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Pageant Beach Hotel Resort has Moved a Step Closer

Pageant Beach Hotel resort has moved a step closer after the developer finalized a US$25-million deal on Dec 7th.

The Howard Hospitality Group, which opened the Margaritaville resort earlier this year, has partnered with New Jersey-based Madison Hill Properties for the project.

Planning permission was granted in October and hopes to open a new luxury 5-star resort at the site in late 2020.

The resort will include 30,000 square feet of conference space, five pools, seven bars and restaurants, a private screening room, spa and gym, and approximately 400 guest rooms and suites.

The resort will eventually employ a permanent staff of around 500 people. (more…)

Immigration Good for Caymans Growth

Premier Alden McLaughlin believes that immigration in Cayman has been an important and positive factor that has contributed to the growth of the islands.

The opposition benches expressed sentiments about refusing work permits and stopping the grant of status. The premier said the jurisdiction was the envy of the region because it had not been a victim of ‘insular thinking and prejudice’ and that Cayman owed its success to immigration.

While he agrees that immigration needs to be properly managed ‘it is immigration that has allowed these islands and all of us to develop the way we have’. By saying that nobody should be granted status was the kind of thinking that had set other places in the region, such ass the Bahamas, far behind.

‘Properly managed, immigration provides opportunities for our people,’ the premier stated, adding that this belief was the major difference between his administration and the policy position of the opposition. The premier said he believed that immigration has provided the current economic foundation that Cayman now enjoys. (more…)

5 Consecutive Years of Economic Growth

The Cayman Islands have experienced five consecutive years of economic growth.

Cayman’s gross domestic product reached $2.8 billion at the end of 2015 and grew a further 3 percent in the first half of 2016.

“It exceeds the initial GDP forecast for the year of 2.1 percent and is the highest growth rate since 2007,” Said Finance Minister Marco Archer in a statement accompanying the new numbers.

The economy outpaced government’s forecasts in 2016 and grew faster than it did in the first half of 2015.

As of Spring 2016, Cayman’s population increased 2.7 percent from the previous year, standing at 61,259.

The number of work permits continued to grow, increasing to 23,411 as of mid-2016.

The total unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, and the unemployment rate of Caymanians dropped to 5.6 percent.

Cruise arrivals continued to grow, up 7.1 percent from last year. However, there was a dip in air arrivals, down 1.4 percent.

(more…)

New undersea fiber-optic cable project could benefit Cayman.

Currently, the Cayman Islands are connected to only two underwater fiber-optic cable systems, both around 20 years old.

Deep Blue Cable is working on an ambitious plan to lay a 7,456-mile subsea cable that will initially connect 12 markets in the Caribbean by the end of the decade.

Underwater fiber would provide more security in the case of one of the other networks experiencing a failure.

Decrease broadband prices in a region that were lagging behind most of the rest of the world.

“In the Caribbean, the cost of broadband is about $4 per megabit per month, compared with the Atlantic, which is 40 cents per Mb per month. That’s predominantly because of the lack of competition in the area,” said Deep Blue Cable CEO Stephen Scott. (more…)

FIN Development Brakes Ground

Michael Ryan and Dale Crighton have broken ground on their new oceanfront condo development in George Town.

The development, Fin, aims to bring five-star resort-style elegance and amenities to the residential market.

Construction work began last week, following a two-year design and planning process, on what will be a four-story, 36-unit development on South Church Street.

Construction is expected to take two years to complete, with the first owners moving in around the summer of 2019. Around 60 percent of the units have already been pre-sold.

A salt-water lagoon will be carved into the iron-shore and a new beach created overlooking the marine park. (more…)

Renewed Confidence in Cayman Islands Real Estate

Market gaining momentum

The Cayman Islands market is looking good for 2017 and beyond, according to the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association.

Towards the end of 2015 activity in the real estate market began to increase. Throughout 2016 the trend continued across the Cayman. House prices are rising, there are new developments and there is a sense of increased investor confidence across the Islands.

Waterfront properties are improving at a faster rate. Not surprisingly, with growth centered around Seven Mile Beach doing the best. This trend continued through 2016 which is indicating that the market is strengthening and things overall are look up.

Limited supply on waterfront property is resulting in a shift toward a seller’s market, leading to availability being a bigger issue in 2017 than pricing. There is also increased popularity in canal-front homes, partly as they are more affordable than ocean properties but still offer buyers outstanding views and waterfront locations. (more…)

Cayman ranks 28th in Global Financial Centers Index

Cayman ranks 28th in the latest Global Financial Centers Index, up from 41 in the previous survey.

Cayman’s index score increased from the previous survey 6 months ago by 35 points to 676.

Jude Scott, CEO of Cayman Finance said, “Our reputation as a center of excellence for international financial services continues to go from strength to strength and this latest ranking is proof of that.”

“The Cayman Islands continues to be recognized for its client-centric focus and for delivering excellence in service. Clients are at the center of our financial services industry. They are at the core of everything we do, and this approach has been central to our success as a leading international financial center,” Mr. Scott added.

“The Cayman Islands is now the highest-ranking mainstream international financial services center.” (more…)

George Town Harbor ‘Hope Spot’

Cayman Hope Spot

The George Town harbor has been nominated and listed as a world Hope Spot by Mission Blue after being vetted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The Harbor is currently at risk of being destroyed by the development of cruise berthing facilities in the Cayman capital.

The Hope Spots are places deemed critical to the health of the ocean. Scientists explained that while around 12% of the earth’s terrestrial regions are currently under some form of protection, less than 4% of the ocean is protected in any way. Leaving it vulnerable to overfishing, pollution, and over-exploitation.

Local environmental activists Save Cayman said the nomination was a victory for thousands of people who are fighting to protect the reef system in the harbor from the cruise project. (more…)

National Conservation Law Protects Land

New Scoring System

The Department of Environment has detailed a new scoring system to assess nominations for land to be protected under the new National Conservation Law.

For this year, funds of $6 million have been allocated to buy up environmentally sensitive land.

There will be 18 different criteria for the land under review, with a 1-5 ranking system for each category.

The system rates biological diversity as the most important criteria, with social, financial and strategic value. As well as climate value also factored into the decision-making process.

The conservation council will allocate points in a range of sub categories. Categories include the diversity of plant species, the cost of the land and its value to nature tourism. (more…)

Mountain of Tires to Be Made into Landfill

Local firm Island Recycling and its overseas partner Guernsey Recycling, are to shred the tires in the George Town landfill site, and use them as fill in local construction projects.

The contract was signed on Monday 15th August for $1.25 million from the Environmental Protection Fund, after five previous failed bids to sell or give the tires away.

The work is expected to commence within the next four months, once specialized equipment arrives on the island, and is expected to take around 11 months to shred the stockpile of tires.

The Environmental Protection Fund has been criticized in the past for taking far to long to come to a deal involving the tires.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said “The landfill is an issue and has been an issue for the country for many, many years, and while many people believe we are moving far too slowly, we are absolutely committed to developing a long-term plan that creates a solution that will last the course of the next 50 years.” (more…)

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