Dart Real Estate’s West Bay Road underpass is set to get 170 feet longer.
This after the Central Planning Authority granted permission for an extension to the existing project following Wednesday’s (7 March) meeting.
The CPA back in November refused an application for a 190 foot extension.
The CPA at the time said Dart Real Estate failed to demonstrate sufficient reason for the extension, but the authority this time gave it the green light.
According to the CPA’s agenda available online, the following excerpt is from letter submitted by DRE:
A five-star resort on the coral Caymanian property is included in the master plan, but more beach front land is required.
When the original application for the West Bay Road underpass was submitted in 2016, discussions for the acquisition of the Royal Palms property were ongoing.
Now that the Royal Palms property has been acquired, Dart Real Estate wishes to extend the underpass to include the newly acquired site.
The inclusion of the Royal Palms site will provide adequate beach frontage to connect the future five-star hotel to the rest of Camana Bay.
Meanwhile, The Department of Environment issued the following comments:
This proposal should have been the subject of a more comprehensive review.
Of particular concern is the scale of the buildings on top of the underpass and the total elevation given that they will likely be very large and on top of an elevated structure therefore increasing their relative appearance and visual impact on the general area.
The National Roads Authority itself wrote that several of its questions concerning the project were never specifically addressed, adding “It is also the NRA’s opinion that the CPA make a definitive determination as to the maximum allowable height of any proposed buildings that may be constructed atop or over the underpass.”
According to DRE’s Tammi Sulliman, the objective of the extension is to develop existing infrastructure to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety along the north-south corridor of Grand Cayman.
Ms. Sulliman also said the extension will be part of the buildout of the current underpass.
She says she can’t say when construction will start on the five-star hotel but the company is looking a timeline for buildout at 4-4.5 years.
She says there are no immediate plans to make changes to the Royal Palms beach bar operations.
She also adds there will be an 18-foot wide access path from West Bay Road to Seven Mile Beach on the southern end of the Royal Palms property.