Ryan wants crown land

| 13/09/2011

(CNS): Orion development has offered to pay government $10 million immediately for the 300 acres of crown land occupied by the Ritz Carlton and in the Safe Haven area currently on lease to the developer. The premier revealed he is considering the offer by Michael Ryan, in which he has also promised a 2% increase on the current stamp duty rate on all land deals there in perpetuity. Confirming considerable recent speculation about the proposal to give up the Safe Haven land, which belongs to the people, McKeeva Bush indicated that not everyone in government supported the plan and asked the opposition what its position was on the issue. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

“The developer has made a proposal to the government in regards to the parcels of land that comprise the Ritz-Carlton and the previous Safe Haven lands,” he said. “The lease agreements on these properties have already been extended to 99 years. The proposal from the developer is that these leases will be converted to freehold for an upfront payment of $10 million dollars, with an increase in stamp duty of 2% on all transactions in perpetuity.

“This would increase the rate of stamp duty from the current 7.5% up to 9.5% on each transaction. Total revenue is estimated to exceed $600 million dollars over the years,” Bush told the Legislative Assembly on Monday afternoon.

He said that it was the opposition that had offered numerous concessions and benefits, which he accused them of hiding from the public, but had not granted a freehold to the Ritz Carlton developer for the Dragon Bay development, an issue which Bush now said was preventing the project from going ahead.

The news of the proposal to give the publicly owned land away comes on the heels of the ForCayman Alliance with Dart, which also involves swapping two other pieces of crown land in return for more development. The prospect of selling the crown land at Safe Haven is likely to cause further opposition in the community and Bush noted that even government itself was not united on the subject, though he did not say which members of Cabinet was split over the deal.

“While there are some in the government who will support this development, there are others who will not,” Bush said. “Government has facilitated the developer, and I myself am proud of the Ritz Carlton development, but the question is whether to sell those two properties out rightly to the developer, and do we have support for such a move?  That is the question that the government is confronted with.”

He said the opposition has criticized government for not getting things done and they had been hypocritical about this project as they had never conducted any studies or impact assessments and negotiated the deal with no public input and had never revealed its contents.

Now they had the chance not to “beat around the bush” but to say whether or not they support what he said was the crucial need to convert the lease to freehold.

“I ask each of them: Do you support the sale of these two properties to the developer? The government needs a clear and unambiguous answer to this matter from the opposition, and all members of this House.”

Bush said government would never get the land back as it was already committed for 99 years and under the strata title law, if government wanted to re-possess the land at the end of the lease, they could still be obliged to purchase each strata title from the owner of each unit and land from each land owner.

“We have been informed by the developer that the project is ready to start, and can begin employing Caymanians right away. Alternately, the project can stall, we can lose the opportunity for jobs and investment, we can even see the golf course close,” Bush said as he asked the opposition members for a response.

A clear “No” resounded from the opposition benches in response and the opposition leader Alden McLaughlin made it clear that it was a policy position of the PPM not to sell crown land for these types of developments.

CNS has also asked government what the current situation is on the remaining $6 million outstanding duty that the developer owed to government from concessions given on the Ritz Cartlon and is awaiting a response.

See the premier's statement rgarding the Ritz proposal and details of the previous proposed deal for Dragon Bay made with the PPM below.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ryan, what is land at Crystal Harbour going for per lot or acre? Shouldn't the sale price be more in line with that?

    • Anonymous says:

      What does Ryan plan to do with the 2 mangrove islands he wants to lease?

      Does anyone have more information on this?

      Certainly he can't be proposing the develop the 2 mangrove islands????!!!!! 

      Why on earth would he need to 'lease them'? They clearly should be left alone and not touched!

      Don't you think you've run rough shod over our laws (e.g. removing the mangrove buffer for Dragon Bay) and mangroves already Ryan?? Leave the 2 little mangrove islands alone please.


  2. Anonymous says:

    NO NO NO – Mr. Premier and Mr. Ryan!

    Mr. Ryan – How dare you insult the people of the Cayman Islands with your measly offer? Have you paid all the duty you owe us yet?

    You are not entitled to anything else from this country. You have gotten far more than you deserve..including status in the lottery!

    Do not try to jump on the Dart bandwagon. 2 different things here! This is not a "free for all".

    You negotiated what you have – stick to the terms.

    NO NO NO!

    Mr. Premier – stop being so bloody short sighted and greedy! Stop selling US out!

  3. William Verhoeven says:

    Please tell me this purchase doesn't include the mangrove islands adjacent to this property…

    He has already destroyed most of the mangroves on the land side. Don't think he won't remove those islands if he can.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Regrettably, an ill-informed, mis-informed public is making comments that the government is thinking of giving land away for nothing. The PPM will love that.

    Michael Ryan already owns the leasehold. A 99 year lease has almost 100% the market value of freehold land. Development of the land, and income for the government is more likely when buyers are offered freehold rather than leashold.

    The $10m would be a fair price to convert the legal ownership from leashold to freehold.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ryan never paid for the extension of the lease on the Safe Haven property  agreed to under the 2009 Main Agreement between FUJIGMO Ltd and The Cayman Islands Government..  So he doesn't have a 99 year lease.  More like 75 years.  In fact, Ryan has not executed on even one of the terms he agreed to.

    • Anonymous says:

      Regrettably, Mr Ryan does not pay hisbills. I suggest giving him the opportunity to default on his 99 or75 year lease. That's assuming he is not already in default and it's just a matter of no one in government giving a shit  or being able to read the lease..

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians never let facts get in the way of patriotism.  Facts are just another type of harassment.  
      A fact that you can't understand is " political, and nasty and dirty as can be”  In other words your not playing fair.  Watch the thumbs down on your comment for acknowledgment.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Only 152 people are needed to get 25 signatures each to start the Peoples' Referendum Process to remove this mad man! (152 x 25 = 3,800, and of the current 15,187 registered voters in Cayman, only 25% are required to start the referendum, 15,187 x 0.25 = 3,797). Our Constitution states that when that many signatures are collected, Cabinet MUST obey the PEOPLE, NOT the UDP members!  THE TRUE POWER LIES WITH YOU!!!


    He will soon be gone! Will you be one of the 152 to stop this train wreck from happening to Cayman? LET'S GET BUSY GATHERING SIGNATURES BEFORE WE DON'T HAVE ANY ISLAND LEFT! THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!



  6. Anonymous says:

    Our government need the $6 million due by Mr. Ryan and jobs at the Ritz-Carlton so that our young people don't have to do this when the economy gets worst:


  7. Anonymous says:

    Something bigger is being overlooked. If this deal goes through, Ryan can sell the land to Dart or anyone he likes and at quite a profit to be sure. He could easily sell to a foreign entitly. The more of Cayman that is owned by foreigners, the more control we lose over our own existence.



  8. Anonymous says:

    $10M for 300 ACRES WHAT A DEAL

    This must be a joke! – The whole country will want to buy into this deal at $33,333 per acre for total clear freehold rights of crown land plus the existing value of the leasehold land at current values. Mr Ryan surely cannot be serious and think the Cayman people will fall for this deal.

    Let's be practical and upfront fair to the country and the Caymanian people. The land should be valued now as leasehold land at current values and revalued at current values as freehold property, and the differrence of these two values should righfully go to the country and its people. As it stands Mr. Ryan has purchased the leasehold safehaven propert from the Matalons with the full knowledge that it is leasehold land and no-one will buy it and build on it for that reason. The Matalons could not sell the development and Mr. Ryan cannot develop it and sell it for this exact same reason. He knew this going into the purchase and should now do the right and ethical thing by allowing the country to realize the added value in excahnge for him to be able to develop and sell it as freehold property.

    Call in Lands & Survey + two chartered property valuers and average the two valuations and then proceed to sell Mr. Ryan the true value of the difference in values, however Mr. Ryan cannot afford to pay Government what he owes them in duty concessions let alone purchase freehold rights to the property at the true and correct value.

    We do not want another Turks and Caicos crown land sell out by politicians


  9. Anonymous says:

    $300 million should be more like it!

  10. Anonymous says:

    if government is selling land on the west bay strip at 30 grand per acre then as a born Caymanian i think i should be afforded the opportunity to buy some of that land especially since i already have a stake in it.  These people have lost their minds they aren't greedy anymore they are just stupid.

  11. A Caymanian says:

    Caymanian's this deal smells like the Turk's & Caicos deals that their Premier was making until UK Moved him out and exposed him.


    The writing is on the wall, Please open your eyes not everythingthat sounds good is good.

    I agree if Michael Ryan has that kind of money! Demand that he pay what he owes the caymanian people first.


  12. Anonymous says:

    ?????? >>> !!!!!!!

    In that area if you find a  quarter (0.25) of an acre lot, 

    for under $300,000.00 dollars  you will be lucky.

    this guy is really selling out,

    remember he said he think it's a good deal.  so much for thinking of the future our future.

    but wait this thaught process is nothing new,  you helm me i helk you ***** Cayman

    is'nt that what they did in TCI 

  13. Anonymous says:

    Mr Ryan

    On behalf of all Caymanians,

    Not today Bobo!!!

  14. Anonymous9 says:

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain..

  15. TOO CHEAP says:

    Selling it is ok but you must pay the price, and the price should be 50 million not 10.  then I will say ok.  Other wise I am sorry Mac, cannot agree on the offer it is too cheap.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whow $50 million is still too cheap how many school can we build with that money and just how many of our young people can we train locally and overseas with that money.  Fifty million is just a drop in the bucket of what Cayman's financial needs are at the moment.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This madness will NOT stop until the PEOPLE start a referendum to remove McKeeva from office!  Only 3,797 voters are needed to start the referendum.


    According to Section 69-70 of the Constitution, it states that on questions of national importance and whereby the United Kingdom does not object to a local referendum taking place on the issue, "To encourage public participation in governance and politics, the electorate is able to trigger a referendum by presenting to Cabinet a petition signed by 25% of the voting public."


    So, of the 15,187 voters, the Cayman Islands would only need 3,797 voters to remove McKeeva from office.

    Alden, I believe that your No Confidence Motion was NOT in vain, because in a true democratic country, your motion established dialogue amongst the people when you were asking questions of national importance. Unfortunately, your motion also showed the world that the UDP is disconnected from the 15,187 voters and the TRUE POWER has now rightfully fallen back to where it always was: with the public participating in governance and politics…it seems like the UDP didn't think about that, Alden!


    So, Cayman, WHAT SAY YOU???

  17. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    Sometimes I really have to wonder if the Premier is really a fool or he’s just playing the fool.

    If my calculations are correct Mr. Premier expects over CI$ 600mm over the years in revenue for giving this land up for CI$10mm, let’s use the figures provided so far and adjust against Mr. Ryan 9.5% proposal on duty to find the true hidden figures.

    This would mean Mr. Ryan is expecting at least CI$6,315,789,500 (yes billions) in economic activities over the years this land is developed.

    In order for Cayman to realize the CI$600mm in revenue our financial guru from WB is floating around, over CI$ 6,315,789,500 in economic activity would have to be generated, this is even bigger than the Shetty Hospital,

    Surely our Leader can't be this gullible.

    See calculations below:

    CI$ 6,315,789,500 x 9.5% = CI$ 600,000,000

    Mr. Ryan buys at CI$ 10mm /300 acres = CI$ 33,333.33 per acre

    Mr. Ryan’s proposed plan using land CI$ 6,315,789,500 /300 =  CI$ 21,052,631.67 per acre  (develope at 63,000% markup)

    Mr. Ryan & Mr. Premier need to be nominated for the Pulitzer in economics next year if this works out.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Nothing less than 60 Million. 10 Million is at a rate of 33,000 per acre. Were the hell can you find property for that price in the Cayman Islands? If the government want to make a deal it should be one that is clearly one that benefits the people. It is understandable that it was a bad deal in the first place with the original lease agreement but the developers seem to be taking advantage of the fact that the government is cash strapped, and the economy is slumping. If the government make decisions based on these factors it is likely that it will be wrong. Everything taste good when you hungry.

    The government must be applauded for the fact that they have involved the opposition. However, one of the advantage of democracy and in particular the party political system is the different voices, the opposing sides, the different angles and perspectives that are brought out, with the hope that the best possible decisons are made. It is good to know that the ruling majority is listening to the opposition. An advice also is to listen to the will of the people for while the legislative power rests with government, the electoral power rest with the people and we choose the leaders whether by election or otherwise. In the past the people have used this ultimate power sparingly, but if the government listen closely to the cry of the people as their dreams are dashed with reposessions, business closures and the difficulties that have been presented because of a failure of the government to have foresight. A revolution is coming.

  19. AnonymousSick and Tired of the B...S... says:

    Maybe someone should ask Ryan for an independently audited Statement of Net Worth, so that we can see what he owes to other Third Parties, and whether he is up to date with the repayment of Capital and/or Interest on what he had to borrow to develop the Ritz Carlton project as a whole.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hey Ryan, pay up the $6Million dollars you owe.  If you have $10Million immediately available, that should not be a problem.  McKeeva Bush, stop selling your soul for money. You will have to answer one day to the same Lord that you claim to pray to, if not to the people of this country.  

  21. Anonymous says:

    No man, he sold dem condos long time.  He now owns up at Camana Bay!

  22. Greedy me says:

    Oooooh, careful what you type.  Graveyards are lovely beachfront property.  Don't give Big Mac any real estate ideas.  He would sell your grandmother's tombstone if he could get a jet trip out of it.

  23. Bobs uR Uncle says:

    Orion Development bought Safehaven fully aware that it was leased land and had planned to developed it under those guidelines. Ryan and the Creightons bought it for 80m or close to it and were rubbing their little hands in glee know how much money they could make with the developed leased land now to change it to freehold for 10m would double their value immediately. Likely they can't get financing for Dragon Bay anyway as market conditions worldwide has stopped large developments due to the shrinking real estate market.  This sale would enable them to take some land to join it with the Ritz course to make it 18 holes and Creighton parcels the rest off and makes a bundle of fees and the sale of the lots. Let them default on the loan and let the bank take it over and maybe Dart will buy the course at a fraction of the cost and include it into his hotel plan for the old Courtyard and then we will see a true 5 star resort. Ryan is trying to pull a fast one by emploring the need for work ploy and surely he will start backstepping as soon a he gets the concession.

  24. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    It would be nice to know how much Mr. Ryan is paying for the 99 year lease, to really see if it's worth it to consider his offer? Can we get an FOI request on that?

    • Annoymous says:

      Micheal Ryan paid appx. $600,000 for the leased land for the 99 years.  It was published in the Compass back in 2001 or 2002.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Surely you are joking! Would this have been under McKeeva's first term as LOGB?

  25. Anonymous says:

    One commenter pointed out the conflict involved with the Premier having a Condo at the Ritz and his involvment with making deals with Mr. Ryan. This goes far deeper than conflict. We the people need to demand to know the details of how McKeeva came to own this condo. Was it a gift? If it was a purchase then we need to see the financial details to establish legitimacy.


    When developers give politicians gifts in return for future favourable consideration then good governance is gone and corruption becomes the norm. Corrupt political practices are always detrimental to the public good. Such practices are illegal and need to be prosecuted.


    The people of Cayman are ready and willing to proceed with a class action suit to prosecute such violators. We need a lawyer who is able and willing to bring proper charges aginst the violators of public trust. An army of citizens will sign up to be a part of such action. What are you waiting for?


  26. Anonymous says:

    Hey Mike R.,

    Following your line of thinking, I'll buy a Ritz condo for $5. Heck, I'll even offer CI$5 not US$5. And, Mike, I'lleven pay the entire amount up front. Plus you can be entitled to the future duties if I sell it in the future. Which I might not.


    – Caymanian


  27. Anonymous says:

    The Native Americans sold Manhattan to the Dutch for $24 worth of beads. Let's not allow

    history to repeat itself. 


    Big Mac:

    You big cheese… I mean big chief.

    You take shiny beads as trade for ALL your land.

    It be good deal. Beads much better. You take.

    Good deal. I promise. *wink wink* 



  28. Annoymous says:

    How presumptuous of Micheal Ryan. 

    He owes the Cayman Islands Govt. millions in outstanding duty, can't pay and no one is forcing him to pay it, but whola he has $10million to make an offer to buy our most valuable asset!

    NO, is the response, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!

    Pay your debt to the Cayman Islands People Mr. Ryan.  We are not interested in your offer.  

  29. Cayguy says:

    This land is worth 100s of millions ask any Realestate Agent. Dart just paid 6 million for the outstanding lease on the land opposite public beach which is Crown Land. Ryans offer is an insult  and a joke.

  30. Southside says:

    Thought this guy was broke?? Won't be long before he bails out of Cayman and sells his assets to Dart.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I'm not sure if everyone really understands this gov't leasehold zone.  The government leasehold area starts south of Ritz and extends north to the Gov's house and east to the N Sound.  If Gov't were to concede to Orion, then it would be fair for them to extend equivalent terms to any other interests residing on the same gov't leasehold parcel, ie Villas of the Galleon, The Westin, Falls Plaza, Sunshine Suites, Regatta, Gov Mall, Waterways, Lime Tree Bay, Turnbury, and the handful of private resident homes on the adjoining canal.  They are all just renting the land they are sitting on and must make annual lease payments to Gov't.  The development of this area has lagged other areas on Seven Mile Corridor because of the unusual leasehold arrangement – particularly troublesome for North American investors that are unfamiliar with European leasehold arrangements that are common in high density metro areas like London, Paris, et al.  North Americans tend to want to own their property freehold. 

  32. Anonymous says:

    I would not suggest to anyone how you should feel about selling the freehold interest of land to someone that already owns the leasehold interest.  But to those who are arguing that the $10 million is not enough value for the amount of land; you are missing the HUGE point that the developer already owns and paid many millions for the leasehold interest, paid more millions to extend the lease for a new 99 year term, and in 20 years or so will do the same again (without all this objection, or even knowledge of the fact, for that matter).  So since he already owns the land for the next 99 years, in theory, he should only pay the value fo the difference between a 99 year lease and the freehold interest (which, based on case history, isn't much).  Government will never have control over this land anyway, at least not in our lifetimes or that of our children.

    • South Sounder says:

      Thing is,he didn’t pay many millions. He paid nearly no millions and promised to pay a bit more if and when. And we all know he hasn’t paid his duty comcessions.

  33. Anonymous says:

    When our island is completely sold out….we can NEVER buy it back……Cayman will not own any of the land called Cayman…and thats progress?????  NOT.

  34. Anonymous says:

    When our island is completely sold out….we can NEVER buy it back……Cayman will not own any of the land called Cayman…and thats progress?????  NOT.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Looking for a piece of land now as a young Caymanian a house lot starts off around $40,000 in North Side and only increases in value the closer you get to George Town….and you telling me that McBush is considering selling this man this land for $33,333.33 an acre. If it is Crown Land think about the future of Caymanians where will they live in 15 years? If he was paying face vale or at least close to what it is valued that would not be such a shocker. What is a house lot go for on SMB or West Bay Road! A lot more! It is time for McKeeva to stop playing games and GET OUT OF GOVERNMENT!!!! XXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      I want a couple of acres at that price too!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Economies of scale. Larger pieces of land are always worth less per square foot. This has been consistent across Cayman for a long time.

    • truth says:

      A house lot usually is already filled, roads put in and paved as well as power lines, water lines etc.  this is a good amount of the cost.  You and those like you that would like to discredit anyone should first try and get the facts straight and right. Otherwise those who actually know about these things (like a person who owns land, develops land into house lotsetc.) will find you lacking in the knowledge you need to talk about it. I'm not saying your right or wrong but undeveloped land is not the same as a house lot.  And yes Mckeeva needs to go because he is also lacking very much in the knowledge he needs to do the job.

      Just a thought but most house lots were undeveloped land until a developer XXXX spent the money on it to put in roads, power, water. etc. AND go through all the many loops needed for permits including the fees necessary to get all this through government like the one mentioned in the letter from Bush which is still being investigated and most likely will be until it is forgotten and he has retired in some south American country.

  36. Anonymous says:

    “Government has facilitated the developer, and I myself am proud of the Ritz Carlton development,………'

    Wonder why?

    “We have been informed by the developer that the project is ready to start, and can begin employing Caymanians right away. Alternately, the project can stall, we can lose the opportunity for jobs and investment, we can even see the golf course close,” Bush said as he asked the opposition members for a response.

    This says it all really.  How is the project ready to start straight away?  Employing Caymanians right away – good ploy!  So the opposition will be in the wrong for stopping Caymanian employment if they say no to this development.  Transparency at last!::))

  37. :o) says:

    It seems from the time he motioned a special force for these islands to fight crime and all opposition members were unified on it, McKeeva is involving them more into other government business like this one.  He is asking the opposition on what their position is on the issue. That is a good sign for these islands, and I hope McKeeva keeps on including them, because this shows that although we are divided on some things – there are many things we need to be unified on for the best interest of Cayman. Such like –

    * CRIME




    • Anonymous says:

      I think the closer we get to the next elections, the more cooperative he will be appearing to be

    • Anonymous says:



      So it is on the horizon and there are preparations being made. Interesting ….. depending on what day it is, it is not an option.

      I guess it is time to err on the side of caution.



    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t be naive . McKeeva is covering his tracks.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Here is a plan.

    First tell Ryan we are very interested in negotiating, once his account is up to date.

    Then sell the land to Ryan for $50 million in gold. Place the gold in a Swiss vault so our politicians cannot touch it. Keep the gold as a reserve fund that can only be touched by a referendum. Ideally, civil servants would be excluded from voting. 

    Its not that Cayman can't make money, its that our politicians spend it willy nilly. Had they invested wisely, we wouldn't complain that they sold us out. 



    • Anonymous says:

      "place the gold in a swiss vault so our politicians can't touch it."  Here's a dream.  they are your politicians just for the reason that they can touch it, feel it, take it, spend it, and not have to report it.  And you let them.

  39. Anonymous says:


    • Loopy Lou says:

      Tell me more about the taxes that the poor people pay!  This is a bit rich coming from citizens of a country which has made its fortune denying other nation's poor the benefit of tax income.

  40. Anonymous says:


    I am putting this in capitals DAM It , Mackeeva has to be stopped the people of this land will not soon have anything . I AM CALLING FOR THE PEOPLE TO STAND UP AND CALL AN EARLY ELECTION . We simply cant give away any more , what's next our GRAVE YARDS??? they are all on the beach side, this is the only time many Caymanian can afford to reside on the beach is after they are dead, for God sake. Mackeeva where is your shame? is it all eaten up by GREED, PRIDE and STUPIDITY ? come on.

    Stand up Caymanian and Residents and all those who live here and call this little rock home regardless from whence you came.

    God Bless

    • B.T. says:

      You're talking like Mac has already signed-off a deal with Ryan!  He is awaiting opposition's response.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well B.T., don't be surprised if he has already signed a MOU with Ryan to "investigate" the pros and cons. But I believe Ryan should pay up what he owes before negotiating anything else.

      • Anonymous says:

        $33,000 per acre?  Prime crown land being sold for $33,000 per acre when you can't even get a house lot for that price.  Yes, we really all are that stupid.  Let's not sell our land to  Ryan and let's demand that he pays the govt. what he owes – right now.  Even if he has to sell his private plane to pay for it.  He has certainly made a nice little fortune off of the people of Cayman.  Ridiculous.

      • I Care says:

        B.T it won't surprise many if it not done, where there is smoke there is fire, and Mackeeva just love to light fires. I guess you are one of is few remaining supporters . Wake up

      • Anonymous says:

        Don't let McKeeva fool you. He may want it to seem as if he is waiting for a response from the opposition but it is blatantly obvious that McKeeva does what McKeeva wants to do and usually to the detriment of these islands and it's residents.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Ryan must have sold the Yacht, now he wants to invest that in a large chunk of prime real estate. Lets see how Mack deals with this one. Linford, where are you these days.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Talk about conflict of interest. Mac already has a condo at the Ritz. He automatically should not be allowed to negotiate any deals with them even if you discount his current track history of making less than intelligent agreements. 10 million for 220 acres, that is a huge rip off. How much does MR stand to make from this new development? I can assure you it is an order of magnitude more than 10 million if he is even willing to try to go ahead with it. Our politicians are a joke.XXXX

  43. Infactuation says:

    If the 300 acres is only worth $10mm then Dart needs to be getting a lot more land for their exchange!!!  

    Ryan should be paying at least $100mm for that land, and then, it should be paid IN FULL, along with the outstanding duty debt, before the land is transferred…  

    By getting freehold land, every owner of the Ritz condos, including MACKEEVA (!!!) stands to gain immediate increase in value of their units.  Surely there is a SERIOUS CONFLICT OF INTEREST here…  

    Of course, when has that ever bothered Teflon Mac???



  44. Anonymous says:

    If he has $10 million – why does he not pay all the deferred duty that is owed – Oh I forgot – he can also ask Cabinet to defer the collection of the $10 million as well so why pay

  45. Anonymous says:

    Ahh-the new Cayman Twins:

    Ryan has been sooo good to Cayman:

    All Holiday Inn were staff hired and doing well (huh); all duties have been paid, and no customs duty con$e$$ions requested (LOL); NATIVE Caymanian staff throughout the Ritz – and with good wages in CIdollars (yeah right); lots of guests renting cars and boat trips from local businesses (not any more?)…etc

    Similarly, Dart has been sooo good to Cayman:

    A beautiful development (that we can hardly afford to shop at); lots of mangrove buffer in place (not); many parks (actually governmetn property that we maintain after he -thankfully-developed them); and soo much consideration for public beach access (Not! -remember the baracades & protests earlier this year?)

    So then – let's just sell out the entore West Bay peninsula to the two of them!  After all – we need the cash, right?  Maybe when the economy improves we can buy this land back from them for our grandchildren to enjoy…

    PS – the North Sound is the new SevenMile Beach!! Just ask Ryan & Dart…




  46. Anony Mous says:

    Can some one tell me where on this island I can get a house lot for $ 8,333.33? I need one badly, please tell me how. If it isin the prime resort, I realy wouldn't mind as I could relax for a few more years and not think about the crime wave that is going on in the rest of the island as that area would be cut off from the real island.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you find one please share the news. I'm a young caymanian looking to buy my first house. Less than 40,000 would be great I'm not too picky either… I have only a few criteria. I want it to be an acre in size with a nice beach view. Not more than 200m away from a golf course as everybody knows that golf is the biggest sport on island. Oh! and if you could waive the stamp duty on it for 99 years I'd really appreciate it.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Sorry what Micheal Ryan needs to do is pay the OUTSTANDING  millions thats owed to the Government  first. If he can fine this money to purchase this property they must have the  money to pay the outstanding fees.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Move along folks..there is nothing to see here

  49. Anonymous says:

    Even McKeeva's own lackeys won't all agree on this idiotic proposal, so now he's turning to the opposition in the hope that a couple of them are stupid enough to go along with  him on this.  Classic.  He is so far out of his league dealing with the Michael Ryan's and Dart's of this world.  These people didn't get where they are by playing nice or being stupid and they just love having the likes of McKeeva to manipulate.


  50. Anonymous says:

    Does he think we are stupid? There is no way that this is a good deal. NO! NO! NO!

  51. Anonymous says:

    Block 12C, Parcel 394 better known as the Ritz property – check out the zoning!!! The eastern half is zoned PUBLIC OPEN SPACE! Why is nobody questioning how it was allowed for a golf course "private" and condos "again private" to be put on this property? The LAW specifically states what can and can't be done on Public Open Space zones. An interesting fact is that the Planning website had removed the Public Open Space and mangrove buffer designation from this parcel approximately a year ago andthe when the infamous $350,000 letter became public it was changed back!Development and Planning Regulations

    17. (1) Public Open Space zones comprise predominantly undeveloped areas of land vested, or intended to be vested, in the Government or over which the public have rights and which is available to members of the public generally (whether subject to fulfilling any lawful condition or not) for purposes of sport, recreation, or the enjoyment or study of nature. Such areas include, but are not limited to, parks, reserves, beaches, playgrounds, sports grounds and playing fields, plazas, public access ways and land set aside for public purposes development and subdivisions under regulations 28 and 32.

    (2) It is the duty of the Authority to preserve Public Open Space zones.

    (3) The Authority shall permit development within a Public Open Space zone only if the development-

                (a) is compatible with the character and function of the zone: and

                (b) buildings forming a part of such development are directly associated with, and promote, the principal purposes and actual use of the zone.

    (4) In considering any application for development in a Public Open Space zone, ythe Authority shall ensure that the intended development-

                (a) will preserve, to the greatest possible extent, the natural features and character of the land:

                (b) is not detrimental to the natural character or appearance of the land:

                (c) accords preference to use of natural building materials:

                (d) includes adequate landscaping and planting to improve the appearance of the zone: and

                (e) displays a high standard of design and use of materials consistent with the character and heritage of the Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because this is Cayman. Where the laws are only as good as your elected Governments word.  Get used to it. and stop with the civil harassment.

  52. Paradise Lost says:

    …and this just in, Lord Dart is willing to pay even less for the property.  ForCayman…forDart. 

  53. Anonymous says:

    This is a pure threat.  It is "give me this deal or I won't start developing".  We should not be held to such ransom.  If one cannot afford to develop land bought for development one should sell it to someone who can use it. 

  54. Anonymous says:

    I have an idea, why don't we just give him that whole area with the nice new building accross from the Immigration Office. I'm sure he could make better use of it.  

  55. Anonymous says:

    Um, NO!  What is so hard about Cayman for Caymanians that the CAYMANIANS in government cannot understand?

  56. Anonymous says:

    get the valuations done and then make your decision…… until then everything is just small minded speculation…..

  57. Anonymous says:

    Someone please tell me that this is not an early April Fool's joke… if this is real then it's high time for a special investigation by the UK.

    Please let me know how can someone who currently owes $6 millions in fees offer with a straight face $10 million for 300 acreas of land which is valued much more?  This is one for the cartoons.  There is an old saying "the higher monkey climbs the more he is exposed" for this very facetious suggestion by Michael Ryan the people of the Cayman Islands should demand immediate payment of the $6 million that is owed and should the $10 million being offered is no longer available put a freeze on his accounts until the $6 million is paid.

    Last but not least, I would like to know who from the government signed off on the 99 lease agreement because they should be brought up on criminal charges.  How in Pete's name did they come up with this deal the people of Cayman having to pay market value to owners of the properties at the end of the lease? Caymanians should be demanding an answer to this fiasco.  With the Christmas present that was given to Ryan in the form of the 99 year lease no wonder he is asking for the Easter Bunny too.

  58. Anonymous says:

    No way Mr Bush.

    How about bothering to obtain a valuation?

    And by the way, "under the Strata Law Govt would have to buy out the individual units at the expiry of the lease"?? Of course not, you do not understand what you are talking about. Which is very worrying given you are the Premier!

  59. Name changed by moderator says:

    Now this is crazy, what and who does this man think he is. He needs to be stopped. Can't wait till next election to vote them all out.Tthis country needs a change in politicans they all have been in power way too long. Cayman change this come November 2013, time for a change. Why not sell the rest of Crown land to him and dart and oh why not just sell the 3 islands and we all work for mr.ryan and mr.dart. Who do these politicans think they are. Crime has been on the steady rise for over 2 years and they all can only come together now to do something. I say shame on all 15 members of the house, you remind me of school children bickering among yourselves. Am ashamed to say I don't listen to the debates anymore because its like a puppet show. Shame on you all shame on you all for selling out this country.

    Time for a change young politicans come and show yourselves in 2013 time to take this country back, enough is enough. Power hungry, thats my 2 cents.


    • Anonymous says:

      To be fair re Crime, for the longest time the Opposition has been calling on the elected Government, who have the majority and the power in the LA, to do something about crime. All of the UDP speeches and statements, press briefings and public meetings have said nothing toward addressing the rise in crime. When a lot of the serious crimes were happening and the UDP were all globe-trotting again there was nothing coming out about the serious rise in crime.


      The Opposition or Independent Member(s) can hardly be blamed for not doing something sooner my friend – they have little to no power in the LA. UDP controls the LA and the agenda of issues, etc.

  60. Name changed by moderator says:

    This comes as NO surprise to me as the Premier "hinted" as such on a local radio program sometime ago?.How can he sell the land that belongs to the people of the cayman islands let alone for such a paltry amount?.What will then happen to the land that the Westin hotel sits on and also the Villas of the galleon?I believe they are also sitting on leased land.I could be wrong but thats how I understand it.If and when the Ritz deal goes through(barring a HUGE public outcry)then goodbye to the North Sound golf club and a large amount of tourism $'s that come with the many visitors who come to dive and to play golf.What a waste of a perfectly good golf course just recently played on by Nick Price and Mark McNulty during the Red Cross golf tournament.They had nothing but praise for the course and I am sure would come back again to play in the next Red Cross tournament.Cayman needs to tap into the lucrative golfing market by encouraging investing parties to build more golf courses and to allow the local golfers to be able to play without restrictions..Bermuda a smaller island than us has I do believe 11 courses and stay full nearly all year round.When Mr.Ryan gets his Dragon Bay deal done the course will be strictly private with no locals allowed to play or at least would never be able to afford the membership or cost to play.Would he then be willing to let local charities use the course for events to raise money.I very much doubt it.The beat goes on!!!!

  61. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Ryan, You may want the land but you don't need the land. Hawaii is entirely leasehold. Only 3 families own the Hawaiian Islands. When you buy a house there you don't get to own the land beneath it. In spite of such a strange setup, Hawaii still manages to do about 12 billion dollars per year in tourism and has some of the finest resorts in the world.


    Please don't try to give the impression that you won't develop if you can't own the land. If the developers in Hawaii had your attitude those islands would be an undeveloped natural wonderland. You will develop whatever makes you money. You don't need the added incentive of land ownership which further sells our birthright for the almighty dollar.


    I understand that you have not yet repaid the millions ( 6 million last I heard)  in Government Duty concessions that CIG gave you and that the repayment is past due. It would be better if you repaid this debt to Cayman before trying to buy up our land. I would also suggest that all future transactions done with you be done with payment in full up front before any papers are signed.


    It might be a better investment for you to take your 10 million dollars and put a wind turbine farm in the North Sound end of your development. Your electricity costs are going to bankrupt you and the Ritz.  Get your costs under control then worry about how to make more money.

    You don't need our land, you need our support. You have permission to stay here as long as you like and to make as much money as you can. Hopefully it will be beneficial to Cayman as well.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Has Ryan made any payments on the duty he owes?
    What if any interest is the country earning on ryan’s outstanding balance.
    These questions should be answered before any more sweet deals are made with Mr. Ryan.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I'd make any sacrifice to help the Government out at this critical time. That is why I'm prepared to pay a full US$150  cash for every ounce  of  gold that the Government holds in its investment portfolios. Furthermore, I'll pay for all transportation, insurance and unpaid storage fees to get it safely over to my bank. Mac, I'll give you a call tomorrow. That's cash, remember?

  64. mi royal subject says:

    Hurry up guys 20 months going fast …. not much time left to get everything organized.

  65. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t this the same developer who claimed he couldn’t meet his current debts owed to the CI Govt? Well now that we know he has access to $10 million he should be made to settle his debt IMMEDIATELY !

  66. Anonymous says:

    No no no!!!!! Heck no!!!!

  67. Dred says:

    I believe the word that comes to mine is NO!!

  68. R.U. Kiddin says:

    $10 million dollars???  Isn't that less than 35 thousand per acre?  What's the going price for lots for homes in desirable areas?  I don't know of any nice beachfront lots going for less than 100 thousand….. and several homes can be built on 43,560 square feet (one acre) of land.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Are you kidding..what will 10m buy on SMB?  Obviously not a deal for the people.  Even a gardner can see this is not a good deal for the people of Cayman.  Btw do we actually know what we own?  Remember the strange deals with John Silvers in WB and unusable land accross from WB dock?

    • Finish your first projects, then we'll talk says:

      Okay Mr. Ryan, we will CONSIDER THIS after you finish Dragon Bay and pay all outstanding duties and fees.  Yes sir, you've made all kinds of promises for this jewel (just behind the Ritz), but it remains nearly empty.  When you finish what is on your plate you may have dessert.

  70. BORN FREE says:

    Someone has to stop Mckeeva Bush before he single-handedly gives our little island away! This is just more crap, it is "short term gain for long term pain"! He is disgraceful & is proving himself to be a very poor leader who thinks to sell everything will solve the problems! Then what about tomorrow Mr. premier? I suppose you do not care because it will be left for our children, grandchildren & future generations to suffer because of what you did! Selling everything is not the answer. Are you dumb? Please don't bother answering that, we already know the answer. The premier must go, & go now!

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't be judgemental. For your information, McKeeva has not made any deal yet regarding Ryan's offer, and he acknowledges the fact that it is not supported by other members. At least, wait until he makes a decision. 

    • living free says:

      Who will stop him? Only Caymanians can vote and they voted him in.  Only Caymanians can do what is necessary to push him out of his incredibly well double paying with excellent perks job that he doesn't need to be accountable for.  But he is safe.  Everyone but Caymanians know that Caymanians talk,  They don't do.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Last I heard Michael Ryan still owed several million dollars to the Government from the Ritz development.  How the hell is he going to pay 10 million more and who would even consider talks with him about monetary dealings until he is all paid up on his oustandings.  Does the Government think they will ever see any of the money he owes now or the 10 million he will soon owe??????

    • Anonymous says:

      McKeeva Bush loves signing MOU's which seem to have created very little other than headlines.  And now he's making ANOTHER deal favorable to Michael Ryan, who still owes millions of dollars to the Cayman Islands government.  Oh… I'm sure Ryan will make good on his IOU eventually.  After all, I'm sure the deal was struck in "good faith".  I suspect, as do many others, that the "balance" of the agreement will somehow wind up in the pockets of the MLAs.

      "MOU's and IOU's".  That should be the motto of the UDP.  I'm starting to wonder how these politicians have anything left of their soul to sell.


  72. Anonymous says:

    Same dude who hasn't paid us for duty even though he received huge concessions?  F… him.

    • Anonymous says:

      How on earth can the premier even entertain such an idea.  A simple flat out hell no to RYAN  would have been good, but remember Ryan was one of them that got status when status was being given away!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        “Given” indicates that nothing was provided or expected in return. Is that really what happened?

  73. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    Wow….fellow Caymanians this is unbelievable. An elected Government by the people and for the people is as I understand it supposed to run the country, for you. The Government in power seems to be running the country as a great big real estate firm for who. Not the people. 10 million and 2% more transfer duties. No one pays 10 million dollars for something and promises 2% more to you IF they do not have a huge up side for them. 

    Bottom line 10 million plus 2% means Cayman gets less.

    • Anonymous says:

      Definitely, Lachlan, you have not read the article…. states Mac is "considering" the offer. And to use the word "considering" is kind of misleading, because it implies that the offer is taken to be fairly a "good one." Note that government and Mac has not made any decision or legislation on this offer as yet!  

  74. squared says:

    Are his outstanding Stamp Duties up to date and cleared?…..I doubt it. That 10 Million should go towards his debts, not allow him to owe even more that he will renege on.

  75. Anonymous says:

    "CNS has also asked government what the current situation is on the remaining $6 million outstanding duty that the developer owed to government from concessions given on the Ritz Cartlon and is awaiting a response."


    Well done CNS, that was the first question I found myself asking as I started to read this article, and I'm still asking now.  Look forward to seeing the answer.  If Ryan has $10 million at his disposal now, then he should pay what he owes before even contemplating a request like this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course he has access to that type of money. Why would he pay if no interest is accruing. Right now it is an interest free loan from government with no repayment date. He can just wait for it to be inflated into insignificance. Start charging 10% and payment will come.

    • LOL says:

      LOL Ryan probably already has his get out of jail free card from the UDP. Im sure he will never pay off that 6 Million

  76. Anonymous says:

    Mac is asking the opposition what they think?  There has to be a catch.

    • Anonymous says:

      Condos for everyone I'm guessing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course there is a catch, then he can say "the opposition 'agreed' with the 'deal'.

    • Anonymous says:

      it's all in the timing yesterday…didn't you notice that he was probably reading the posts on cns about the people starting a referendum to remove him?  he might control puppets, but he sure doesn't control the sentiment of the people right now, and that's why his days in office seem to be numbered.


      so what do you plan to do about it?  sit back and wait to become another tci, or sign the referendum and get some respect and answers?

    • Pending says:

      I wonder if Mac's wife's real estate compnay still ahs anything to do with that land????

    • Anonymous says:

      The Opposition already said "NO!"

  77. Anonymous says:

    Give it to him, just like you will give South Sound road to Hislop and West Bay road to Dart. If you can give our birthright away like you did in 2003 land that is not yours shouldn't pose to much of an issue for you. This guy owes the government millions in unpaid duties yet he has the temerity to ask for a handout. Remember this government's actions next elections. These politicians represent the will of the people oh what a sick group we must be.

  78. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva Bush. It is not yours to give away.

    • Anonymous says:

      of course it isn't…. the la as a whole must make the decision…..

      now have any of the spineless udp muppetts got the guts to vote against mac?

    • Anonymous says:

      We have a madman on the loose, and he has our wallet with all ourcredit cards, and he has the deed to our house and land…

  79. Anonymous says:

    How about he pays the money he already owes the CI gov first?

    and 10 million for 300 acres of prime land on SMB, that's 33K per acre. So how much is a third acre plot in Crystal habour, mm close to 10 times that value.

    i'd take the 10m to extend the lease bu another 50 years, so the CI people don't lose all that crown land meant for future generations.

  80. we need operation swordfish says:

    So he wants to buy the land??? has he paid back the Ritz Carlton duty waived loans yet?  Seems like he got the cash now though boy but no mention about that bad debt..should have been me or you and see how Government would have chased us down like some old dogs over $5-$10,ooo


  81. Chris Johnson says:

    The timing on this offer is obviously no coincidence and I wonder why. As far as we are aware Mr Ryan has still not met his previous commitments to the current government so he is hardly negotiating from a position of strength. My recommendation would be to pass this decision along to people who are independent and in a position to profer sound advice. What we clearly need is no more nepotism. My intiution is that the offer of $10m is way under market value. Let the games begin.

  82. Anonymous says:


    What a joke this is absolutley laughable because the honest and most ethical way to address this issue is to valuie the lad as leasehold property and then re-value the landf as freehold property and Ryan then pays for the true value difference of the property without ripping off the country and the poeople of the Cayman Islands. If he has ten milion dollars ready to pay govertnement he can pay government for his back customes duties first before anyn other deals with the country.

  83. Anonymous says:

    He already owes us money and can't pay. Why would I believe he has $10mil?

  84. Anonymous says:

    I say NO. Mike Ryan already owes public coffers some $6 million in inpaid duty, what does he take us for??  "2% stamp duty on all transactions in perpetuity"?? Yeah right! As soon as some inept civil servant stops doing the billing after a few years (or months), then Ryan is off the hook. NO WAY McKeeva!!!!

  85. Anonymous says:

    And he can't pay the duty he owes….

  86. Now I'm truly scared says:

    What about payment for the Marl tat supposedly washed away in Ivan? …and WTF do you mean the government would have to buy the units back at the end of the lease? you build on leasehold land, the land and any improvements revert back to the owner at the end of the lease. What kind of deals have been done Mac?

    • Anonymous says:

      remember who allowed the lease extension in the first place…..the PPM !

  87. Anonymous says:

    And just who is surprised by this?

  88. Anonymous says:

    The healine should have read "Ryan want crown land too".

  89. Anonymous says:

    The previous PPM Government agreed to the extension to 99 years so why would the PPM oppose the reversion to freehold?  It will cost Government a fortune to buy it in 99 years. Be realistic.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is nothing to buy back when the lease is up. It all returns to the crown.

    • Gyyupa says:

      You don’t have a clue what “leasehold” means do you?

    • Anonymous says:

      How can it cost govt a fortune to buy back what is already crown land at the end of the lease? That simply makes no sense.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow we have one of the intelligent UDP supporters here!!

      The land is leased for 99 years it reverts back to the owner after 99years! What happens to the buildings on that land is negotiable but I think Mac is worried about HIS condo and not the Cayman People.

    • Anonymous says:


      The Crown/Government currently owns the land and are leasing it to Orion development. So Orion pays regular "rent" like anyone leasing a house or apartment. The PPM rightly extended the lease to give the Ritz Carlton and Dragon Bay security to build and operate with the understanding that they will have exclusive right to that land for 99 more years. In fact, most hotels are built on Crown land that is leased to the developer/hotel and each 99 year lease is renewed before it gets down to 50 or so years left on the lease, often earlier. It ensures a constant source of revenue for Government when the Crown/Government always retains ownership of important SMB land, and an extremely long term lease gives security to the developer/owner of the hotel built on the property. Selling the land for what is FAR below market value would be a travesty.

      In sum, Government has no intention of buying the land in 99 years, it already ownsit.

  90. Anonymous says:

    OUTRAGEOUS! Selling all this Crown land is shortsighted and ill-advised. The people of Cayman have to own their own islands, as a minimum!

    I realised that new taxes are a difficult proposition, but it's a lot more sane than selling our own islands. If we need money, let's raise it from sustainable sources instead of one-time sale that will have serious long term consequences for many generations.

  91. NHB says:

    Why the hell should we as a goverment care what the developer has placed on this land, that was his option, it is or land don't sell it. 

  92. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps Michael Ryan could be required to pay the government the MILLIONS of dollars he already owes the government?!?


  93. Golden Bear says:

    But the golf course is going to close under the existing plans and yet another important cog in the tourism wheel will fall away.  The government should only sell the land if there is a guarantee of publicly accesible golf.  Bermuda is putting golf at the front of its advertising.  They have 7 courses all better than anything in Cayman.  High spending tourists and golf, they go hand in hand.