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Cayman reaches for the sky

One of Bermuda's main rival offshore jurisdictions is reaching for the sky, with plans to build a skyline-transforming tower.

Dart Enterprises wants to build the structure in the Cayman Islands at a height that would “greatly exceed” Cayman's ten-storey limit, Alden McLaughlin, the Premier of the Cayman Islands, said.

Mr McLaughlin said at the Cayman Economic Outlook conference last week that Dart would invest about $1.5 billion in the potential skyscraper and its surrounding infrastructure, the Cayman Compass reported.

He added that the investment would include major road improvements and “potentially” social infrastructure investments in schools and affordable housing for Caymanians.

Citing the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Mr McLaughlin added that the tower could create “a new skyline that would be recognisable throughout the world”.

No details were given on the height of the skyscraper, nor its exact location, though it is thought to be planned for the Camana Bay area, a development that was funded by Dart at a cost of about $1.3 billion.

The plan is for the building to be mixed-use, with hotel, residential, retail and entertainment spaces.

Mr McLaughlin said he wanted to “kick-start” the debate over Cayman's future development.

“I pose this as a series of questions the nation should consider: do we want to continue with the approach of incremental change, or is now the time for us to think bigger and act more boldly when it comes to our land use and building heights?” he said.

“I believe we must at least take a long, hard look at the potential for the kind of tower Dart is proposing.”

McKeeva Bush, a former Caymanian premier who is now the House Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, called for 50-storey buildings in his New Year's message.

“I want to see buildings' heights move to 50 storeys, even if only for one building, for tourism, residential and commercial businesses to make a mark in the region, so that the wealthiest among the wealthy will work, shop and live there, to set us apart in the region,” Mr Bush wrote.

“We must offer something different. We are limited in space except for in the air. Why not go as high as we can go and we will be saving land.”

Cayman is a British Overseas Territory. By far the most populous of its three main islands, Grand Cayman, is home to the capital George Town, as well as financial-services and tourism industries, and has an area of 76 square miles.

Tower plan: Camana Bay, built by Dart Enterprises, which is now planning a $1.5 billion skyscraper on the Caribbean territory

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Published March 07, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated March 06, 2019 at 7:04 pm)

Cayman reaches for the sky

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