The development push for the revitalization of Cayman’s capital
continues. Over 50 people turned up at Constitution Hall as government officials updated the public on their plans Thursday (18 July). George Town City Manager Colin Lumsden said the vision for the revitalization in Cayman’s capital will not be a carbon copy. “We don’t want George Town to be in downtown Miami or a South Beach with all the glamour lights but it’s smart lighting,” said Mr. Lumsden.
The new look for George Town was unveiled Thursday (18 July) night at Constitution Hall and it starts with improving the roads. “It involves active sidewalks, bike lanes, roadways, properly strategically located and safe crosswalks, and trees. Trees are something that we have to do. Trees supply us with the very basic essentials that we need which is oxygen,” said Mr. Lumsden.
Mr. Lumsden said the plan includes creating pocket parks with benches so people can relax outdoors. He added the business community will not be left out.
“We are also talking about doing a small business centre that would foster small business development,” said Mr. Lumsden. The revitalization plans are also proposing to increase building heights to beyond 7 floors in the capital.
As for hotels coming into the capital, Mr. Lumsden said that is not in the plans, but he has an alternative.
“I think if you have a building that isn’t occupied during the slow season, you can have rooms that you rent out like the Airbnb idea that is seemingly taken over everywhere,” said Mr. Lumsden. One attendee expressed displeasure over the lack of attention to other areas of George Town.
“I have not heard any update on Shedden Road, I would like to know where are we in the plan,” said Christina Burke-Richardson.
To which Planning Ministry Deputy Chief Officer Tristan Hydes responded, “I’m going to be completely frank, I don’t think it could happen this year. Certainly, little pieces of it will come as developments go along that road. We will influence them to make that adjustment, but on the bigger picture, we do have a Shedden Road in mind.”
While the plan seemed to have the participants’ approval, there was one clear message for the officials.
“I hope that what you have presented to us this afternoon is not going to be a dust gatherer that is going to be sitting on the shelves for the next 6 years,” said Loxley Banks.
Policy Analyst Charles Brown responded, “It would be a crying shame if this doesn’t move forward, but we have every assurance that it is.”
Mr. Lumsden’s presentation stated that the next step of the revitalization plan consists of:
- Lighting improvements in city Centre (Edwards and Albert Panton St)
- Tree planting (large planters)
- City furniture
- Event initiatives (city celebrations)
- Road re-design (Godfrey Nixon extension)
- Incorporating smart City initiative
- Code incentive measures
- Local CBO bus routes
- Parking initiatives (pocket parks)
- Road Infrastructure upgrades