt tried to close it 2019 but were bullied into extending it another year and I expect will continue to be bullied when an argument for ‘consignment’ gets thrown on the table. If I could on my not so smart phone, I’d try to find the CNS article on this topic when the waiver was last extended.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This whole concession racket is flawed and a waste of large sums of public money.
    Concessions are being given to developers for schemes that would go ahead regardless of the grant of any concessions . The property prices aren’t reduced due to the waivers and all that happens is that the developer’s profits
    are being increased. It’s quite scandalous. This just pads the pockets of the undeserved.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You don’t need to give monetary incentives to wealthy people.
    You don’t need to give monetary incentives to build luxury condos.
    You don’t need to give monetary incentives to build on Seven Mile Beach.
    You don’t need to give monetary incentives to live on Seven Mile Beach.
    You don’t need to give monetary incentives to developments designed for foreigners.
    Duty concessions for this development are NOT value for money.

    You should give monetary incentives to build low income housing.
    You should give monetary incentives to guarantee properties available for NAU clients.
    You should give monetary incentives to build parks, playgrounds and cycling paths.

    You should give monetary incentives for the things that need incentives. NOT for rich foreigners selling luxury property on SMB to other rich foreigners.

    • Anonymous says:

      YES!! Please run in the election! Cayman needs more people like you!

      • The Outsider says:

        I totally agree! All the graft and theft that is growing with every “investment” needs to be eliminated! The hard part is getting rid of the MPs that profit from it!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Trickle down economics DOES NOT WORK. You give rich people tax breaks they hoard more. It’s common sense. PPM is ruining this island.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s trickling down as far as the MP’s. They are all doing quite well. Pigs at the trough..

    • Anonymous says:

      This may be a feel-good CNS-thumbsupper comment but its asinine and ignorant.

      Can you please describe the economic model where poor people create jobs and fuel economies?

      • Anonymous says:

        Show me where they create jobs and fuel the economy.

        You people make me cringe when I hear you with that! They do the bare minimum (if that)

        When will you understand that they don’t spend their money back into the Cayman economy????

  9. Concrete Jungle says:

    #sipstea

  10. Clement Andre Iton says:

    The primary justification for the granting of tax and duty concessions is based on a perceived need to attract SCARCE Foreign Direct Investment to foster economic and social development.
    There has never been a dearth of FDI in the Cayman Islands since its emergence as a “global financial centre”.
    There is absolutely no justification in the context of the Cayman reality to grant concessions to those who have, except to reinforce the inequitable system(a system based on trickle-down economics) that those in power are committed to sustain at the behest of the real powers that be.

  11. Anonymous says:

    wasn’t the whole idea of this system was to make money from the importation of materials then make money from the sale of the units? why are we acting like developers are avoiding this little rock so we need to lure them in by any means necessary? but if the average Joe decide he wanted to bring in a drill for his small business, he have to fork over that 22% duty.

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you think the Gov is recouping the cost for all of these insane waivers. Us, the peasants have to foot the bill.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Be Warned, this is just the beginning. There are a large number of foreign owned companies granted LLC by the T&B board. The penny starts with them.

  13. Anonymous says:

    In the original grant of the waiver, the conditions laid out by the Ministry of Finance included the requirement for the developer to make a donation of an unspecified amount to a local technical-vocational training programme.

    Why not disclose the amount? Is it an amount to laugh at?

    • Anonymous says:

      The amount was probably left unspecified so that Dart could pick whatever sounded good enough while still ensuring they were giving less than they got. All of these agreements are weighted towards Dart because they have better lawyers and most of the bargaining power. Concessions are actually one of the only tools CIG has to even influence what Dart does at all. Dart could probably put a water slide from Camana Bay to George Town without needing more than planning permission now.

      • RCon says:

        Folk have lived and survived in the Cayman Islands for hundreds of years before there was even such a thing as an economy, and certainly not one that was based on allowing foreign folk to benefit at our lost. Oh..and what do you mean by “poor people”? So called “poor people” who are unable to feed , clothe and shelter themselves are ONLY CREATED by HAVING AN ECONOMY and tge canon of commercial laws that empower the exploitation and hinder those who are non players in the “rat race”

      • Anonymous says:

        Is this a Dart Development also? I thought it was Fraser Wellon and Mark Erler.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is madness. If anything, additional levies should be placed on property that will be sold to non residents. I would suggest an extra 5% stamp duty and/or 1% per annum. Their only contribution to the ongoing economy is to increase house prices for residents. Government need to explain this with substantiated cashflow analysis.

    • Anonymous says:

      All these multi million developments are also costing us to increase infrastructure…roads, water lines, energy generation…for dwellings that are sitting empty after the developers also got planning infrastructure fees waived – the fees that cover the cost of these very same things!!

      We, the residents are paying for all this S#!+. Our cost of living just keeps going up and the non residents get discounts?

      • Anonymous says:

        But they DO live amongst you.

        Good start. I like where you’re headed but it just needs a tweak so you don’t lose ALL foreign investment.

        Don’t forget, Cayman is “aiiiiiight” but, sorry to say, in some people’s minds there is better. Most of the investment comes to Cayman because of the tax break.

        Be careful.

        • Anonymous says:

          Where is the tax break for Caymanians who struggle to get a roof over their heads? Time for a change. Demand the change by showing your faces and vote the criminals out May 2021.
          Too many Trumps in the form of Parliamentarians. Eliminate them, change the guards.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Waivers happen everywhere, get over it, such a small item to worry about. The bigger picture to focus on is the continued overdevelopment of SMB/West Bay Road.
    All I’d ask is for a total halt to any new planning approvals above 3 stories that are on land parcels directly on the ocean, anywhere in Cayman.
    If you want 10 or 20 or 50 stories, do it across the road. Please, stop this destruction of Cayman.
    Buy 2 parcels like this one did, go high on the land side, stay low on the water side. Your guests will still buy the expensive road side at 20 floors high for the views and the private bridge across to the beach.
    Apparently another 10 storey is planned near cemetery beach area? Why? there’s nothing that high anywhere near it, maybe Renaissance is closest..can we not make that the last tall tower on the ocean anywhere north of Kimpton?
    This has to stop, try to keep some sense of island charm.

    • Anonymous says:

      When your next paycheck is used to fund the next waiver, you will be complaining too. The main reason buildings are going up faster than politicians’ greed is the gift cards given out to build them in the first place. All thanks to the brilliant foresight and rosé-colored glasses of Minister Joey “Who”. Locals are good enough to pay for the concessions but not good enough to know what the money is directly being used for. Bigger item than you might think.

      Blocking the flagrant concessions will be the only incentive for developers to think twice about all of this “business”. Constructing skyline story monstrosities that either kill off local flora/fauna or erode coastlines every time an Eta comes by, including 7MB, because they don’t believe in setback lines; digging out graveyards for the sake of million-dollar beachfront properties that Caymanians are paywalled from affording; and telling people to kick rocks when they buck up when money talks. Maybe then, they will cold turkey their greenback drug habits that are never satisfied when they scalp the last remaining nutrients from “lazy and entitled” locals and their “stomping grounds”. Last time I checked, locals in every country deserve first pick at anything available in their nation before anybody else gets extra helpings.

  16. Truth says:

    Define “Caymanian” though.

    Willing to bet that either 80% will be work permit holders with false papers, the developers will claim they outsourced the labor and knew nothing about it.

    Or there will be an influx of shotgun “sham” weddings in the next few weeks (at least 8 a day)

    Let’s wait and see what happens.

    Get the popcorn going.
    Wait for the comments above…..

  17. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry guys .. government have a new credit line facility so we’ll make up for lost funds…

    What a joke.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Residency by incestment.

    Buy an expensive condo + secure automatic permanent residency = Cayman Status in 5 years.

    No limit. No quotas.

    Caymanians and poor RERC f*ed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! I am getting really pissed off by this residency by investment opportunity. All it is doing is artificially inflating property prices and pushing normal people out of the market. And these newcomers will never integrate with the community here.

    • Anonymous says:

      More like 10.5-11 years rather than 15. After 5 years, you can only apply for naturalisation as a BOTC. It is only 5 years after being naturalised that you can apply for Status.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not true. It takes 11 years to get status through investment. PR for 5, then naturalization for 5. With gaps for processing times it takes 11 years. The people receiving it are far far more deserving and beneficial to Cayman than most other categories of status applicant.

  19. Chucky says:

    In the meanwhile Caymanians pay full duty and get the shaft with no hesitation

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait for all the duties/taxes to go up in July to make up for lost revenue, over spending by our Government and to be expected MP salary raises!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Could just be paying Caymanians to say they work there. Free 12k for doing nothing. Probably what these people do cause they def just hire third world expats.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Investment in the future. 7.5% in stamp duty on all those units could easily be more than the waiver given. Thing is, you have to trust that our MPs can do the math well enough to make that worth while.

    • Anonymous says:

      there is no need to give concessions though. This is a developer redeveloping an existing condo complex. They are going to do this anyway why give it away if you don’t have to..

      We all know the politicians get their little cut on the side but this crap really needs to stop otherwise this will become the norm.

      No concession are given to Caymanians or small developers to build an apartment complex. What makes them any less worthy of these concessions.

      • Born n Raised says:

        Which “existing condo” they are developing you dipsh!t? They robbed both sides of SMB and will surely lockdown one of the nicest beach accesses in the stretch (Next door the the Avalon condos). My advice to you is to dont speak (or type for that matter) unless you havr any friggin idea of what you are commenting on.

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly. The developers are making millions even without waivers. And the government will get stamp duty even without the waivers. So bottom line – the people lost 8.5mil while the developers got an extra 8.5 mil profit.

  22. Savior 521 says:

    The soon to be 10 story luxury Lacovia condos top floor suites (yes the entire 10th floor) was purchased by Mark Cuban for USD $26 million – wouldn’t be something bad if few million dollars went into new vocational education system, Dr Lockhart special need school, new cannibas oil facility etc.

    But here’s some food for thought – When that developer comes knocking, I sure hope it’s Johann, Myles, Alric, Ezzard or Arden doors they be knocking on. Make the changes in 5/2021

    • Anonymous says:

      Bullshit! Lacovia doesn’t have a large penthouse. It’s 3 buildings

    • Anonymous says:

      He will pay close to $1.9M in stamp duty, there is you couple of million, but as we know with CIG this $$ goes into a big black hole.

      • Anonymous says:

        No he will only pay 7.5% on his portion of the land value..Grandfathered in, and in fact, the government is not even enforcing the law they put in place..

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice story-line. Can you offer any public documentation to support your claim?

      No? ….

    • Anonymous says:

      Is Mr Cuban banned from purchasing what was a public sale? I don’t know much about him, but if he has the $$$, then why are you dissing him above any other buyer???

    • Anonymous says:

      Savior that would be a nightmare. Please don’t use those names together every again. Yikes!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like a rumor, take a public name and insert it. I’m sure Elon Musk is buying one too, LOL

    • Anonymous says:

      I heard Elon Musk bought one too! LOL!

    • John McKenna says:

      Beyoncé and Jay Z have bought 2 investment units in Lacovia.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I will never vote for Joey Hew again. He is a massive disappointment and shown his true colors.

    • Anonymous says:

      Joey Who? Him and PPM better not knock on my door. Waste of space all of em

    • Cruyff says:

      5:12. Joey will be win again and again. He has no real competition.

      He has done an amazing job in tourism and now as a Minister.

      • Philip says:

        So your happy with the complete mess on Public beach which was a direct result of how spineless Joey is, its still covered with broken and stacked black chairs old BBQ’s that have not had any use since mid March, not one person in Gov. had had the balls to remove this now abandoned items, beyond a joke.

      • Anonymous says:

        You must love sitting in traffic.

  24. Banana Republican says:

    Look at all contracts pre & post construction.
    Look at all the service contracts. Who is doing the work?
    Are any PEP’s involved, their interests or businesses?

    Follow the paper trail, all funds dispersed at every stage of the project. Cayman’s governance is at best incompetent or at worst corrupt. Either way the people get screwed.

  25. Anonymous says:

    When the island finally opens and the tourists see all the cement construction and high rise towers, they will not return. Dart et al will make money building these ugly buildings, but then they will remain empty. Cayman is turning into one ugly looking Caribbean island, imo.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      Like you, I think we are trading super luxury hotels for those more humble ones that have and will accommodate our bread-and-butter — the middle class visitor. The very rich won’t trickle much down, and worse yet, with the concessions given, they will be able to unfairly compete with existing Caymanian-owned businesses.

      We are creating a concrete jungle and a sharp class divide of rich and poor. Everything once unique and pure about this island is nearly lost; a person might as well stay in Miami Beach.

      I guess we’d better go visit 3 Mile Beach before it disappears altogether.

      • Anonymous says:

        Residency by incestment.

        Buy an expensive condo + secure automatic permanent residency = Cayman Status in 5 years.

        No limit. No quotas.

        Caymanians and poor RERC f*ed.

        • Anonymous says:

          More like 10.5-11 years rather than 15. After 5 years, you can only apply for naturalisation as a BOTC. It is only 5 years after being naturalised that you can apply for Status.

          • BeaumontZodecloun says:

            The wealthy don’t care about the vote; they care about the power they can wield as Caymanians. The vote is for us peons, so we can believe that we shape our future.

            I’m not against wealthy people, but they shouldn’t be able to purchase power and Status. I am also not devaluing the vote, for that precious privilege could be very powerful if only we’d all unite in our values and causes.

  26. Anonymous says:

    DO NOT complain about losing beach access. You made fun of the ladies from WB that tried to stop any access being blocked KNOWING THIS would be what would happen.

    More ‘hide and watch’ to come…

  27. Cayman Deserves Better says:

    There are no standards for anything in this process. No one can explain the grant of concession process and it’s justification.

    There is no review of what CIG is getting in return for the lucrative concession package

    There is no process just a feeling and deal between the Mr Hew Minister of Commerce, Planning & Infrastructure and developer

    There is no accountability

    There is no transparency

    The concessions equate to straight profits for the developers

    The rich get richer while the poor get poorer as the politicians try to buy political support and votes with turkeys, hams, CUC and Water Authority vouchers.

    Time to vote out Hew and this government for selling out Cayman and lining their own pockets

    • Lomart says:

      What a sell out!! This is very hurtful; why give these concessions and hope that they will give some little pittance to vocational training!! Why?? Government should simply collect their revenue and then spend it on vocational training etc.
      Why do we continue to make these awful deals where we end up ALWAYS getting the losing end of the stick? Why?

      • Anonymous says:

        An inferiority complex and received wisdom that if we do not roll out the red carpet no one will come here or invest at all. We act like a struggling restaurant that is not proud of its food, so refunds every customer who complains or offers a 2-for-1 deal before they’ve even come in the door. I’d like to call these developers’ bluffs. The rule that applies to all businesses applies to countries too: don’t give away your product!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, the normal man pays out the wahzoo to build a single story 3bdr dwelling home.

  29. EYES WIDE SHUT says:

    When will Joey Hew and Cabinet understand these concessions represent immediate profits for the wealthy developers?

    Another bad deal and more giveaways brought to us by Alden McLaughlin and his protege Minister Hew the ppm version of a young McKeeva Bush.

    Where is the Auditor General’s investigation into granting of concessions?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont forget the PPM puppet master turned planning “consultant” who is the first step in these concession greasing deals.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, Stan Thomas is a story that every one should reacquaint themselves with; however, most of them have been, SURPRISE!, removed from the Compass.

    • Anonymous says:

      So give the concessions create jobs and boast to the economy. Receive millions in stamp duty.

      Create jobs after the condos as built.

      Refuse the concessions get an empty beach lot.

      Why is this hard to understand.

      Ask the hundreds of local businesses benefiting from this construction whether they support the concessions.

      • Lomart says:

        What a sell out!! This is very hurtful; why give these concessions and hope that they will give some little pittance to vocational training!! Why?? Government should simply collect their revenue and then spend it on vocational training etc.
        Why do we continue to make these awful deals where we end up ALWAYS getting the losing end of the stick? Why?

        • The Outsider says:

          I totally agree! All the graft and theft that is growing with every “investment” needs to be eliminated! The hard part is getting rid of the MPs that profit from it!

      • Anonymous says:

        Refuse the concession and they will still build. Do you think the developer is selling at a loss? The developer is making milllions on each project.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wellon demanded and got the reductions offered to Dart…..thanks again Mac.

    • The most recent reports are “collecting government revenues” in 2015 where a whole section and series of recommendations are on concessions / waivers. These recommendations have been followed up on several times. The more recent report “customs in the Cayman Islands” similarly had a section and recommendations on concessions. The actions committed to in the responses to the recommendations have not yet happened.

  30. Anonymous says:

    WHY?????

    Seriously, why do we keep giving to the rich while we are overtaxing the poor. Do we really need to incentivize these wealthy people to build more high rises that we don’t need.

    May 2021, hurry come, please!

  31. Anonymous says:

    can you tell us the value in waivers the developer received on the other properties?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Joey Who strikes again!

  33. Anonymous says:

    ‘Units sell for close to US$10 million’? Where? The only way anyone is going to pay that much money is if it’s a money-laundering exercise. This doesn’t make sense – I could probably buy a four-bed house in central London or LA for that kind of money, the only problem is that might leave a messy paper trail.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you looked at the CIREBA listings for Cayman condos on SMB? Everything on SMB is going for millions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thats always been the whole point of the condo market. Try doing notices that include a condo property. Nothing but company owners.

      And hilariously the govt wanted the real estate agents to be the due diligence on tax evasion. All their buyers are investors waiting to buy in!

    • Anonymous says:

      And I bet if you could dig deep enough you’d find out that the money fronting these projects is coming from the same sources that are buying the properties.

  34. Anonymous says:

    so the small man suffers again. A firm developing property to specifically price caymanians out of the market. They get this waiver yet Cayman Finance won’t allow me to use my waiver as a first time caymanian buyer on any property over $400k? Don’t ever believe this Govt. has ever had the interest of Caymanians at heart!!

  35. Anonymous says:

    “…the developer is required to use his “best efforts” to ensure that 60% of the workers onsite during construction are Caymanians..”

    Isn’t that already the Law?

    • Anonymous says:

      But never enforced. Remember the R-C build? You could count the local workers on the fingers of one hand!

    • Anonymous says:

      But employing overseas designers and engineers , and no import duty on hundreds of thousands in imported drawings and specifications, another loss of income to CIG.

      • Anonymous says:

        Isn’t what you describe an offense under the Trade and Business licensing and Immigration Laws?

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, the law requires best efforts to seek to ensure that 100% of the workers are Caymanian. Work permits are only legally available if despite those efforts, no Caymanian can be found.

  36. welfare says:

    Talk about welfare for millionaires… And how much did the politicians make off with? Which government official’s Zurich bank balance went up the most???

    • Phantom 9AD says:

      And past Min of planning Kurt Tibbetts is now consultant for big pocket developer, Bronte Delvp. Word is that Mr T walks into the planning office in Govt like he was still in charge – even parks himself vehicle in the underground parking lot used by sitting ministers, has his own lil pass key to get in & out too. Thought the UDP was bad enough……they can’t hold what’s left of the Progressive aka PPM.

  37. Anonymous says:

    So an incredibly wealthy developer has waivers on 3 developments. For the majority of which hold foreign investors. Whilst A young first time caymanian who wants to buy a property any amount above 400k can’t use their stamp duty waiver? Or even net it off to pay the difference? The Govt is actively pushing local investors out of the property market. This is who you vote for, take from us and give to the ultra wealthy!

    • Anonymous says:

      Buyers at Watermark were not given waivers. This was a waiver on certain construction costs. So your comparison is not valid.

      • Anonymous says:

        The comparison is valid. If i purchase a property for 1$ above the threshold, I can’t net it and pay the 7% on that 1$. I owe 7% on the full amount. The Government approving large duty waivers to the developers causes a shortfall in income. They make it up elsewhere. Why as a young Caymanian should I pay my duty when a large foreign owned LLC doesn’t?

  38. Anonymous says:

    I will be first in line to shake this government’s hand over their handling of Covid. Truly impressive.

    But the corruption surrounding everything else they’ve done is astonishing!!! From the port, to Mac being allowed to be a predator with no consequences, to these secret real estate deals, its truly heartbreaking what they’re doing to our country.

    Is there anyone better to vote for? I don’t know, but I’m looking hard.

  39. Anonymous says:

    This article is so short-sighted and misleading. Here is the income for Cayman: The average initial selling price is approximately $7 million, which means at completion, owners will pay to the government initial duty totaling around $30 million (at the 7.5% SMB real estate duty rate). Plus the duty on all the new furniture the owners buy etc.

    Upon completion, each time a single unit resells (at $8 to $10 million), the government gets $675,000. And multiple units will resell each year, for the next 20 years.

    So factor that into your duty waiver discussion. If this plot of land stayed as a bush, zero income for Cayman government. With the development, tens of millions of incremental dollars for Cayman government. Over the next 10 years, this will mean $50 million for Cayman government. Where I am from, 50 is greater than 8.

    • Anonymous says:

      You may be right. The issue however is that these deals are made in secret, with no oversight, transparency, regulations or even a framework.

      Your numbers may be right…but we’ll never know because we’ll never know the full extent of what has been promised, nor which promises are actually kept.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is the argument for giving concessions except that the developer will line the pockets of himself and a few helping hands.

    • John says:

      This is true. But those sales and the resulting stamp duty would be received by the government anyway provided the project was built.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes it is. So, following this logic: 58 is greater than 50!

    • Anonymous says:

      The question is would the property have gone ahead without the waiver… i think so, the developer is not passing it to the buyer, just simply bigger profit for them. Therefore the property would have done ahead and the government did not need to get 8m to a single individual.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong. Watermark first owners arent paying 7.5% stamp duty on closing. These fees are part of the ongoing defunding of our revenue for developers to get guaranteed sales and millionaires to get discounts. I guarantee you, no stamp duty for first contract buyers just like all the other developments. Theres the first $30M loss…add that to the $8.2 and keep your hand on the + button for $1M tower crane, other equipment and then materials….

    • Anonymous says:

      And you know what?? We the Caymanians, like that tract of bush just THE WAY IT WAS!! It was one of the few places where we had beach access and there were some nice shady grape trees. Who needs another 10 storey building?? Fraser Wellon should not get one dime in concessions. He doesn’t even like Caymanians!! Please GO AWAY AND LEAVE US ALONE!! Just G-O.

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanians are not the only people who enjoy using someone else’s multimillion dollar property for free, just the only ones that think it is their right.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is NO WAY that a plot of land along Seven Mile Beach would ‘stay as bush’. They would build on it, duty concessions or not. What planet do you live on.

  40. Anonymous says:

    That’s where the owners of the island will live…

  41. Anonymous says:

    Roll on the next earthquake 🙂

    As for ‘60% of the workers onsite during construction are Caymanians’? ROTFLMAO!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      60%? Maybe 6% lol. I don’t really see why the duty waiver is even needed. That building probably costs hundreds of millions but $9m will break the bank? Seems like a pretty bad deal to me.

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