NCB says locals buying into GT boutique hotel

| 10/05/2022 | 55 Comments
Artist’s rendition of Kailani Grand Cayman (from promotional material)

(CNS): NCB, the developers of a new hotel under construction on North Church Street, says that half of the residencies have already been sold and that three-quarters of them were purchased by local residents rather than offshore buyers. While many realtors in the Cayman Islands market depend on overseas investors to snap up their high-end inventory, representatives for NCB have implied this project is set to be largely owned by people here in Cayman.

Kailani Grand Cayman will be the first new hotel in Cayman since the Kimpton. Construction began in April 2019 after the developers secured planning permission to increase the height of the hotel from six to seven storeys. It was originally due to be finished last year, but after the pandemic caused significant delays, it is now two years behind schedule and not expected to open until September next year.

However, NCB said that a model room has now been finished and was shown to members of a visiting team from Hilton Hotels, which owns the Kailani boutique brand that will be managing the resort once it is completed. Meanwhile, the developers continue to sell the remaining half of the available residencies at a time of high demand, according to one real estate expert.

But there is also a growing uncertainty for the real estate sector as a result of increasing interest rates and an exceptionally long run of increasing values.

The hotel is being promoted as a wellness product, an arm of the tourism market that the developers said is expected to reach US$1,127 billion by 2025. It is also NCB’s first hotel project, as the company has more recently been working on luxury oceanfront condos, such as the Tides and Aura in South Sound and SeaDreams on North West Point, West Bay.

In the past, NCB developed projects that were in the price range of ordinary Caymanians, such as Lakeside, across from the George Town landfill, but according to its website, the focus now is on “creating luxury communities”. The new hotel, which will also be catering to a luxury market, has been welcomed by the Department of Tourism, given the additional 80 rooms, as visitors return to Cayman.

However, the hotel has been the subject of a dispute with Coral Sands, the small resort located next to it. At a recent CPA meeting, Harry Lynch, the hotel manager there, said the sea wall that is part of the NCB hotel had caused the erosion of their beach. But Matthew White, the managing director of NCB, denied that their project had a seawall.

“NCB has not installed a sea wall on our Kailani property or made any alterations to the coastline,” he said. “We have embraced the ironshore for the majority of our site and wish to leave the natural beach cove. We would strongly oppose any sea wall construction as we believe this will have a negative impact on the shoreline and the current sandy cove. This is evidenced with negative effect throughout Cayman and especially along the Seven Mile Beach corridor.”

CNS has contacted Coral Sands for comment and we are awaiting a response.

Meanwhile, NCB and their Hilton partners are promoting the project and the model room, which they said in a release shows the “bleisure” concept, a term recently added to the tourism lexicon to convey the idea that business and leisure travel can co-exist.

The hotel’s reliance on the electrical grid is expected to be significantly lowered by renewable energy and energy-efficient mechanical, electrical and plumbing elements, LED lighting, solar water heating and smart cooling functions.

“Even before the global pandemic influenced the way we travel, we were planning a hotel concept that appealed to a new wave of traveller – one who factors experience, carbon footprint and, most importantly, wellness into their accommodation choices,” Wight said. “As new travel trends start to emerge as part of our new normal, we can see that Kailani continues to be on track to offer everything the modern hotel guest is looking for.” 


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Category: Business, development, Local News, Tourism

Comments (55)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Disingenuous, Mr. White, likely believes he is doing something good for Cayman by constructing these eye-sore multi-story crowded concrete jungles, like the monstrosity at Grand Harbour roundabout. All while smiling to the bank and laughing at generational Caymanians. His “locals” are very defined or is it refined? He would not spit at the average Caymanian; but, he presents a good show. These developments along our shoreline should be made to pay huge environmental fees when approved. They block the little sea-views Caymanians have left (like this one at Dixey cemetery) and adds to increased congestion, like at Grand Harbour. Government then had to pick-up the cost of trying to redo the road-network there to accommodate that monstrosity they built there. Some of us see through him and others. Everything is strategic and calculating. “I am Caymanian” sounds good but it is as fake as fake comes. I guess the Cayman-racer snake don’t just crawl on the ground.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Delays to this just like phase 3 of Hilton Estates. SMH.

  3. John says:

    After Solara I would never purchase anything remotely related to NCB.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    the “bleisure” concept. No thanks!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Lots of millionaire expats now considering themselves as “local”

    Don’t be fooled by this story. Dart is considered local too but far from being a Caymanian except on that paper he got.

    It is very sad that they are using this tactic as I am very sure the ordinary hard working Caymanian “local” could not afford a unit.

    Hurts me to the core to see that studio units sell in the price range just in reach. 1 bedrooms almost out of reach and you expect a family to cram in them.

    The day is coming that this pot explodes once people had enough.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Words from someone who didn’t seize the opportunities made available to them.

      Haters going to hate….

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      • Anonymous says:

        Words from someone who had to come to these islands to make it cause you couldn’t in your own crap country!

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        • Anonymous says:

          This is a very low blow. Cayman is number one in cost of living. If a person can make it here, they can make it anywhere.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Your “hard working Caymanians” are the ones building and selling the very project you criticize.

      Only Caymanians sold Cayman.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    These buildings that encroach on heritage sites are such a disgrace .There is no respect for the native Caymanian’s homeland..

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    • Anonymous says:

      Understand the feeling is mutual, very mutual.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Just like they did to South Sound Cemetery. No respect.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Seems to be an NCB trait to literally try and make long lost caymanians turn in their graves by building big concrete eyesores right over them.

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    • Anonymous says:

      A Caymanian company is building the hotel.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Shouldn’t all the cemeteries in each district be considered heritage sites with planning laws in place to preserve the area. What has been done so close to some of these graves is heart breaking for many Caymanian families.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Re-locate Lakeside residents, they are being poisoned 24×7. Each new development must include 10% for the Lakeside owners (if they live there. Demolish Lakeside buildings, they are contaminated, and make a park.

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    • Anonymous says:

      lmao what about the CIS students then? by your logic they and the first section of camana bay should leave as well then?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Just wait a decade for the first kids who graduated CIS to start developing breathing and other illnesses, asthma, etc later in life..hope Darty Boy has deep pockets still by then

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      • Anonymous says:

        What is so funny? The entire island dumps their waste at Lakeside residents doorsteps. How many Dump fires did they go through?

        As for CIS students, I would never ever enroll my kids in a school sitting 100 steps away from the hazardous Dump.

        First section of Camana Bay? Are you comparing LakeView properties to Camana Bay properties? They are all rentals by they way, at least it used to be this way, secondly if people with money are so dumb to buy properties within 3 miles radius from the Dump, they have no one to blame. Besides, smoke and fire byproducts fallouts are almost always towards the Lakeview buildings.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They are probably all rentals and that is why class action suit was never brought up. I wonder what is the state of health of its permanent residents?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Lakeside was created next to the dump, not the other way around. Anyone buying there, should have know they were putting their health at risk.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I bet they were not told that the Dump would grow into the uncontrollable monster.

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      • Anonymous says:

        • Were they aware of possible environmental problems or soil contamination of any kind on the property or in the immediate area?
        • Were the dump’s existence disclosed by the seller? Assuming buyers were not locals.
        Buyers are entitled to rely on the truth of the statements in a Seller Property Information Statement, which sellers should complete honestly.

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      • Beagle says:

        Coming to a nuisance is no defence.

    • Anonymous says:

      One Olay residents!

    • Anonymous says:

      Note – Lakeside was developed by these same “developers”.

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  8. HJacques says:

    I do hope it has more success that the ill fated Margaritavilla that sold its rooms. A lot of people lost a lot of money on that one.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Duppy hotel

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Happy to see Mr Wight recognize the detriment that seawalls cause and confirm that no seawall exists on this site!

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Local buyers! Well, I guess accountant and lawyer partners buying investment properties they’ll not live in themselves is technically a local buyer!

    This development is horrible and compounded by how it’s rudely wrapping part of our sacred graves

    Same folk wanting to wreck Little Cayman too

    Cool

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  12. Anonymous says:

    This is the same hotel with the wall so close to the graves at Dixie. No respect for the forefathers of this island. The strip on land between the wall and sea should have been left open with no building with views of the sea. . Shame on NCB and planning . All for a few next $. No foresight for the future.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So the dead people needs a view of the sea?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The issue is we have been laid back and accepted the will of greedy developers. It started with the south sound cemetery adjoining the tides and by cayman crossing, then the relocation of the grave in red bay and now Dixie cemetery. Looking at the history of all of NCB’s development sites, they are all adjoining cemeteries.

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanian’s have been too laid back on this subject. I do know people who pleaded with planning on this with no luck. It’s all about the short term dollar .

  13. Anonymous says:

    PR exercise for NCB after Naul Bodden wanted to tear up Little Cayman. Nice try.

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    • Cheese Face says:

      Yup, nail on the head. “We pretend we give a s*** about this but we gonna f*** up Little Cay for ya”

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  14. Anonymous says:

    “Local residents” and “largely owned by people here in Cayman”
    does not necessarily mean Caymanians… The average Caymanian cannot afford this type of property…

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Based on other NCB projects, I’ll be staying VERY far away.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    So plenty of local lawsuits when this project runs over cost then.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Lawsuits from who? The purchasers pay a fixed price — they are not at risk for cost overruns.

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      • Anonymous says:

        True but shoddy work would make them liable. But the LLC doing the development will cease to exist as soon as the last unit is sold. Perhaps Cayman should force developers to purchase building insurance in advance for the first three years of a large project like this.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Yes agreed, there should be a bond or guarantee. I hear they are still trying to fix the tides!!!

          • Anonymous says:

            Well good luck to the purchasers as they’ll probably enjoy leaking windows and wonky staircases.

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