Golf project still dependent on road talks

| 05/11/2014

(CNS): Just as government comes under fire for a number of controversial changes to the planning law the developers proposing a massive project that will change the face of East End and North Side, if it goes ahead, said they met with the premier and planning minister recently. The development of an 18 hole Arnold Palmer golf course amid a proposed mix use resort and town is dependent on a deal between government and the developer on the extension of the East-West Arterial road from Newlands to Frank Sound. Although progress on the matter was said to have been discussed no details of the talks have been released.

Government had announced in April of this year that it had reached a compromise with the National Trust over the gazetted route of the East-West arterial to avoid its land and in particular parts of the culturally and environmentally important Mastic Reserve and trail. This left government free to discuss the construction of the long planned road with the investors behind the proposed Ironwood development.

Although the previous 2005-2009 PPM government had constructed the East-West arterial from George Town out to Newlands, financial constraints and the lack of significant demand for its continuation, saw government shelve the next phase, indefinitely.

However, developers proposing the resort and golf course in Frank Sound have stated that their proposed development will not be viable without a new speedy highway to give access to what is on paper an extensive project. 

The developers are planning to invest an estimated $360 million into this resort and town centre have said they will finance the estimated $40million to build the road in the first instance and then recoup that cost from the public purse through the taxes, fees and duty it would have been obligated to pay over the life of the project.

Investors have said the project is not viable unless the road goes ahead and any finance deal between the Ironwood developers and government to begin the road will also be contingent, on the approval of the UK and the need for CIG to comply with the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility agreement. and its borrowing limitations.
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In September members of the Arnold Palmer Design Company (APDC) visited the site of theproposed golf course which is being held out as the centre of the development. Thad Layton, senior golf course architect and Vice President at the golf company met with Premier Alden McLaughlin and Kurt Tibbetts, the planning minister to discuss the progress on the access road agreement and plans for the Ironwood development in general.

In a release from Ironwood officials said that the “final sign off on the Public/Private Partnership Agreement will be the catalyst for commencement of not only the road extension but also for the Town Centre and the Arnold Palmer designed golf course.”

However no details of how that agreement is progressing have been made public yet.

Hopeful that the government will reach an agreement with the developers members of the Ironwood team also visited the proposed golf course location to understand “the unique characteristics of the site,” the designers said, before they break ground.

“We documented native rock formations, trees, and wetlands that will ultimately be incorporated into the final golf course design,”  Layton said.  “We couldn’t be more pleased with the property’s potential to yield a golf course of the highest quality.”

The developers said they are committed to preserving the existing areas of wildlife, woodland and natural features of the landscape which will form an important part of the overall project.
The plan is for a 600-acre development with US$360 million invested in a commercial, tourism and residential community. It will include a Town Centre and a sports training complex, as well as the 18-hole championship golf course and a vacation resort.

Following the passage of changes to the planning law last week it is not yet clear how much of those changes were fueled by the wants and needs of these and other developers currently talking to government about potential major developments in the eastern districts.

See related story on CNS
http://caymannewsservice.com/science-and-nature/2014/04/28/road-compromise-reached

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Comments (41)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This must be going ahead as  I seem to remember a rush within people who were in the know, to buy land where this road will pass through.

    I guess that the government will be forced to buy this land under compulsory purchase, equating to hefty compensation for the owner.

    Surely the person in government who decides the final amount cannot be the owner needing to be compensated? Could this be the same person or concerned group of individuals?

    That would morally and ethically wrong wouldn't it?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think that this is encouraging news and will give a well-needed boost to our continued sluggish economy.  We need jobs for Caymanians and we need inward investment.  Because they are targeting wealthy retirees as investors, there is a great opportunity for an ongoing economic spark – these are people who will contribute to, not drain from the ecomomy and are well-suited to the quiet lifestyle of east end and north side.

    I am looking forward to the beginning of this and as a Caymanian am fully supportive of this project.

     

  3. Slowpoke says:

    With this and the other proposed large developments for the Eastern districts, all the more reason to take Dart up on his offer and move the dump to BT.

  4. Slowpoke says:

    What, no WalMart?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Third world criminals all around.

    These people did not buy this property to waste time or money but you people think you can decide the terms after the deal

    Its not your property

    • Smoke and Mirrors says:

      Can you prove that they have actually bought any land yet?

      A search at the Land Registry will reveal much about the ability of the promoters to carry through on their schemes.

      Another issue that is being overlooked in all this is that Cabinet ministers have family land that may benefit from the proposed road that the government is proposing to build.

  6. Naya Boy says:

    Tell us who bought your daddie land in that area Mr premier and how much??? aaah boy Big deals and Big wheels its PPm time again eh?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Pie in the sky…or out right scam!

    18 hole golf course, 3 soccer fields, softball, basketball, 12 tennis courts, 6 pools, cinema, bowling alley, 2 future 9 hole golf courses…have I missed anything else they plan to build there?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I always thought that the magical attraction of Grand Cayman was for visitors to get away from the concrete jungles of their world, from fancy and "sophistication" – to relax in simple and laid back, natural surroundings. I would have thought that stopping developments such as this, educating the locals to serve the existing industry with pride would only serve to make this island more and more sought after and thus, keep it's shining place in the tourism industry. I have never understood the need for the world to find these places "which time has forgotten" and turn them into copies of exactly where visitors are trying to run from …… I am saddened at each and every piece of huge, massive and ugly concrete that I now see going up…..who sold this country out, who carries on doing it? 

    • Anonymous says:

      In 20 years this place will look like mni-Miami and that's fine by many locals.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have my suspicions as to sudden shifts in voting patters on this thread.  Methinks that someone with a financial interest has been doing a little cache resetting.

    • Executive Course says:

      And/or political interest?

    • Anonymous says:

      … or maybe there are a lot of people like me who think logically and want projects like this to make Grand Cayman a more vibrant, successful and interesting place for all?

      • Anonymous says:

        Nope, the initial votes were 85-90% supportive of criticism and suddenly overnight the votes were balanced out 50-50. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    What progress and jobs for locals? this must be stopped!

    They are taking away our lands after they paid us for can you imagine the balls of these people

    What made them think that they could do those things they must be mad

  11. Anonymous says:

    don't worry the ppm are too busy sitting on their hands doing nothing….

  12. Anonymous says:

    stuff like this reminds me of the good ole udp days…….. every few months we would get 'updates' on their latest pie in the sky ideas…..

    btw can anybody give me directions to the cayman enterprise city?????

    • Anonymous says:

      Would that be the same enterprise city that does not and will not have an educational arm because of vested interests? 

  13. Anonymous says:

    I suspect most properties surveyed by Palmer's company for a course never turn into anything, but they take the design fees either way.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Now that the Planning Law has been changed to allow Cabinet to waive fees and the concerned public are no longer allowed to appeal a CPA decision, I can't imagine what the hold up could be. Could it be that the developer simply doesn't have the funding?

  15. Frank Sound Land Grab says:

    Yes we have to wait till The PPM's Monopoly & lodge Cartel tell us what the details are after they put themselves in position to control and make  the money first. Aaaah boy same old corrupt and greedy government and its henchmen.

  16. Sucka Free Cayman says:

    Yes the PPm needs time to find and sort out how much is in it for them and their supporters who are already lining up subdivisions and road deals, that includes changing the planning laws to make easier for them to take your land and put their road through it if you object sounds about right. Nothing transparent here but their now affluent lifestyles. Yes the government run and rule by secret handshakes and sweet deals. No meetings necessary the people no what time it is ???? P_ _ Time????

  17. Anonyanmous says:

    Have we not learn anything from the Ritz Carlton deal as yet? 

    Caymanians (Gov't included) must be the most gulliable people on God's green earth.  So easily fooled by ALL who come here with nothing more than a brief case, a get rich quick plan laden with snake oil saleman pitch. Cayman is better than Santa Clause, he keep giving but at least sometimes he will get a treat of milk and cookies; in Cayman's case we have become the place that keep giving good gifts (guaranteed wealth) and in return we get poverty in the form of increased crime, unemployment, addition to Mt. Trashmore, increased negative impact on our infrastructure and the errosion of our cultural norms. When will we learn that all that glitters is not gold? psssssst I have a spinning wheel that can turn straw into gold… any takers for only $1 million KYD and 100 acreas of land anywhere in Cayman I will weave all the straw that you can bring to me into gold…. ANY TAKERS?

  18. Pink Parrot says:

    I am not necessarily against imposing erections.

    • Anonymous says:

      So, the one supporter for the proposed heritage park and bell ended tower has been found.

  19. Anonymous says:

    This needs to be shelved. for good! Our natural resources are much more valuable than any golf course they plan to erect. I'm sick of all the imposing upon our way of life.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your anger is misguided.  The natural resources will be preserved and the design has been extensively and carefully structured to preserve the landscape in its current state.  You need to embrace progress… especially when it's so painstakingly done to avoid the very things you're upset about.  Your "way of life" will not change.

    • Anonymous says:

      What natural resources ? Swamp?

  20. Anonymous says:

    This again?!  PPM needs to find out is plan to employ Caymanians firs!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable how this little country is being sold out for a few dollars.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unbelievable how you don't recognize that this little country HAS ALWAYS been sold out for a few dollars.  What's the matter?  You don't like new jobs being created on this island?

      • Anonymous says:

        Don't like new jobs being created on this island cos all the furriners on work permits take them.

        • Anonymous says:

          Keep believing that and you will always have an excuse not to work. Sit back and open another can of 345, life's all good.

    • Anonymous says:

      20:55, that's what happens when you vote for idiots continuously every 4yrs.

      Writing is all over the wall but everyone ignores it.

      Its Caymanians selliNg the land To the developers and Caymanians making the deals, but somehow its always the expats or foreigners fault.

      No one to blame but ourselves.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      By your own.

  22. R. Montalban says:

    Total fantasy……

  23. Anonymous says:

    How much committed financing have these developers been able to confirm?  A huge loan from the Bank of Pie In the Sky?