Dart Real Estate has executed its plan to remove a section of beach rock at the site of a potential five-star resort development. Cabinet approved the trial coastal works application in November, and once final approval came through Tuesday afternoon, Dart moved to begin extracting the beach rocks in a 1600 sq/ft area north of Tiki beach.
“Our objective today was to basically execute the plan, execute it in accordance with what was defined for us, and basically as we go, be very collaborative in working with the requisite agencies to basically get this job completed,” said Kenneth Hydes, Dart Development’s VP of Special Projects.
He said it’s ‘all hands on deck’ to make sure the removal goes smoothly.
“We have a full team of people on hand and they include essentially some team that’s basically monitoring the perimeter of the silt screen, also ensuring no turbidity is extending outside,” said Mr. Hydes.
Dart Real Estate made its coastal works application nine months ago, initially hoping to complete the trial before May, when turtle nesting season began.
The Department of Environment’s technical review committee looked at the plan and advised against it, citing fears of destabilising the beach and setting a dangerous precedent in its 8-page report published the same month.
Despite the recommendations of the DOE, cabinet granted the trial coastal works license in November.
“Certainly today’s activity will certainly better help us make a decision about what this site can truly be,” said Mr. Hydes.
Dart said the beach rock removal is crucial to securing a deal with an as-yet unnamed five-star hotel partner, a deal Dart claims represents $600 million in economic impact during the construction phase.
“I would say it would be an accurate reflection that potential 5-star developer of this site would be pretty interested to know the outcome of this trial, and what will be possible down the road,” said Mr. Hydes.
The results of this trial will inform a full coastal works application to remove beach rock from a stretch of beach nearly a third of a mile long.
Dart Real Estate told Cayman 27 though the extraction of the rocks is all done for now on the trial site, monitoring will continue in concert with its project consultants and the DOE in the coming months.