Dart Real Estate is now pre-leasing an additional 100,000 square feet of Class-A commercial space in Camana Bay, thanks to the proposed increase in height of its newest planned development at 60 Nexus Way. Subject to planning approval, this increase to 10 storeys will make 60 Nexus Way Grand Cayman’s tallest commercial office building, offering sea-to-sound water views and 200,000 square feet of office and retail space.
The revised planning application was submitted by Dart following an amendment to the Development and Planning Law approved by legislators on 2 November 2020. Previously, only resort and residential buildings could be built to 10 storeys. Discussing the proposed legislation changes to building heights in the George Town area last year, Minister of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure Joey Hew said increased height buildings, parking adjustments and mixed-use buildings are important components of maximising space, encouraging innovation and attracting investment (source).
First announced in October 2019 and approved by the Central Planning Authority in December 2019, 60 Nexus Way was designed to provide flexibility for future growth from the outset.
“With Dart’s multi-decade approach to development, future-proofing buildings to more easily facilitate structural changes allows us to maximise their lifetime and functionality,” said Justin Howe, Dart’s President Real Estate Asset Management. “Building up instead of out has a positive environmental impact by reducing sprawl, increasing energy savings and conserving resources. Taller buildings and increased density in the Seven Mile Beach corridor, where demand is high and land is scarce, is an efficient and effective use of land.”
Dart President Real Estate Asset Management, Justin Howe
Dart’s President of Business Development Jackie Doak said that Camana Bay’s Class A office space is driven by client demand. “We continue to see interest from large commercial tenants looking to relocate to Camana Bay, and from existing tenants wanting to expand.”
Dart President Business Development, Jackie Doak
“Companies are gravitating towards walkable neighbourhoods like Camana Bay thanks to the conveniences and benefits it offers their business and employees,” continued Doak. “Business partners and employees benefit from Camana Bay’s amenity-rich town, with other professional services providers, schools, homes, shops, restaurants, green spaces and sports and medical facilities all within easy access.”
In keeping with the ethos of Camana Bay, 60 Nexus Way will be built to LEED® standards. LEED is a third-party green building certification programme that promotes a ‘whole building’ approach to sustainability in design and construction. It includes water savings, energy efficiency, sustainable materials selection, waste reduction and indoor environmental quality.
The move to 10 storeys demonstrates not only Dart’s confidence in the economy, but also its commitment to the Cayman Islands. Projects such as 60 Nexus Way and the recently announced Kapok, a new for-lease residential apartment building, will not only support local businesses but will also provide local jobs in the Cayman Islands. These projects are estimated to employ approximately 350 construction personnel and inject an estimated US$130 million into the local economy.
60 Nexus Way will feature 9,000 square feet of street-level retail space and 20,000 square feet of office space per floor. The building is scheduled for completion in mid-2022.
More information about 60 Nexus Way can be found at 60nexusway.ky.
About Dart Real Estate Dart Real Estate creates places people want to be and are inspired to live their best lives. Guided by the vision of owner Ken Dart, Dart has invested more than US$1.5 billion in real estate development in the Cayman Islands to date, including more than US$700 million in the creation of Camana Bay, a 685-acre mixed-use, master-planned town and the Caribbean’s first and only community founded on the principles of New Urbanism. The Dart Real Estate team is responsible for the management, sales, leasing and marketing of Dart properties.
For media enquiries, please contact Anna Wootton, Digital Marketing & Public Relations Manager at Dart Real Estate on [email protected] or +1.345.326.2340.
Located in a prime area of the Seven Mile Beach corridor, just steps from world-famous Seven Mile Beach, is Regatta Office Park: a business oasis that spans 10 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. Nestled on this large property are six office buildings with modern amenities and ample parking to ensure convenience for tenants and their customers.
Regatta is located in close proximity to the island’s only 18-hole golf course, North Sound Golf Club, numerous world-class restaurants and hotels, and Owen Roberts International Airport, making it easy to receive business visitors from overseas, and to entertain clients and colleagues.
Each building is inclusive of a variety of office suites ranging from 1,200 to 10,000 square feet, while elegant lobbies are sure to make a great first impression with business clients and visitors. There is no shortage of public areas to meet with clients, including a relaxing courtyard surrounded by lush greenery. In addition, visibility from West Bay Road makes it easy for clients to find Regatta’s offices.
Other property features include:
127,000 square feet of office space
Accessibility from West Bay Road and Esterley Tibbets Highway
On-site property management and security
Covered cabanas perfect for open-air meetings
Fibre optic connectivity
Key fob access
Also located in Regatta Office Park is readyspaces – flexible, shared office spaces that are move-in ready, and fully equipped to satisfy all business needs.
With bookable, high-tech conference rooms, kitchen and printing facilities, the space is set up to allow for seamless business activity, and options for occupancy include month-to-month or fixed short terms. Click here to enquire about readyspaces.
Natasha Valerio is a senior marketing communications coordinator supporting the marketing team of the business development and real estate division at Dart. Natasha holds a BA in Communication Arts and has worked in Camana Bay since 2010. Born and raised in the Cayman Islands, Natasha loves to travel at any given opportunity! Some of Natasha’s experience with Dart includes working on the opening of The Residences at Seafire, Dart’s first for-sale resort-residential property, and making magic happen at Camana Bay by assisting the events team.
While the tourism sector has been hit hard by the continued border closures, the financial services industry has seen growth, and the domestic economy has been able to sustain itself thanks to the relatively speedy local reopening that was permitted after a three-month lockdown proved effective in eliminating community spread of the virus (source).
In spite of the challenges of 2020, many of which continue into 2021, in Dart’s flagship development of Camana Bay, tenants across a number of industries saw a need to increase their location’s footprint, exploring expansion opportunities that indicate that some tenants have been able not just to survive under challenging circumstances, but indeed to thrive. As stated by Dart’s President Asset Management Justin Howe, the success of Dart’s 200+ commercial tenants is “a shared success for everyone – tenants, customers and ourselves as landlords.”
With Camana Bay at 97% occupancy, the new commercial building 60 Nexus Way and the ground-floor retail space in the new for-lease residential building, Kapok, will allow for Dart to continue to facilitate future expansions from current and future tenants.
Food and beverage
The food and beverage industry has been undoubtedly impacted by the continued closure of the Cayman Islands borders, relying solely on residents to keep their doors open. While Italian-Peruvian restaurant Agua, located on the waterfront in Camana Bay, has been – and continues to be – affected by the pandemic, owners Cristiano Vincentini and Walter Fajette are taking this moment to adapt their business model. They recently made plans to take on additional space in Camana Bay, located next door to their existing restaurant, which they will transform into a speakeasy-style cocktail bar with an outdoor lounge.
“We see the new bar being a great attraction for locals and for people working in Camana Bay,” Fajette explained, “and, of course, we believe the bar could also be a great addition for Agua.”
From left: Agua co-owners Cristiano Vincentini and Walter Fajette, award-winning bartender Cory Scruggs and executive chef R. J. Dye
Agua originally opened on Grand Cayman in November 2009, relocating to Camana Bay in June 2018. The restaurant has grown from strength to strength, which Fajette attributes to a “combination of different reasons, including knowledge, skills, luck and lots of courage.” Fajette believes taking calculated risks is part of being an entrepreneur.
“We have been very happy since relocating to Camana Bay and think there is a demand for a classic cocktail bar,” Fajette added. “For our industry the past year has been a disaster, even though in our personal lives we are in a fantastic situation compared to the rest of the world. It is important to see the positive.”
Fajette estimates that the bar will be ready to open by May.
TRIO Architecture, an architecture, engineering and interior design firm that has been in operation in the Cayman Islands and South Florida for 15 years, relocated within Camana Bay to a larger office space as a result of recently expanding its services to include interior design and decor. Thanks to this addition to their roster of services as well as the firm’s commitment to excellent client service and its team’s experience and design skills, TRIO Architecture’s Founder and Senior Architect Mike Stroh said that they have experienced sufficient growth to warrant a move that more than tripled their office space. “This expansion allows us to provide a much better experience for our clients, increase the number of design professionals within our team, as well as improve efficiency throughout our design process.”
TRIO Architecture’s Founder and Senior Architect Mike Stroh in their new office space.
Stroh explained that while 2020’s tumultuous events did “have a negative impact [on our business] in the beginning, when people were panicking,” the tide soon turned “once people realised the important role a well-designed home plays in everyone’s lives, especially during a pandemic when everyone’s home was transformed into their offices, restaurants, gyms…” Now the firm is busier than ever, with its team of nine experts assisting their wide roster of clients with their design and engineering needs.
Cayman MAC Store, the only dedicated Apple store in the Cayman Islands, moved out of its space on the Paseo in October 2020, opening its new, larger shop just a few steps away in One Nexus Way a month later. The move allowed the company to consolidate its Alphasoft shop with Cayman MAC Store, allowing for one central, multipurpose location. “We have been wanting to do this for a few years, as it improves logistics and staff complement,” explained Managing Director and Owner Carlyle McLaughlin.
The new Cayman MAC Store in One Nexus Way.
The impact of the events of the past year have made their mark on Cayman MAC Store and the technology retail industry as a whole, McLaughlin noted. “World events are impacting the availability of products and customers’ ability to purchase,” he explained, “however, we saw a surge in demand of technology products during lockdown as customers quickly adapted to working from home and relied on technology more than ever to stay in touch with loved ones.”
Beyond this, however, McLaughlin attributes the shop’s resilient and long-standing success – it has been open for 12 years – to “strong customer service and assistance on warranty claims of all products sold.”
EY was one of the first commercial tenants in Camana Bay, opening its offices as anchor tenant of 62 Forum Lane in 2007. Now they have secured additional space in One Nexus Way to allow for the expansion they are experiencing as a result of increased demand for its services.
“As the jurisdiction of the Cayman Islands continues to thrive, so does our business,” said EY Regional Managing Partner Dan Scott. “Demand for our services has been growing across our offerings – consulting, tax, strategy, transactions and assurance. There is more demand for our expertise, especially in the digital arena as businesses and governments look to us to help them navigate this transformative age. As the digital innovation aspect is very important to us and our clients, our office space needs to reflect that as well.”
EY Regional Managing Partner Dan Scott
It is for this reason that the team at EY were happy to procure space in One Nexus Way, Camana Bay’s newest building, for a second location. One Nexus Way features sustainable and innovative design, which is in alignment with EY’s global sustainability goal. “The building’s design aligns with EY’s purpose of building a better working world, which includes the role of innovation as well as sustainability efforts,” Scott said. “Recently, the global EY firm announced a new goal to be carbon negative in 2021 and net zero in 2025; the energy-efficient design and reduction of non-renewable energy consumption of our Camana Bay office buildings supports that goal.”
About the author
Anna Wootton is the digital marketing and PR manager for Dart’s business development and real estate companies and assets, including Dart Real Estate, Provenance Properties, Cayman Alternative Investment Summit (CAIS), Camana Bay and The Residences at Seafire. Born in the Cayman Islands, with British heritage and a Canadian passport, Anna is multinational with a Caymankind heart. Anna has a background in journalism and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from University of British Columbia.
In recent years, the Cayman Islands has gained a name for itself as a global hub for innovation and technology businesses, from start-ups and mid-sized enterprises, to major international corporations that run their operations from the Islands.
The range of technology businesses in the Cayman Islands’ innovation sector is diverse and includes e-commerce, blockchain, fintech, biotech, digital marketing, software development, programming, data services, aviation innovation, hosting, telecommunications, electronic publishing companies and more.
Why Cayman for innovation business?
Cayman’s emergence as a hub for technology and innovation business has partially been driven by a less location-centric global economy, “work from anywhere” trends, and the onset of COVID-19, which has caused most businesses globally to rethink their operations and to operate within more virtual and flexible parameters.
Matt Vaughan is the founder of Fetch Tech SEZC, a company based in the Cayman Islands that provides strategic and commercial support to venture-backed growth technology companies, and he sits on the steering committee for Digital Cayman. Expanding on why Cayman is so attractive to technology companies, he said: “Cayman has a unique offering for innovation businesses and their leadership teams. Very few countries, states or cities can compete with the global launchpad that Cayman has to offer.
“Not only is Cayman a safe and sophisticated jurisdiction with an unparalleled lifestyle, infrastructure and business-friendly regime when it comes to taxation, but we also have the advantage of close proximity to the US markets. For those that want the unique lifestyle that Cayman delivers but easy access to the US market – in terms of time zone, proximity and ease of travel – Cayman is the perfect location.”
Matt Vaughan, founder, Fetch Tech SEZC
Vaughan goes on to talk about a trend of “dispersal” in the tech sector globally and explains that the idea of innovation business only being situated in a small number of geographic hubs, such as Silicon Valley, is outdated. “Many innovative businesses, even before the emergence of COVID, were realising that they didn’t need to sit solely in a particular place to work effectively.” He explains: “Even within the USA, there has been a noticeable trend in recent years of tech businesses spreading out from Silicon Valley to set up hubs in places like Austin, Texas, or along the East Coast, such as Boston, New York and Miami. This pandemic has really accelerated this trend, with the Cayman Islands increasingly seen as a fantastic option to operate and for global technology businesses to establish presence.”
It isn’t just about dispersal or diversification, however. Cayman’s rise has also come about as a result of the strong and business-friendly foundations that Cayman has offered for many years, particularly to those in the financial services sector.
Richard Munden, a partner with Carey Olsen law firm in the Cayman Islands, observes: “Cayman’s unique tax position is undoubtedly a draw in that there are no corporate, income, capital gains, withholding or similar taxes with which a tech company need be concerned. Other advantages include a flexible corporate law framework and the ability to set up a form of legal entity to conduct the business that has governance and other characteristics similar to the types of entities with which investors and principals will be familiar in other jurisdictions. The fact that Cayman also boasts a long-established reputation as an investment funds hub, and as such is already a known commodity to many investors, may also facilitate the funding of entities based here. There is also a large and sophisticated base of legal, accountancy, corporate and other service providers available to assist new and growing companies.”
Richard Munden, partner, Carey Olsen
Charlie Kirkconnell is the CEO of Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) which, since it launched in Cayman in 2011, has attracted over 250 businesses of all sizes from more than 20 countries around the world to set up a genuine physical presence in the Cayman Islands. Approximately 70% of those businesses operate from within the Cayman Tech City Zone.
CEC is focused on attracting business to Cayman in three special economic zones (SEZs) and offers bundled business concessions which include: fast-tracked business set-up, renewable work / residency visas issued within five working days and turnkey serviced office solutions. When it comes to technology and innovation business, Kirkconnell explains what is helping put Cayman on the map: “The attributes that have made the Cayman Islands enticing to the financial services sector have also attracted some of the world’s top technology entrepreneurs and leading blockchain and fintech businesses to set up a physical presence in Cayman Tech City. Cayman’s robust regulatory environment, transparent and predictable legal system, abundance of on-island talent and cosmopolitan island setting have made Cayman the perfect place to set up your business.
Charlie Kirkconnell, chief executive officer, Cayman Enterprise City
“Our pro-business jurisdiction welcomes individuals from all over the world —Cayman’s forward-thinking government has developed excellent special economic zone concessions and strong intellectual property rights protections to encourage innovative technology businesses to establish a presence in the Cayman Islands.”
Jennifer McCarthy is in operations and business development with TechCayman, which was formed to develop a thriving tech industry and culture in the Cayman Islands.
McCarthy explains: “TechCayman is a business enabler. We help global technology players who wish to relocate or expand to Cayman. TechCayman operates as a portal through which companies operate, and by working with TechCayman they enjoy access to a range of advantages specific to this network. Our aim is to support the relocation of a small number of significant technology companies with a large footprint to Cayman each year.
“We see the development of Cayman’s stringent IP laws as being a key factor for attracting established technology players – who see that they can create, innovate and bank their IP here with absolute certainty. This has really taken Cayman to the next level. In addition, Cayman’s anti-patent trolling laws have been key and this protection is not available in many other jurisdictions. Of course, the lifestyle is also a big pull – for many Gen Zs and millennials it often comes down to the experience and lifestyle Cayman can offer.”
The TechCayman client services team works with international technology companies who wish to relocate to the Cayman Islands and avail themselves of the advantages specific to TechCayman’s ‘Sponsored Enterprises’ designation. The TechCayman team works closely with these Sponsored Enterprises to ensure each step of the relocation process is seamless, making sure that the companies and their employees have friendly, familiar faces waiting for them when they arrive in the Cayman Islands.
Cayman’s digital community
Cayman’s success in attracting technology business and entrepreneurs has also led to the development of a community of expertise, knowledge and innovation. The establishment of industry sector groups such as Digital Cayman and the Cayman Islands Blockchain Association are making the jurisdiction even more robust and are helping to drive Cayman’s tech sector forward.
The contributions of Cayman’s tech community are opening up opportunities for the youth of Cayman and helping deliver the workforce of the future. McCarthy says: “In the fall of 2019 we started 345Robotics, utilising the VexIQ curriculum format, and sought out underserved children from the public school system. In 2020 we also partnered with Cayman’s Acts of Random Kindness (ARK) initiative and invited children from their after-school mentorship programme to get involved. The results of this have been amazing – and to see so many children who face multiple challenges in their young lives have their ‘aha’ moments after building and programming a robot, or writing their first code, has been immeasurably rewarding for the team of volunteer engineers who lead the programme.
“We are also proud sponsors of Code (Cayman), a local non-profit dedicated to supporting the growth of the local tech industry by making technology programmes available, free of charge, to everyone. We believe that technology and innovation will become one of the main pillars of the Cayman Islands’ strong economy over the coming years, alongside financial services and tourism, and we see the technology sector providing valuable and sustainable opportunities for our home-grown Caymanian talent.”
Kirkconnell adds that: “Innovators, entrepreneurs and global business leaders want to be a part of a vibrant, cutting-edge ecosystem and the local tech community that we have helped build has essentially become an attraction in and of itself.”
Moving forward Kirkconnell expects digital and technology development businesses will continue to account for 70% of CECs growth and he sees signs that medical technology (MedTech) and regulatory technology (RegTech) businesses could join blockchain development as significant drivers of growth in those categories.
Virtual asset hub
When talking about technology and innovation in 2021, it is necessary to touch on the ever-expanding virtual asset sector. Cayman has also been working earnestly over the past year on its new Virtual Assets Service Providers Law (the VASP Law) to ensure that Cayman is well-positioned to both attract and retain fintech business to the Islands.
Kirkconnell comments that: “Businesses interested in setting up in Cayman value ‘right-sized’ yet robust legislative and regulatory regimes. We therefore think that the further emergence of expertise in the virtual asset space in Cayman will make the jurisdiction even more attractive.”
Munden adds: “The implementation of regulation in Cayman signals that Cayman welcomes virtual asset business and is committed to developing a framework to assess and govern the sector for the foreseeable future. The framework itself, while new, has many similarities to the framework for regulating other types of financial business and as such we would expect the government to have the requisite knowhow to introduce the new legislation in a relatively seamless manner. The VASP Law includes the concept of a ‘sandbox’ license which is intended to permit the development of innovative virtual asset services in the jurisdiction. We think this will prove attractive.”
Activity in Cayman in the virtual asset space is being born out in the market, according to Munden: “The most common virtual asset service business we are seeing establishing in Cayman is related to the creation of exchanges and or provision of custodial services for virtual assets. We have also continued to receive inquiries from clients looking to set up initial coin or token offerings which may now fall under the new VASP regime.”
More than a business hub
Cayman’s advantages also extend to the individual entrepreneurs behind these technology businesses, and Cayman’s many attractions have not gone unnoticed. Vaughan states that: “With the momentum we are now seeing for home working, distributed workforces and work-from-anywhere models there are a wider range of businesses and entrepreneurs moving to Cayman – which can also bring about tax advantages for those individuals, such as in the event of an eventual business exit.”
“The lifestyle and sophistication that Cayman offers is not something that can be found in other offshore centres and appeals to many entrepreneurs. Whether it is the availability of high-quality healthcare, world-class schools and educational facilities or high-end restaurants, spas, gyms, boating, golf, fishing and waterfront properties on a Caribbean island, Cayman ticks a lot of boxes.”
McCarthy also cites Cayman’s impressive response to the global pandemic as a real pull over the last few months. “People are coming to us and saying, we want to be there – it’s the safest place on earth. Our clients really appreciate the stringency of Cayman’s approach to COVID-19 and are happy to come in and quarantine here with the knowledge that after their quarantine period they will be free to live normally. We have had no community spread of COVID in Cayman for many months and live completely mask-free and with virtually no restrictions other than carefully monitored quarantine protocols for returning travellers.”
Sue Nickason, vice president of real estate marketing and sales at Dart comments: “Cayman is a very compelling place to purchase property; there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of property, no property taxes, no alien landholding licenses and we have access to a range of desirable properties, from turnkey beachfront condos on beautiful Seven Mile Beach to luxurious private homes and estates. In addition, people who invest a minimum US$1.2 million in developed property can qualify for a residency certificate in this British Overseas Territory. Following COVID, permanent residency status is becoming increasingly important to globally mobile individuals.”
“Our team at Provenance Properties can assist with everything you need to make a move to Cayman, including relocation advice on topics such as healthcare, education, pets, fitness and more, proprietary market data and introductions to local service providers and professionals who can assist with your move.”
Sue Nickason, vice president of real estate sales and marketing, Dart
If you are looking for commercial space for a business or new venture in Cayman, Dart Real Estate’s commercial leasing team manages over 800,000 square feet of Class-A and Class-B office, retail and commercial space in strategic locations across the Cayman Islands. Dart’s flagship development at Camana Bay is located right at the heart of everything and is one of Cayman’s most prestigious business locations. Dart Real Estate has also recently launched readyspaces at Regatta Office Park on Grand Cayman; flexible, turnkey office space that’s move-in ready from US$1,500 per month. Dart’s newest project, 60 Nexus Way, is now pre-leasing at Camana Bay and will welcome new tenants in 2022.
Are you interested in the Cayman Islands, but not sure where to start?
Emma Parker has worked with Dart since 2019 and has been writing professionally since 1999. Emma graduated from the University of Manchester with a BA (Hons) in 1997, has a post-graduate Diploma in Communications, Advertising and Marketing and a STEP Certificate in International Trust Management. She has worked in PR, marketing and business development roles, primarily in the legal and financial services sector, since 2001. Emma is the founder of Sidekick, a financial services marketing and business development consultancy. She was raised in the UK and has lived and worked in the Caribbean in the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands for over 13 years. Emma has a passion for exotic travel, her family and Newcastle United Football Club.
In a new body of research, the Cayman Islands is identified as a leading jurisdiction for establishing an international family office. The report details location attributes that are pivotal factors to family offices such as reputation, taxation, lifestyle, climate, accessibility, privacy and security.
The report was commissioned by Dart Real Estate, a division of Cayman Islands based Dart, a global organisation with investments across a range of industries including real estate, hospitality and retail. “The Cayman Islands: A jurisdiction of choice for family offices” explores family office sector characteristics and assesses the geographic and demographic markets that the Cayman Islands is best suited to serve.
Dart continues to meet growing demand for centrally located places to live and work with its latest project and Camana Bay’s newest residential offering — a mixed-use apartment building rising 10 storeys and featuring 89 for-lease units in a prime Town Centre location.
Named after the majestic, tropical ceiba tree, Kapok will span over 140,000 square feet to meet an increased demand in Class A retail space and residential rentals in the heart of the Town Centre.
With construction currently underway adjacent to Foster’s supermarket on Solaris Avenue, the building is scheduled for completion in late 2022.
High design Like all of Dart’s development projects, Kapok is a thoughtfully designed, tightly edited structure — top to bottom, inside and out. The building’s exterior is carefully orchestrated with a series of large windows, balconies and terraces, and an airy lobby.
“Kapok may be dramatic in scale,” says Dart President Real Estate Asset Management Justin Howe. “But it’s also unpretentious and effortless. It’s a vertical village that will feel welcoming to its residents and attractive to Camana Bay visitors out shopping or strolling by.”
Dart President Real Estate Asset Management Justin Howe
Dart’s team of design professionals collaborated to deliver on the building’s modern design, which includes use of metal, stone and concrete, balanced with a subtle use of colour in both its exterior and interior, giving it a light and carefree atmosphere. Details such as wood panels, warm lighting and tropical accents will ground the soaring structure. A second-floor terrace will feature a swimming pool and outdoor kitchen with grills, and the rooftop will boast an observation deck with panoramic views.
The design team worked hard to ensure that Kapok will be a bustling retail addition to the Town Centre, while at the same time offering places to call home on the upper floors. Residences will range from studio units to three-bedroom dwellings, each appointed with a private balcony or terrace. Tenants will also have access to a leisure lounge and dedicated parking.
Like all Camana Bay buildings, Kapok will use sustainably sourced materials in its construction and meet or exceed the highest standards of green, eco-friendly design.
High demand As the rest of the world grapples with the many challenges caused by COVID-19, the Cayman Islands has not only managed to contain the community spread of the virus, but also continues to thrive as a top global financial centre. Additionally, despite the strain on the local tourism sector caused by travel restrictions, the real estate market remains strong.
“We are very fortunate in Cayman,” says Dart Senior Manager of Leasing Jennifer Ebanks. “Our government’s excellent response to the pandemic has resulted in continued confidence in Cayman’s real estate offerings.”
Dart Senior Manager of Leasing, Jennifer Ebanks
Ebanks says the market’s resiliency is exemplified in Camana Bay’s 2020 occupancy rates, which increased to 98% in the past year as a result of an increasing need for commercial, retail and residential real estate options.
That need also advanced the construction of another structure to the south of the development, Camana Bay’s newest commercial office building, 60 Nexus Way, she said.
“We’re delighted to offer new retail and residential space at Kapok,” says Ebanks. “It will meet the growing demand we are experiencing while being a perfect addition to our property portfolio. And, of course, the building itself will be stunning.”
Location, location, location Kapok’s location will connect the northern edge of Camana Bay with the heart of its retail row along Market Street, creating a greater sense of place while elevating both the shopping experience and the Town Centre’s walkability.
“We already have existing retail tenants expressing interest in expanding and relocating to Kapok,” says Ebanks. “They understand that it will be a sweet spot for foot traffic with its captive audience of building residents, Foster’s shoppers and people walking or driving by.”
Ebanks says that an opportunity also exists for retail space to be accessed through the building’s lobby, making it an ideal location to cater to residents’ needs such as fitness, wellness and concierge services.
Kapok’s landscape design will feature Camana Bay’s typical use of indigenous flora and tropical shrubs. Naturally, plans will include the towering kapok tree — two of which will be carefully transplanted — punctuating the building perfectly with Mother Nature’s calming influence.
In addition to accepting early interest in the retail space, inquiries are being received for residential rental opportunities, Ebanks said. Although residential pre-leasing will not commence until 2022, interested tenants can contact Provenance Properties — the official Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate — to be added to a waiting list.
“Needless to say, we’re thrilled to offer Kapok,” says Ebanks. “It will add a fresh layer of vibrancy to Camana Bay.”
The Dart leasing team is currently accepting applications for retail leasing only. For more information, email [email protected] or call +1.345.640.3600.
This article will also appear in February’s print issue of Camana Bay Times.
About the author
Andrea Lumsden has worked with Dart since 2013 and has been writing professionally since 2003. Graduating from university with a BA in Communication, Andrea has worked with clients across a range of industries, including financial services, hospitality and real estate. Raised in the Cayman Islands, she’s a bookworm at heart who enjoys cooking and travelling with her husband and three children.
Photo: A rendering of the northwest entrance to Kapok in Camana Bay, estimated for completion in August 2022.
Kapok, Camana Bay’s newest residential building, is scheduled for completion in August 2022.
Named for a majestic tropical tree, this new 10-storey for-lease apartment building is located at 108 Bismarckia Way, across from Foster’s supermarket. In addition to residential premises, Kapok features more than 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, now available for pre-lease.
The Dart commercial leasing team is actively accepting proposals for the retail spaces. New tenants will be carefully considered based on which key amenities are most additive to Kapok’s residents and those businesses which add to the “bustling village feel of the Town Centre,” said Jennifer Ebanks, senior manager of leasing for Dart.
“We have seen continued demand for quality commercial and residential spaces,” she added, “which we are confident Kapok will help meet. In Camana Bay, 97% of our commercial spaces are filled, so we are excited to have this retail inventory coming online to allow us to welcome new tenants to Camana Bay’s vibrant Town Centre.”
In spite of global volatility as a result of the pandemic, the commercial real estate market on Grand Cayman has shown strong resiliency, Ebanks added. “Our next commercial building, 60 Nexus Way, is under construction in the southern part of the Town Centre, and we are receiving multiple enquiries for office space there as well.”
Kapok features thoughtful, modern design, with residential amenities celebrating the best of outdoor living, including an outdoor swimming pool, outdoor kitchen and observation deck featuring panoramic views. Dedicated parking and a shared resident leisure lounge are also planned. The building design incorporates a combination of textures through the use of metal, stone and concrete as well as warm lighting and wood panels.
Kapok will offer 89 for-lease apartments ranging from studios to three-bedroom floor plans. Residential leasing will commence in 2022, although interested parties are welcome to contact Provenance Properties, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Estate in the Cayman Islands, to register their interest by emailing [email protected].
To enquire about leasing retail space on the ground floor of Kapok, contact [email protected] or +1.345.640.3600.
About Camana Bay
A destination within a destination, Camana Bay is a vibrant town located in the heart of Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory.
Situated on 685 acres between Seven Mile Beach and the North Sound, this mixed-use master-planned community is one of the first examples of New Urbanism in the Caribbean.
Developed by Dart Real Estate, Camana Bay offers more than 650,000 square feet of commercial office and retail space as well as 63 luxury apartments available for long-term lease, and condos, townhomes and duplexes at OLEA, Camana Bay’s first for-sale residential project. The town also offers public spaces for all to enjoy, world-class shopping and dining, as well as family-friendly entertainment, events and attractions.
Dart Real Estate is a development company based on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory.
The company’s flagship development is the 685-acre mixed-use, master-planned town of Camana Bay, the Caribbean’s first and only community founded on the principles of New Urbanism.
Dart Real Estate’s portfolio continues to grow with the addition of world-class Seven Mile Beach developments, including the LEED® Silver-certified Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, The Residences at Seafire, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, an upcoming five-star resort and residences, and Paradise Villas on Little Cayman. Dart Real Estate also manages Regatta Office Park, Flagship Building, Island Plaza and the Cayman Islands Yacht Club. It developed the residential neighbourhoods of North Creek and Salt Creek. In addition, the 26-acre Dart Nursery propagates and supplies native plants and trees for all of its developments and properties.
Dart Real Estate strives to enhance the quality of life and to create opportunities for all in the Cayman Islands through purposeful placemaking, meaningful connections and lasting experiences that transcend bricks and mortar.
Photo: Shan Warnock-Smith of ICT Chambers Cayman, left, added a little humour to the panel discussion about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Cayman’s trusts industry. Also pictured are, from left, Roger Priaulx, CEO of Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd. and Dart Vice President Business Development Chris Duggan. Photo: Rhian Campbell
By Alan Markoff
The annual STEP Cayman conference presented by the local chapter of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners usually takes place in January and attracts top trust industry professionals from all over the world. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restricted travel and prevented the conference from happening this year. That didn’t stop STEP Cayman from forging ahead with a series of in-person and online events that could benefit both its local members and, through Zoom video communications, its international audience.
“We couldn’t host the conference in 2021, but we refuse to fade away,” said STEP Cayman Chair Maxine Bodden.
Branded “Cayman Wealth Structuring Week 2021,” the events began with a webinar on 13 January and then ended with another webinar on 21 January. In between, another webinar and two local events occurred at which members of STEP could mingle and learn from their industry colleagues.
One of those local events on 15 January at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa served four purposes: firstly, as a launch of the 2021 edition of STEP Cayman’s magazine, “Trust Cayman”; secondly, to hear from Minster of Financial Services Tara Rivers about developments in the trusts industry and wider financial services industry; thirdly, to host a panel discussion about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local trusts industry; and finally, to offer a chance for STEP Cayman members to enjoy each other’s company during a cocktail reception under the stars.
The 2021 issue of “Trust Cayman.”
Industry challenges In her address, Minister Rivers spoke about the legislative amendments made in 2020 to bolster the Cayman Islands’ financial services regulatory environment, many made to comply with international standards.
Some of the legislation, like The Trusts (Amendment) Act, 2020 and The Banks and Trust Companies (Amendment) Act, 2020, were specifically related to the trusts industry.
Other legislative actions in 2020 continued efforts over the past few years to increase tax transparency, enhance cooperation with the European Union and implement evolving international standards and to increase oversight on all types of investment funds, Rivers said. However, she added that even though the Cayman Islands was successfully removed from the EU’s non-cooperative list in October, challenges will continue.
Rivers said that throughout the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, the government “took bold steps and decisive action to protect the health and safety of our citizens and residents alike, along with protecting the health of our entire financial services industry, including the estate and trust planning sector.”
She said the government helped sustain the financial services industry activity last year through deferring fee payments, extending deadlines and encouraging the use of technological advances to complete transactions.
“As a result, the Cayman Islands is one of the few jurisdictions to have weathered the upheaval caused by the pandemic relatively well, striking a balance between the safety of our people and the continuation of our domestic economy.”
Panel discussion Moderated by Shan Warnock-Smith of ICT Chambers Cayman, the panel discussion looked at the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Cayman’s trusts industry.
In speaking about how well the Cayman Islands trust industry coped with the COVID-19 lockdown, Ogier Partner Jennifer Fox said she was impressed at how well Cayman’s courts did in holding hearings, adapting technology to host virtual hearings within a week of lockdown.
“Other places struggled, but in Cayman, it was relatively seamless,” she said. “It really demonstrated the ‘can-do’ attitude our jurisdiction has.”
Warnock-Smith agreed that the court and litigators rose to the challenge, and that the ability to get things done through the courts by virtual means during that time was greatly appreciated by people outside of Cayman.
“Some things were dealt with more swiftly than they might have been otherwise,” she said, noting that in some cases, given the circumstances, judges were willing to make orders based on verbal submissions.
Bedell Cristin Partner Andrew Miller said the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t negatively affected the volume of trust business he’s seeing.
“At first, we sputtered a bit, but now we’re just as busy or busier than we were before,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the real estate sector, Dart’s Chris Duggan said the company’s business development team held 36 webinars to promote the Cayman Islands, which helped lead to some people buying property here without having seen it in person.
“Real estate sales in 2020 were actually more than they were in 2019,” he said.
Although all of the panel members agreed that increasing administration requirements to comply with various international measures being implemented in Cayman were a challenge to the trust industry, they all were optimistic about the future, despite the instability of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other geopolitical problems throughout the world.
“I think instability is our friend,” said Miller. “Cayman is very clearly an oasis of stability right now and I think that’s an opportunity for us.”
This article will also appear in February’s print issue of Camana Bay Times.
About the author
Alan Markoff has worked with Dart as the editor for Camana Bay Times for four years and has been writing professionally since 1997. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Alan graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a degree in English, and first moved to the Cayman Islands in 1982. He has 17 years of experience in the real estate industry and previously worked as a journalist for the Cayman Compass before joining Dart to relaunch the Camana Bay Times monthly newspaper. Alan is passionate about food and wine and he loves to write about both those subjects. He is also the leader of Grand Cayman’s Slow Food Chapter.
Dart recently hosted an event for the members of the Cayman Islands’ chapter of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) to present the findings of a new research report on the family office sector in the Cayman Islands.
This was the first face-to-face conference to take place since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic on Grand Cayman. Sue Nickason, Dart Vice President Real Estate Marketing and Sales, presented the findings, which outlined the key factors of importance to those who were looking either to locate a new family office or expand an existing one.