$16M tax breaks stalls deal

| 09/05/2013

dart shovels.JPG(CNS): The government has said that the third amendment to the deal between government, the National Roads Authority and Dart Realty Cayman Ltd was stalled over concessions and tax breaks for the planned Seven Mile Beach hotel, worth some $16 million, and their efforts to achieve a “better deal” for Cayman have failed. Speaking at Thursday’spress briefing, the ministers confirmed that the closure of the remaining part of the West Bay Road would now be delayed beyond the election and it would be down to the next administration to pick up the negotiations with Dart, who yesterday pulled out of the talks regarding changes to the original deal as they said they could not reach a new agreement with government.

An agreement between government, the NRA and Dart was signed in December 2011. That agreement has been amended twice since and the document has undergone a review by local consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers. However, none of these documents have yet been released to the public, although drafts of the deal were leaked last year.

Ministers Cline Glidden and Mark Scotland said Thursday that they hoped to release all of these documents on Friday, along with the third amendment, which has now been rejected by Dart, so that the people of Cayman could judge for themselves the value of this deal with the islands’ biggest developer.

Although the Cabinet members continued to insist that the deal still represented value for money, even without the third amendment, Gliddenand Scotland both said that their efforts over the last six months were to try and get “more value for money” and a “better deal for the people of Cayman”. However, the developer would not agree to a reduction in the concessions regarding the new hotel, which will be developed on the site of the old   Courtyard Marriott.

Scotland explained that the hotel concession package in the original deal, which according to previously leaked documents is believed to include a 50% cut to Dart of all room taxes collected there for the first ten years, was based on the developer starting the hotel some time ago. As the development has not yet started and there has so far been very little economic stimulus from the project, the package was under re-negotiation, but the two parties could not agree.

Glidden stated that during the last six months, as well as getting agreement over the widening of the rest of the Esterley Tibbetts by-pass, they had removed the crown land at Salt Creek from the deal. They had also negotiated land in South Sound to widen the public beach at Smith Cove and in Barkers for another new public beach there. But all of that has now faltered on concessions worth around $16 million, which is believed to be only a fraction of the value of the overall deal.

The situation now is that Dart wishes to revert back to the status of the agreement at the point of the second amendment and questions remain over the obligation of the next government for this deal.

The remaining stretch of the West Bay Road, which runs in front of the site where Dart proposes to develop a new five-star resort, remains open and in crown hands, despite forming part of the original deal signed by former Premier Mckeeva Bush and promised to Dart in the complex swap. The obligation for government to close that stretch would now “be challenging to meet” Glidden told the press Thursday, as he said that there were obligations under the original deal on all parties which have not been met.

With the election less than two weeks away, Glidden and Scotland made it quite clear that they hoped voters would see their efforts over the last six months to improve the original deal favourably. However, as the talks have now stalled, Cayman is left with a deal which although reportedly giving value for money is, as indicated by the PNA ministers, not “the best deal” for the Cayman people as a result of different criteria.

Glidden told the media that while the PWC report found that the value of the swap was fair, as a representative of the people there were other criteria to consider. When he joined the negotiations in December, after allegedly playing no part in them until that point, Glidden said he did not think it was in the best interests of the Cayman people to divest the land at Salt Creek even if the value was fair.

Despite the Cabinet’s insistence since February that the third amendment negotiations were essentially agreed and that only the final details were being ironed out, it was quite clear on Friday that while Cabinet had approved and agreed that third amendment, Dart had not. While PWC had included the third amendment in its review, since it was never signed it is not part of the deal.

The ministers said government was still willing to negotiate but they felt that other criteria in addition to value for money was important, but they had not been able to reach a deal.

CNS Note: All of the documents relating to the NRA deal, the value for money report,the amendments to the deal which were agreed and the third amendment which was not, have all been posted here

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is why developers chose other islands to make large investments. Look at Turks & Caicos, they have surpassed Cayman in tourism and have a thriving tourist economy that employs many locals. Every year that Cayman procrastinates and delays investment in improving: Airport, Cruise Ship Dock, New Hotels etc the further behind Cayman falls behind their competitors and other Caribbean desitinations. Cayman – the island that time forgot – because incompetence and bad planning destroyed what potentially could have been the best place to be in the world! Never mind, we'll all leave and go back to Tampa/Clearwater – where our parents lived in the 60's-70's its cheaper living there too!

  2. Just Commentin' says:

    Dart should have had more damn sense than to buddy up with a moron and expect a good outcome. What more can one exepect of a deal that involved Makeewah? It was bound to come crashing down.


    Has the PWC report been made public? Be interesting to see what PWC calls "fair". Bear in mind that it was accountants who produced and certified Enron's Financial Statements.  Ditto for the accountants for the banks that brought the world's economy to its knees. Generally, I do not trust an accountant's opinion as far as I can throw the accountants that wrote it.  As a youth my elders impressed upon me a truth that more people roun' yah need to learn: "Figures don't lie, but liars figure".

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just think how different things would be if all those governments who bragged about their "surplus" in the past had actually spent some of it to buy swamp or put it into a fund for future road developement? Or school construction. Or any other infrastructure project?

  4. Anonymous says:

    The day has come!!…DART in charge now!! …move over UDP and PNA,,,oh yeah and people of the Cayman Islands….what a sucker punch!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    If Dart really means Cayman so good and really cares why didn’t it release the PWC report months ago? The attempts to politicallt blackmail the Cabinet speaks volumes about their intentions. The government is broke and cannot afford to surrender 16m much less 160m to the richest developer on the island.

  6. Anonymous says:

    dart has obviously had his fill of caymanian ignorance and stupidity…..

    don't worry ken…they will come crawling back in a few months when their economy is in tatters…then you will be in an even stronger position….

    in the mean time maybe you should reduce caymanian employment in your organisation….

    • Anonymous says:

      If Ken actually had some people who understood Cayman, rather than how to deal with Mac, in charge of his operations, he wouldn’t be in this mess.

      The stink is not from the dump, it is from being too cozy with the UDP.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow. What a nasty post. Why should he reduce Caymanian employment? To be spiteful?These posts are real eye openers about some of the expats among us.

  7. Adult fiction says:

    "It's a good deal, but in the interests of national security (read 'our security') we can't let you see it until it is signed."  "As always you must trust us to do what's best for the Caymanian people."  "Any questions??"  "Yes, we would like to…"


    "Thank you, that will be all."

  8. Anonymous says:

    But.., i thought Dart was developing for the betterment of the Cayman Islands, and was not doing developments that would only benefit Dart??


    Doesnt he want to do as much as he can for the Cayman Islands? All of his cheerleaders on here are always saying how good he is and how he loves Cayman soooo much, wel why would he pull out of talks overthe FCIA?


    If you say that this FCIA is a business deal, then why call it "For Cayman"? It must be what all others have been calling it from the start – "For DART"


    And if the FCIA is a business deal, then what is wrong with the CIG trying to get the best deal for their end?


    They (Dart) should not have dropped the talks, it looks bad on their part.

  9. Anonymous says:

    So if you were a large developer outside of Cayman and got the RFP for the new port etc, one of the first things you’d do is due diligence to see how the CIG has handled over large projects. This sort of nonsense, along with the previous port and airport extension debarcles, makes trying to do any large scale development in Cayman a much riskier (and therefore expensive) proposition.

    If this is how the CIG treats a large developer with a proven on-island track record and influence, how would they treat an offshore developer with noties to the community? We’ll pay for it through lack of competitive bidding on future develoents and a loss of confidence for existing developers to take risk and proceed on new projects.

    • I and I Dread says:

      Himagine, they are the negotiators who for 6 months have been trying to negotiate and they are the same ones that want the Swivel servants to negotiate the POrt deal. Swivel Swivel, Swivel and the beat goes on the beat goes on..

  10. St Peter says:

    Someone please fill me in – was the Bodden Town dump confirmed in the original NRA agreement?


    • Anonymous says:

      No, the NRA agreement onlyinvolves the roads, ie: closing one and building the other plus the land swap. The FCIA agreement includes the dump.

    • Coalition For A Dump Free G.T. says:

      We can only pray to the good Lord almighty that it was. The current site is slowly and silently killing us all.

  11. Anonymous says:

    A continuation of the nonsence that has left us with one road going into WB and one road leaving it. And when it becomes impassible, maybe Cline can then explain to us all why this is in fact a good thing. What a joker. There is neither rhyme nor reason to much of what goes on here in Cayman, it's utter madness and straight out of a chapter from Alice in Wonderland.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you have more than one road going into WB before?  Just curious.

      • Anonymous says:

        No. But, if i have a large tract of land, say 60 acres, is it my responsibility or Govt's to put an access road or major road thru it to get to the next side?


        If it is Govt's then everyone with a piece of land can now insist that Govt build a road thru their land for them, and how they want it built.

    • Anonymous says:

      There will be three roads entering West Bay.   The only portion of the WB road closed has been replaced by a 4-lane divided and raised road.    How is this not better?  (and the people did not have to pay for this). 

      I dont understand your logic. 

      • Anonymous says:

        08.53? 3 roads entering? Good Grief!! Most people would prefer 3 roads leaving WB

        • Anonymous says:

          There is one road into West Bay.  it then will plit into three roads.  There are not two seperate road accesses to West Bay as the original plan called for.

      • Anonymous says:

        As nice as the road will be, you are mistaken if you think we are not paying for it. The concessions and land swaps will be matched up to what Dart says he spends building the road. Cline went over this in detail a few weeks ago. Pretty much no one is saying that the new road is not a good thing. 

      • Nuther Nonymus says:

        How do you figure  "(and the people did not have to pay for this)."?  They have paid, and will be paying for it for a l-o-o-n-n-g time!  Do you think Mac paid out of his pocket?

    • Anonymous says:

      There has always been one road in and one road out of WB and other districts until you get to Savannah. Before they started the road on WB, there was only one road and there were no complaints????? I'm confused!!!! Was there another one that we don't know about!!??? And what about the Eastern Districts, they only have one road out as well but no one seems worried about that!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    It speaks volumes for the integrity of CIG that the AGREEMENT originally made has been amended twice and a third go was bad at it with the intent of eroding the other party’s position.

    In short, an agreement with CIG is totally worthless.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Same old same old.  Over the last 40 years or so concessions equal kickbacks to whoever was approving these things.  This is why you go into politics in Cayman and is a prevalent way of doing public business imported from the UK a long time ago.

    We need more public transparency for all large government deals and clear accountability for who is approving them.

    Let us have this matter reviewed by the Auditor General to see if it does provide VFM.

    • Anonymous says:

      I disagree    "Imported from UK."….The Jamaicans taught us how to conduct business in dark corners of restaurants.

  14. Anonymous says:

    incompetence to the very end…… dart will make mince meat out of cayman in  future court proceedings….. and rightly so…… this is whole things sets a terrible precedent for any investor that would ever consider doing business with cig…..

    cayman hass successfully killed the golden goose……. you better brush up on your rope making skills….


  15. Anonymous says:

    Silly government trying to milk the cow. It was a good deal from the beginning. A man who has the money to give us infrastructure when our government cannot for at least the next 10-15 years should not try to be milked for every last drop. Dart does not need anything but he is a business man and he will only go so far. We Caymanians need to wake up and stop expecting Dart to just give us everything for nothing. I’m sure the Bahamas just negotiated a deal with him. Our loss.

    • Peanuts says:

      He wants every thing. Like Alden said Fire is a good tool, but it can burn down your house.


    • Anonymous says:

      He isn't giving us the infrastructure. He will be able to claim back what he has spent in concessions and land swaps. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    50% is more than nothing.  This sounds like classless electioneering by a deeply unimpressive temporary administration.

  17. The Thinker says:

    It appears that the people are beginning to see what happens when crooked politicians and greedy developers are left to do as they please!

    • Anonymous says:

      Go to the Dart's Camana Bay Cinema to see the subjects of your post "cooperating" on screen as our ex-dishonorable premier spouts his 'I am your savior" message to a captive cinema audience.

      I almost walked out.

  18. The lone haranguer rides again! says:

    Have we no honor, have we no pride, is our word worth nothing, there is a deal in place we have to stick to it.

    • Anonymous says:

      No honor (unless its in the honrable for life law) No pride, and your word is not worth the paper it is written on (thanks in a large part by THE honorable for life clown.  If there is a deal in place while you say you have to stick to it only a new fool would belive you would really do it. To other countries and "others" this is the Caymanian of now.  A legacy built by your recent past.  Hopefully many of you are mad enough at this to at least vote different this time around.

  19. Say Wha? says:

    Dumb, preened chickens (who think that expensive suits make them smarter than they truly are) versus Wily Fox.  Hmmh, guess who wins that every time?  Can't make this stuff up!!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Well that always was an issue with me….I love what Dart has done but really no incentive was required to allow him to increase his beach front by 4 times and give access to his landlocked land. I personally think the tax breaks were retirement for one of our corrupt politicians.  While I can understand Darts frustration with an ever changing agreement that is the nature of business when you do deals with corrupt governments during changing times.  Thank you new and caring Caymanians who have pressured the still corrupt government to this negotiation!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      So you really love having an area where there is one road going into WB and one road exiting it then? Well, good for you. Let's hope you don't need urgent medical care when it become impassible.

      • Anonymous says:

        Iit's always been like that, when would the government have changed it? Probably never because they don't have money to do so.

        • The Parliamentarian says:

          Because they didn't have the money, or was it because they had other nefarious reasons?

      • Anonymous says:

        we now will have a dual carriage way. where we had single lane traffice before..you are a silly person that really shouldn't be writing here.

  21. anonymous says:

    Julie n Rollie iz de baddest! dey always leave the small fries to take the heat!

    • SSM345 says:

      The whole island will take the heat, because no investor looking to develop in Cayman will have any confidence in dealing with the idiots in our Government knowing that there is a real chance that their plans will fall through because of their sheer incompetence.

      And furthermore, if DART decides they have had enough because of said idiots, what will we do next?

      If a government cannot function properly in the day and age and "get with the times", Cayman will be the island that time forgot, for good.

      And BTW, there are two other major developments, the Shetty Hospital and the Enterprise City, what kind of back room dealing do you think went on there? Exactly the same thing but not a word from anybody.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Its unfortunate that CG and Mark were unable to get rid of McKeeva, the dictator, before December, as they have done more in 3 months to try to correct his bad deals, namely the Port and the For Cayman Investment Alliance, than the whole UDP achieved in the previous 3-1/2 years. Unfortunately they may well be affected by the anti-UDP sentiment that is, quite rightly, sweeping the country and yes, they should not have gone along with the deals previously, but I thank them for finally leading the charge to get rid of the most dangerous man to ever come on the political scene of the Cayman Islands and I thank them for the positive work they have done since December.   

    • Anonymous says:

      The PNA are wolves in sheep's clothing….do not believe what they say about their involvement in the Dart deal. They've done nothing but try to deflect blame from themselves. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The reality is we had a  bunch of totally spineless whimps who now have the audacity to come crawling to the public asking for their sorry political lives to be continued. Their brazenness is an affront to common decency.

  23. 4 cayman says:

    As William Wallace recommended its now for Dart to face the tax man for taking the people’s land.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Clear as mud. Should be uterrly sadly hillarious to watch the he-said / he-said regarding who did or didn't live up to their half of the deal and who therefore doesn't have to live up to how much of the rest of theirs. Though, without dates affixed to any of the clauses, this could get very tiresome and the Government of the day may find themselves, like the last person to take the FCIA to court, facing a fait acompli that since Dart has built the roads and if there were no dates attached to any of the other activities, he's lived up to his half now time to live up to ours. (Yes, its ours. We're stuck with it.) The time to 'renegotiate' has passed. Now is the time to live up to commitments. And it looks like they're realising just what they, as part (at least in caucus) of the government of the day,  committed to and what the other side didn't really commit to. – Milk & Carrotts

  25. Anonymous says:

    OK so Government is trying to change the original deal on concessions at the last minute to try and get voters on side?

    Why did they even sign the second amendment if it wasn't good enough?

    Sorry, but have to agree that Dart was right to call time on this nonsense.

  26. Yeee Haaaw says:

    Head for the hills! It’s every man for himself! Last one standing gets to be Premier!

  27. Just Sayin' says:

    Ose clowns couldn’t negotiate their way out of a wet paper bag.

  28. Anonymous says:

    "Our hands are clean now that we have washed them of Big Mac". Interesting strategy for the PNA to use Cline to negotiate the deal now because Rolston would have collective responsiblility with the rest of the last cabinet. The lack of negotioation before speaks volumes tho'. We are not fooled. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh ya..CG the Closer, the Negotiator….rubbish.  He's a wannabe.  Law school may have given you some confidence CG but you've lost the confidence of the electorate…..good luck with your re-entry to the private sector.

  29. Will Ya Listen? says:

    Someone has said that divesting land even if the valuation was fair was not in the interests of the Cayman people? Something terribly wrong – or, dare I say, right with this. Is there an election coming up? 

    The new Government will sort this out. You know they will – nudge nudge wink wink.

  30. Anonymous says:

    It is clear that PNA is trying a last ditch effort  to Save themselves in the election.  Ask them why they let Mac get us into this in the first place.  They had the power to stop it if they had wanted to but they let Mac run the show.  Now they want our votes.  NO WAY!!!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Maybe people should stop making DART to be our Saviour if the facts in this article are true. Wasn’t the collection of 50% of hotel tax for the next 30 years by DART enough especially when the CI Government is virtually broke? This might be the only good thing Mark Scotland and Cline Glidden have done in the best interests of Caymanians in 4 years. Nonetheless never forget the UDP and PNA negotiated this deal that generations will pay for over the next 50 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      wake up people…..CG and Scotland were part of the group that agreed the concessions in the first place!  And now, with an executed agreement that allowed these concessions, they think they can undo it AND ask Dart for more…..if I were Dart, I'd walk away from this dishonesty too and take my chances with the next bunch.  Any Government after the next election has got to be better that this current administration.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am certainly praying that it will be so…something has to change big time.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Dart obviously thinks a UDP-PNA-C4C coalition government will be elected.  Very shrewd that they are waiting to get the 'best deal' until after the election.

    It's all becoming very clear now …. PNA plays hard ball with Dart to win votes, Dart just delays deal so they can wait for UDP-PNA-C4C coalition to be elected.  Then they get exactly the deal they want, all behind closed doors.

    Fellow Caymanians, don't be fooled.  Don't vote for any of these back room deal makers!

    • Hoping for better days says:

      ye cuz PPM is sooo much better and soo much more "honest"….it is because of PPM we are in this mess today….would do you all good to remember THE FACTS…but you are so busy with what dart is doing you can't see whats right in front of you….