As published in the Caymanian Compass – 23 September, 2013
An artist’s impression of the planned Kimpton hotel shows how Dart Realty’s $200 million project will change the visual landscape of the Seven Mile Beach area.
The design plans for the project have been revealed following the Central Planning Authority’s decision to grant approval for the hotel and condo development, which features two 10-story buildings and six beach-front bungalows.
“We are delighted to have received approval from the Central Planning Authority for the Kimpton resort and we look forward to starting construction,” said Jackie Doak, chief operating officer of Dart Realty.
“The Kimpton resort will expand and complement Cayman’s high quality tourism product. This is an important milestone in growing our tourism product and facilitating continued economic recovery. Employment and contracting opportunities relating to the construction of the hotel with DECCO and its sub-contractors will be commencing in the upcoming months,” she added.
The permanent closure of a small part of West Bay Road has enabled designers to position the hotel well back from the coastline. The design takes advantage of the extra space with amenities, including the pool, public walkway and gardens between the buildings and the water.
The plans feature a rooftop restaurant and bar featuring 360-degree ocean views and all guest rooms will have a view of the water, taking advantage of the location between Seven Mile Beach and the North Sound.
The plans also feature a glass-walled lobby and arrival court, raised 24 feet above sea level to offer guests sweeping views of the pool, gardens and ocean.
The bulk of the parking will be underground and the resort’s open spaces, including the beach bar and walkway/bicycle path, will be open to the public.
Trendy San Francisco hotel chain Kimpton signed up in July to manage the property, scheduled to open in late 2016.
The project will create around 400 jobs, according to Dart, and PricewaterhouseCoopers has said the hotel will generate $755 million for the local economy over 20 years.
The hotel will have “265 keys.” This includes 37 suites which are for sale and the six bungalows. Adjacent to the hotel is the residential building, which features 61 condos.
Dart says the design is intended to craft a “modern Caymanian and Caribbean aesthetic” that “sets the tone for future Seven Mile Beach development.”
SB Architects and John Doak Architecture are collaborating on the design.
The Central Planning Authority granted planning permission with minor conditions, including the addition of 15 extra parking spaces.
The National Roads Authority agreement between the Cayman Islands government and the developer, which paved the way for the hotel to be built in the planned location, remains a point of controversy for some.
A lawsuit filed in February by four West Bay residents claims land swaps between government and Dart violated due process, were “unconstitutional,” “irrational” and “ultra vires,” or outside the law. Dart is contesting the suit along with four government agencies.