Sophisticated and safe with less population density

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By Alan Markoff

As countries all over the globe grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a trend that started at the beginning of the pandemic that shows signs of continuing: the migration from big cities to communities with less dense population.

In mid-May, the New York Times reported that between 1 March and 1 May, some 420,000 New York City residents left the city, and several of Manhattan’s more affluent neighbourhoods saw population decreases of 40% (source).

Because the higher population densities of cities makes it easier for communicable diseases to spread, city dwellers are rethinking where they live. According to a Harris Poll survey done in late April, nearly 40% of American adults living in urban areas would consider moving out of populated areas as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (source).

Sue Nickason, vice president of real estate marketing and sales for Dart, thinks Grand Cayman can be an attractive option.

“With working from home now normalised as a result of the pandemic response, Grand Cayman’s allure has been attracting more interest from overseas city dwellers looking for the comparable safety of a lower density locale,” Nickason says.

Although many U.S. cities in the northeast have population densities of 11,000 people per square mile or more, based on the Worldometer population estimate for the Cayman Islands on 29 May 2020, the population density is only 656 people per square mile (source).

Safe
The northeast of the United States has long been a major tourism market for the Cayman Islands, so many people living in its urban areas are already aware of Grand Cayman.

The travel agency network Virtuoso reported that starting around this year’s holiday season, it is seeing signs that wealthier travellers will start to travel abroad again (source). In particular, they’re looking at safe, warm-weather destinations and Grand Cayman tops the list of the countries they are considering.

For the same reasons tourists are considering a visit, Nickason believes they will consider making it a one-way ticket.

“Many of the same factors that have made Grand Cayman an attractive destination for visitors make it equally attractive for potential residents,” she says. “The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a reputation for sound, stable governance, a strong economy and modern infrastructure.”

What’s more, there are no sales, VAT, income, payroll or corporate taxes in the Cayman Islands.

Although personal safety is a concern in a number of Caribbean countries, the Cayman Islands enjoys a low crime rate.

“While there are some gated, private communities, one of the many charms of Grand Cayman is that residents and visitors — including the affluent and famous — can move about freely, safely and with anonymity,” says Nickason.

Sophisticated
Many people who visit Grand Cayman for the first time are surprised to find how sophisticated and cosmopolitan the island is, despite its small size and a population equivalent to a large town.

“The residents here come from more than 120 different countries, so you find rich Caribbean traditions weaved through a multicultural mosaic,” Nickason says. “This is part of the reason you’ll find diverse foods, entertainment, art and festivals here, all of which play an important role in Grand Cayman’s lifestyle. Of course the other important part of that lifestyle is the year-round tropical weather, white sand beaches, calm, clear blue waters, and spectacular underwater world.”

However, Grand Cayman is not just a place where you can enjoy life; it’s also a place to do serious business, Nickason says.

“One of the reasons a tiny overseas territory like the Cayman Islands can have the majority of the world’s hedge funds domiciled on its shores is because of its modern infrastructure,” she says, noting that top accounting firms like EY, PwC and Deloitte all have large offices on Grand Cayman. “From reliable suppliers of electricity, potable water and telecommunications to top-rated professionals, excellent healthcare facilities and practitioners, outstanding schools, well-appointed supermarkets, dozens of restaurants and even designer shopping, most new residents find the transition from the mainland to Grand Cayman an easy one.”

Easy to do business
Another enticing aspect of the Cayman Islands for those still working is that it’s easy to do business in the jurisdiction. Last year, a Dutch consulting firm commissioned the Global Business Complexity Index, which ranked countries in the world based on the difficulty of conducting business in each location. The Cayman Islands came in last place, meaning it was the easiest of them all (source).

Cayman Islands immigration laws allow a variety of ways to legally work from the Cayman Islands, including an option to obtain residency through investment. Foreign nationals can obtain a 25-year permanent residency certificate by purchasing a property for a minimum of US$1.2 million, Nickason says. For those who seek to live in the Cayman Islands for life and have the option to apply for the right to work, the Certificate for Persons of Independent Means is available for those who invest at least US$2.4 million in developed real estate (source). This option also permits applicants to eventually qualify for a Cayman Islands passport and then a UK passport.

Buying real estate is also easy.

“There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of property and other than the initial stamp tax at the time of property transfer, there are no other recurring property taxes,” Nickason says.

The Cayman Islands real estate industry is self-regulated by the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association. CIREBA, as it’s more often called, is a professional network of real estate brokers and agents who are bound to a code of business standards. The organisation employs a Multiple Listing System (MLS) of properties from which all members can sell, and provides a central source of information.

Provenance Properties Cayman Islands is a member of CIREBA and the official Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate in the Cayman Islands, and focuses its efforts on properties at the higher end of the market.

“Many people dream of living and working on a tropical island with a breathtaking view of the ocean,” Nickason says. “We help dreams come true.”

About the author

Alan Markoff has worked with Dart as the editor for Camana Bay Times for three 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 16 years of experience in the real estate industry and previously worked as a journalist for Cayman Compass before joining Dart to relaunch the Camana Bay Times monthly newspaper. An avid baseball fan, Alan loves travelling but also schedules trips back home around catching a summer game or two with his home team, Cleveland Indians.

Cayman Islands and COVID-19: A story of a successful response to the impact of a global pandemic

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By Florence Allan

Cayman has managed to do what few countries around the world have done – contain the spread of COVID-19 within its borders. Now having achieved a Level 2 status (minimal suppression), here is an update on how the islands have managed to successfully face the challenges posed by the global pandemic.

Health

One of the most impressive aspects of Cayman’s COVID-19 response is the widespread testing that took place across its three islands. Extensive testing was seen as paramount in assessing the community transmission of the virus and so Cayman became one of the leading countries in the world for COVID-19 testing per capita.

This was aided largely by securing 200,000 test kits from South Korea (source). The procurement of these kits was a heartening example of the public and private sectors coming together to serve the wider community, as a local philanthropist sponsored half of the kits and Dart arranged and funded an aircraft to transport them to Grand Cayman. This consignment was distributed throughout Cayman and to the wider Caribbean community, including Barbados and Bermuda (source).

These kits, combined with the ability to confirm cases locally as opposed to sending them to Trinidad for verification, allowed Grand Cayman to quickly test over one-third of its population (source), more than half the population in Cayman Brac and the entire population of Little Cayman (source).

Not only has a wide portion of the population been tested, but the positive cases remain few and far between. So far there have been 201 positive cases, with eight cases currently considered active yet asymptomatic (source). Cayman has experienced one death – an older cruise ship tourist who was initially hospitalised following a heart attack and later passed away from coronavirus-related complications.

In addition to the COVID-19 tests, Cayman also began antibody testing in mid-June to paint a clearer picture of the virus’ prevalence on the islands. So far, the positive rate sits at 1.6% (which is lower than expected considering front-line workers have been prioritised for testing. These test results are important, as they will help inform a decision of when the Cayman Islands can reopen its borders and wider economy.

Wealth

Despite the strict shelter-in-place regulations issued by the government, Cayman has not experienced a contraction in the economy of the same scale of many other countries around the world. This is in part due to the structure of the economy and the large reliance on financial services, which contributes to approximately 80% of the country’s GDP (source).

Banking and financial services are a major part of the Caymanian economy. There are a range of retail and as well as ‘Category B’ banks which conduct business internationally with non-residents. There were 133 banks registered in 2019, with over 40 of the world’s top 50 banks holding licenses on the islands. (source).

CML Offshore Recruitment recently conducted a survey of over 40 financial executives situated in Cayman, that suggested that the offshore industry has been largely unaffected by the pandemic (source). More than one-third of respondents said their business had been minimally impacted, with CML predicting that this downturn will be offset by increased demand for insolvency practitioners. This is a promising sign of sustainability for the islands.

Despite the slump in tourism, recent ‘staycation’ bookings have provided a welcome boost for hoteliers across the islands. Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa has all available rooms fully booked for July, with holiday homes and villas also seeing steady reservations for the upcoming months (source).

Additionally, both individuals and businesses across Cayman are receiving support from a variety of institutions. Charities like R3, ARK Cayman and Cayman Food Bank have been providing meals, food vouchers and childcare to those in need (source). Banks including Butterfield, Cayman National Bank, CIBC First Caribbean and RBC have gone beyond just lowering personal lending and mortgage rates by also introducing a three-month automatic payment deferral on mortgages and loans (source). Banks are also continuing to lend during this time.

Governance

Cayman has been praised for its timely response to the virus as soon as it was detected on its shores – from almost immediately closing its borders and schools to the early activation of the National Emergency Operations Centre (source).

This may come as a surprise to some who may not think that the small islands would be able to manage such a task. However, seasonal hurricanes have provided invaluable experience to Cayman to manage other national emergencies like coronavirus. This forward thinking has encouraged sensible government spending to create a budget surplus and low public debt. Moody’s affirmed that the islands have a strong A-3 credit rating (source) which attests to its cash reserves and low risk of default. Despite this strong financial standing, the government was able to tap into the National Disaster Fund (source) – set up to cover the immediate costs of a man-made or natural disaster – to provide support to Caymanian workers, particularly in the tourism industry, which has been especially hard hit.

The islands were also able to secure support from the United Kingdom, by virtue of being a British Overseas Territory, and their assistance in organising the response to the pandemic is a signal of their ongoing support to Cayman. The UK’s Security Assistance Team (SAT) provided both coordination and support to the local police service ( (source). The British government also aided in the procurement of medical equipment and PPE (source), which proved invaluable due to the increased global demand.

Public order was maintained across the islands during curfew due to the strong police presence aided by the SAT and the special constabulary. Officers on the ground were assisted by the police helicopter and jet-ski patrols to keep a watchful eye and enforce the hard curfew across land and sea (source). This tough stance taken by the government was largely welcomed by the Cayman community, with a survey of over 3,400 people seeing the curfews as a “necessary evil” (source).

These actions have allowed Cayman to relax many of the regulations, and have so far led to a fantastic result for the islands. While the government will remain alert to ensure there is not a second wave, for now the virus is contained.

About the author

Florence Allan is a Dart Scholar and a returning intern with Dart’s business development team. She has joined various teams in Dart each summer since 2017, and before this she was a student at Cayman Prep & High School, spending her free time training for the Olympics, where she represented the Cayman Islands in sailing. While born in Scotland, Florence moved to Cayman at just six weeks old; her Scottish heritage and Caymanian upbringing offered her a truly multicultural childhood. For the past three years, Florence has been studying for her undergraduate degree in International Business Management at the University of Bristol, and she will be graduating by the end of summer 2020. Returning home for holidays is something Florence always looks forward to, as she misses her dog Archie when she is away and loves returning home to coach sailing to Cayman’s youth.

Fostering a landlord-tenant partnership during the COVID-19 crisis

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By Alan Markoff

Many know Dart as a developer of environmentally sustainable buildings like those at its multi-purpose, master-planned development Camana Bay, as well as Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa and the adjoining Residences at Seafire.

Yet, for many business owners at those and other commercial properties in the Cayman Islands, Dart is thought of in different terms: as their landlord.

Having a reliable, professional and respectful landlord is always important for businesses, but having one that is compassionate and backed by a responsive staff can be just as crucial — especially in a time of crisis.

“We are committed to helping our tenants succeed,” says Dart’s Senior Vice President Property Management, Linda Podlaski. “When COVID-19 arrived in Cayman, we moved quickly to put measures in place to help them weather this difficult situation, as we recognised that helping them overcome the challenge means shared success for all.”

The task of supporting Dart’s tenants since the COVID-19 crisis began in Cayman was not an easy undertaking. In addition to the many commercial tenants in Camana Bay, Dart’s small but dedicated property management team supports commercial tenants at Regatta Office Park, the Flagship Building and Island Plaza in George Town,   residential tenants at The Terraces at Camana Bay and The Residences at Seafire, and others.

Tenant support
Dart’s Property Portfolio Manager Marvin Cox says that during the government-mandated closure of offices, Dart’s staff worked to help tenants throughout the lockdown period.

“Our maintenance department secured exemption certificates and on-property accommodation for key technical staff,” he says. “Though office tenants were working from home, most relied on their servers and other office IT infrastructures to be able to work from home effectively.”

Dart’s essential staff and contractors — namely Hew’s Janitorial and Security Centre — on the ground were supported by a full complement of property and facility managers who were all working from home, Cox says.

“In addition to supporting technical teams and contractors, property management ensured regular communications with tenants to ensure they were aware of the various operational protocols that were being implemented on their properties and within their buildings.”

In addition, Cox says that where necessary — and with tenants’ permission — Dart staff conducted weekly inspections of commercial tenants’ premises on their behalf. In addition to doing all the normal lease administration functions, the property management team also facilitated conversations and virtual meetings with tenants in response to their almost daily questions, Cox says.

“At Regatta Office Park, the Royal Cayman Islands Police had to be fully supported as well,” Cox says.

Safety measures
Even before the Cayman Islands Government implemented measures in the third week of March to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, Dart’s property management team had been preparing its own response, Cox says.

“Property Management had been alerted of SARS-CoV-2 through our professional affiliations with the Institute of Real Estate Management Association, Building Owners and Managers Association, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Institute of Facilities Management Association, all of which have a global footprint and presence in countries that were already impacted by the virus,” he says.

As soon as the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Cayman Islands, the property management team acted.

“We promptly implemented a programme to install hand sanitisers in all building lobbies and increased cleaning and sanitisation frequencies ahead of the shut-down,” he says. “This protocol was maintained at our residences and at our commercial buildings during the lockdown in keeping with best-and-emerging industry practices and guidelines issued by Public Health Cayman.”

As the government allowed businesses to reopen on a phased plan, the property management team increased the cleaning and sanitisation protocols from twice daily prior to COVID-19 to cleaning and sanitising all common high-touch areas every two hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or until the amenity closed.

“High-touch areas include door handles and push-bars, handrails, the elevator keypad and cabin, faucets, toilets, countertops, tables and chairs,” Cox said. “This is in addition to our usual cleaning routines.”
Dart also installed appropriate signs strategically across its properties outlining protocols to observe in common areas, including a recommendation to wear masks in all indoor common areas, and limiting the number of persons in elevators.

“We also supported our retail tenants, who asked for help in complying with COVID-19 operational guidelines,” Cox says. “This included offering additional outdoor patio spaces at no cost and securing dedicated pick-up and delivery zones closest to their premise to make loading and pick-up for their customers more efficient.”

Grateful tenants

The work of Dart’s property management team helped the office tenants of Camana Bay.

Dart also assisted some tenants in a different way. The sudden closure of the port and airport, quickly followed by the mandated closure of businesses, caused hardship for some of Dart’s tenants, particularly the retail shops and those in the hospitality and tourism sectors. It also impacted some of the residential tenants financially.

“To help support retail tenants and others with sole or major reliance on Cayman’s tourism and hospitality sectors, Dart offered rent relief support to all,” Cox says. “This allowed our retail tenants to keep their staff and strategise on ways to adapt and emerge strong.”

One of the many tenants who was helped by Dart’s support of retail shops was Ian Dawson-James who, along with his wife Catherine, operates five shops in Camana Bay: Sand Angels, Little Angels, Activ Angels, Forever Summer and Riviera.

“I think I speak for all of us who received rent support when I say it took the pressure off,” says Dawson-James. “We’re a small business and we have to be concerned about cash flow. This enabled us to pay bills and our staff their full salaries and medical insurance.”

Dawson-James says the assistance not only showed the commitment of Dart as a landlord, but was also an indication of quality of the relationship between Dart and its tenants, which he views as a partnership.

“For us, it was a wonderful gesture to show their support for small businesses.”

For more on leasing retail and office spaces at any of Dart’s properties, contact us today.

About the author

Alan Markoff has worked with Dart as the editor for Camana Bay Times for three 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 16 years of experience in the real estate industry and previously worked as a journalist for Cayman Compass before joining Dart to relaunch the Camana Bay Times monthly newspaper. An avid baseball fan, Alan loves travelling but also schedules trips back home around catching a summer game or two with his home team, Cleveland Indians.

The Residences at Seafire

Investment Migration Insider: The Unique Advantages of Residency by Investment in a British Overseas Territory

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By Dart Real Estate

First sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1503 and a British Overseas Territory since 1962, the Cayman Islands is one of five tax-neutral Caribbean territories with a constitutional link to the United Kingdom.

This cosmopolitan archipelago is located 475 miles southwest of Miami, Florida and for decades has attracted financial services professionals to its shores due to its close proximity to the United States, tax neutrality, stable government and sound judiciary.  This has resulted in the development of one of the most significant and sophisticated financial services centres in the world.

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Eclipze Hair Design & Day Spa re-opens with best-practice COVID-19 protocols

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By Alan Markoff

To say Eclipze Hair Design & Day Spa has been busy since re-opening for services is an understatement. The salon and spa re-opened on Monday, 22 June after being closed for three months during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

“We did more than 200 services the first two days,” says owner Darla Dilbert. “It’s kind of like Christmas in the middle of the year.”

Eclipze started getting busy from early June, weeks before it re-opened. “As soon as the government said it was possible that we’d be able to re-open on the 22nd, the phones started ringing and they have not stopped,” Dilbert said, adding that appointment requests were also coming in through email, Facebook and Instagram. “We had to bring back two girls just to deal with all the requests.”

Clients who didn’t get their appointment requests in are finding they might have wait a few weeks to see their preferred stylist.

“We do have some openings with new team members, but the long-standing team members are booked well in advance.”

Although clients are getting a range of services, most are getting haircuts or colour, Dilbert says, noting with a laugh that many of the clients coming in have hair that’s “majorly out of shape.”

“We should have taken before and after photos, but we’ve just been too busy.”

During the lockdown

Dilbert says she kept herself and the rest of the staff busy during the period when Eclipze couldn’t provide services.

Eclipze owner Darla Dilbert

“I’ve been working almost every day,” she says. “I did six (online) certifications and all the staff had to do certifications on sanitisation and sterilisations.”

Not only is Eclipze meeting the COVID-19 safety standards set out by the Cayman Islands Government, they are meeting international standards as well.

“I had all the staff do the World Health Organisation certification,” she says. “Our industry is an extension of the medical field, so I wanted us to do everything we could to ensure the best infection control and hygiene practices for the safety of our clients and the staff.”

The staff also was engaged in delivering some of the various haircare and beauty products Eclipze sells when the government allowed for curbside pick-up and delivery of retail sales.

“We did well selling products for Mother’s Day, considering the circumstances, and once we were able to open for walk-in traffic, we were able to sell gift certificates for Father’s Day.”

Safety first

Prior to re-opening, Eclipze sent emails to its clients detailing its new safety operating procedures, which include hand sanitising for clients upon entering the salon, the mandatory wearing of a face mask for all staff and clients and everyone – with the exception of the client and his/her service provider – maintaining six feet of distance from others.

Keeping the salon clean is paramount and Dilbert says the staff frequently disinfects the physical touchpoints and common areas. All non-essential items, including waiting room magazines, have been removed from the salon, and clients are requested to ask for staff assistance to buy any retail products.

To ensure staff members have enough time to sanitise the work areas throughout the day, the staff allocates 10 minutes in between clients to do so.

Clients who feel sick are asked to cancel their appointment and those who aren’t are asked to be on time. Before getting their service, clients are required to fill out and sign a health waiver.

Because of the extra costs involved in implementing all of the safety measures, clients are asked to pay a CI$3 COVID-19 surcharge for their service.

Dilbert says clients are understanding of the new procedures, which have been implemented for the safety of everyone.

“All of our clients are happy,” Dilbert says. “It’s tough for the staff to wear a mask all day, but we’re happy, too. It’s been a good start back.”

About the author

Alan Markoff has worked with Dart as the editor for Camana Bay Times for three 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 16 years of experience in the real estate industry and previously worked as a journalist for Cayman Compass before joining Dart to relaunch the Camana Bay Times monthly newspaper. An avid baseball fan, Alan loves travelling but also schedules trips back home around catching a summer game or two with his home team, Cleveland Indians.

Caribbean Journal Invest: Why residential resorts could boom in the Caribbean

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By Joe Pike and Alexander Britell

When travel fully resumes either during or following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, experts are predicting a residential resort investment spike in Caribbean destinations that can offer both low density properties and seclusion.

Caribbean Journal Invest (CJI) spoke to some of the top tourism and real estate firm representatives in Turks and Caicos, Barbados, the Cayman Islands and Antigua to find out more about the present and future residential resort market in those destinations.

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Camana Bay businesses provide Cayman Islands residents with creativity and comfort during COVID-19

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By Alan Markoff

After three months, the COVID-19 curfew has finally ended, but residents of the Cayman Islands are still required to adhere to various protocols to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, residents are still spending more time at home looking for things to do, and they want to be comfortable while doing it.

Some people find that undertaking creative endeavours not only helps fill time, but also helps ease the stress caused by the global pandemic. And for parents, many of whom also suddenly had to become teachers, artistic activities are a good way of keeping their children productively occupied.

These three Camana Bay businesses have helped provide residents with a creative outlet over the past few months.

Cayman Music School and The Music Box
Erin Seibert, a music therapist at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital once said, “Music is one of the longest standing self-prescribed therapies in history.”

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, music – whether listening to it or performing it — can be therapy for adults and children alike.

During the shelter-at-home period, Cayman Music School offered virtual music and singing lessons, which numerous students took advantage of. However, starting 7 July, students can once again receive lessons in person. Also starting the week of 6 July are the annual summer music camps that will run through 15 August.

Camp activities in the past have included sessions such as music lessons, performing, band jamming, ear training, music appreciation and karaoke, as well as dancing, art and musical theatre. Owner Inna Kazakova says The Music School is in the process of fine-tuning its camp programming this year to conform with any required COVID-19 protocols.

“The camps will be basically as they have been in the past,” she says. “We just might have to change some of the activities.”

The camps, which are for children aged 5 through 12, typically run for an entire week, but Kazakova says children can also attend for a single day or a few days.

The Cayman Music School’s sister business, The Music Box, has also re-opened for those looking to buy an instrument or other music equipment and accessories.

For more information, call +1.345.938.3838 or email [email protected]

3 Girls & A Kiln
Art and crafts activities have experienced a huge surge in popularity around the world over the past three months. In some places, arts and craft shops were considered essential during periods when people were required to stay home because they facilitated enjoyment and kept children occupied.

Over the past three months, 3 Girls and A Kiln have seen steady sales of both adult and child various do-it-yourself art kits to make things like ceramics, string art and wood signs. Co-owner Aimee Randolph, sometimes joined by fellow co-owner Claire Rohleder, made live videos — which were then posted on Facebook — of various products available and offered craft gift ideas for holidays like Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Rohleder says that starting in July, three different children’s summer camps will be offered for children aged 8 through 14.

The first camp runs 13 through 17 July and will have a “Cayman Creatures” theme. The second runs 27 through 31 July.

“That one has a Nifty Nature and Fancy Florals theme,” says Rohleder.

The final summer camp will run 10 through 14 August with the theme “Awesome Architecture.”

“In that one, we’ll do projects based on Cayman structures, like cottages,” she says.

Although none of the popular adult craft classes are currently scheduled, Rohleder says 3 Girls & A Kiln hopes to recommence those soon after 5 July.

For more information, call +1.345.640.9990 or email [email protected]

Design Studio
With people spending more time at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many residents bought items that made their living space either more attractive, more calming or more comfortable.
Design Studio in Camana Bay had already set up an online store from last year, so its shift to online sales and home delivery was seamless.

The hottest items over the last few months was a bit of a surprise, says owner Michelle Butler.

“It was sofas,” says Butler. “People spent a lot of time at home, sitting on their sofa and hating them.”

Perhaps even more surprising was that it wasn’t just home owners buying the sofas.

“A lot of renters were buying sofas,” Butler says. “In fact, we probably sold more to renters than owners.”

The sofas sold were mostly a combination of form and function.

“I would say it was 50-50 for style and comfort,” she says. “People want to be comfortable in their home, but they also want sofas that can provide a personal touch with materials that will last.”
Other popular items these days include ones for the outdoors, Butler says.

“People are also spending more time outside at their homes, so they’re buying things to make their outdoor space more beautiful and livable. So we sold a lot of things like lanterns, fancy birdhouses and outdoor pillows.”

For more information, call +1.345.745.4977 or visit Design Studio’s online store at www.designstudiointeriors.shop.

About the author

Alan Markoff has worked with Dart as the editor for Camana Bay Times for three 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 16 years of experience in the real estate industry and previously worked as a journalist for Cayman Compass before joining Dart to relaunch the Camana Bay Times monthly newspaper. An avid baseball fan, Alan loves travelling but also schedules trips back home around catching a summer game or two with his home team, Cleveland Indians.

Media Release: Dart Real Estate joins 100 Women in Finance as its first real estate global corporate sponsor

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Cayman Islands-based Dart Real Estate has become the first real estate company to join the ranks of global corporate sponsors supporting the 100 Women in Finance (100WF) organisation.

A leading developer of luxury resorts and residential properties and Class A commercial office space, Dart Real Estate has invested over US$1.5 billion in the Cayman Islands through its developments and public-private infrastructure projects. Signature projects include Camana Bay, a 685-acre New Urbanist community, The Residences at Seafire, a luxury condominium property on Seven Mile Beach, and the adjacent AAA Five Diamond Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, which is the first hotel developed by Dart Real Estate on Grand Cayman. In 2019, the company announced its plan to make a similar level of investment in the next decade, further contributing to the economic well-being and stability of the Cayman Islands.

“As we are located in one of the leading financial services centres in the world, we very much appreciate the contribution the finance industry makes to our local and global economy. As an alternative investment, real estate occupies an important role in the financial services sector, particularly during times like this which are fraught with market volatility,” said Sue Nickason, VP of Real Estate Marketing and Sales at Dart. “More than ever, as we respond to these challenging market conditions, financial services professionals at all stages of their careers will look to organisations such as 100 Women in Finance for professional development support, networking and timely market insights. We are very proud to support this dynamic organisation internationally and look forward to being an active member on a local and international level.”

100 Women in Finance CEO Amanda Pullinger commented, “We are delighted to welcome Dart Real Estate to 100 Women in Finance’s growing roster of corporate sponsors, and look forward to close collaboration on programming and impact initiatives, both in the Cayman Islands and across our global membership.”

In its role as a corporate sponsor, Dart Real Estate will support 100WF’s mission globally, including hosting events for members in the Cayman Islands and in other global locations.  In addition, Sue Nickason will represent Dart Real Estate on the 100WF 20th anniversary committee, specifically focused on the planning for a 100WF global volunteer appreciation event as part of their 20th anniversary global celebrations in 2021.

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About Dart Real Estate

Dart Real Estate is a leading Cayman Islands development company specialising in luxury real estate and commercial office space development. Committed to the long-term sustainability of the Cayman Islands, Dart has invested approximately US$1.5 billion in the local economy. Tax neutrality, world-class infrastructure and close proximity to the United States has garnered the Cayman Islands increased attention from wealthy global families, corporations, family offices and investors considering property investment, residency by investment or relocation in the British Overseas Territory. The Dart Real Estate team assists individuals and organisations in finding residential and commercial property and shares comprehensive information about relocation to the jurisdiction. A complete introduction to the benefits of the Cayman Islands is made possible by Dart Real Estate.

About 100 Women in Finance

100 Women in Finance’s more than 15,000 members strengthen the global finance industry by empowering women to achieve their professional potential at each career stage. Its members inspire, equip and advocate for a new generation of industry leadership, in which women and men serve as investment professionals and executives, equal in achievement and impact. Through Education, Peer Engagement and Impact, the organization furthers the progress of women who have chosen finance as a career, and enables their positive influence over pre-career young women.

6 Cayman Islands plants to enjoy on your nature walks

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By Anna Wootton

Dart’s first project in the Cayman Islands wasn’t real estate development, but horticulture.

Dart Nursery was founded in 1996, a 26-acre nursery that was once the largest collection of tropical plants in the Caribbean. To this day the nursery has thousands of varieties of plants, and its creation nearly 25 years ago has allowed our properties to benefit from lush, mature landscaping from the moment they open.

In advance of Nature Photography Day on 15 June, we have rounded up six of the plants you can see across our properties and the Cayman Islands as a whole. While we are all staying home to do our part in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, this also presents an opportunity to slow down and smell the roses. Or in our case, go for daily strolls around your neighbourhood and see if you can identify any of the plants listed below. We spoke to Dart’s Horticulture Manager Shannon Schmidt and Dart’s Senior Manager Landscape Design and Horticulture Whit Connors to learn more about these beautiful plants.

  1. Lantana camara (also known as Lantana)

Photos: Anna Wootton

You can find Lantana at Camana Bay, Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa and The Residences at Seafire, and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

While this photograph shows a variety of Lantana in a striking yellow and pink flower combination, “[t]here are over 150 species of Lantana in almost every colour,” explains Shannon. “Red, orange, yellow, pink, purple, white…some species have only one colour and some have multiple.” This versatile plant doesn’t just offer a range of colours, either. “Some are shrubs, some are compact, and some are trailing,” she adds.

Lantana can survive in cold temperatures, but it thrives in warmer climes. Native to Central and South America, this plant is widespread across the globe. In some regions it is invasive but this is not yet true in the Caribbean, Shannon says.

  1. Coccoloba uvifera (also known as Seagrape)

You can find Coccoloba at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa and The Residences at Seafire (note the name of the resort’s popular Mexican restaurant – Coccoloba!), along the Harbour in Camana Bay, at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, the event site north of Seafire, The Beach Deck and at Coral Beach.

“You can find Coccoloba – or Seagrape trees – on nearly any beach or sophisticated landscape on Grand Cayman,” Shannon says. “It offers a sprawling broad canopy with oval- to circular-shaped leaves and muti-coloured exfoliating bark – it’s hard to miss!”

Native to the tropical Americas, Coccoloba can tolerate a wide range of conditions, including poor soils, and is drought tolerant once established, with a high tolerance for salt. It does prefer sun to shade, and its creamy white flowers are cross-pollinated by bees and other insects, and serve as nectar for butterflies. Its fruit ripens in spring and summer, offering nourishment for larger wildlife and humans!

  1. Bougainvillea sp. (also known as Paper Flower)

You can find bougainvillea on every Dart property, though Whit’s favourite is at boutique hotel Palm Heights on West Bay Road.

This is a highly versatile plant that comes in tree forms, as bonsai, in compact shrubs and in almost every colour you can imagine! It is also extremely low maintenance – always a plus for busy gardeners. “Once established, it doesn’t need much aside from occasional watering and some carefully planned pruning,” Shannon explains. The pruning does need to be approached with caution since the stems are covered in thorns! Bougainvillea also blooms on new growth, so if you prune it too often you will never get to enjoy the flower.

Native to South America, Bougainvillea is easy to find in the Cayman Islands thanks to its love for the sun. It is pest resistant (though iguanas do love to nibble on its leaves). Interestingly, what many think of as the flower, is actually a leaf. “The true flower is white, inconspicuous and hidden inside the bract,” Shannon tells us. “The bract – a modified leaf or scale – is the colourful portion or ‘paper’ that many think of as the flower.”

  1. Delonix regia (also known as Royal Poinciana or Flame Tree)

The majestic Royal Poinciana tree can be found at the Camana Bay roundabout, at Regatta Office Park, by the Arts & Recreation Centre in Camana Bay and also in Cayman International School’s campus, The Beach Deck, and at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa and The Residences at Seafire.

This tree really “puts on a show,” Shannon says. It has a flamboyant and fierce appearance and can reach heights of 30 to 40 feet tall with a broad umbrella-like canopy of 40 to 70 feet, making it an excellent shade tree.

“In climates similar to Cayman, this tree is deciduous during the dry, drought season over winter, but in spring pushes out soft fern-like leaves followed by its show-stopping display of three- to four-inch flowers,” Shannon adds.

Native to Madagascar, the colour intensity of the tree’s flowers range from orange to deep scarlet, but another variety on Grand Cayman offers yellow flowers. Shannon shares that in the winter, when not flowering, the tree produces bean-like fruit pods up to two feet long, which gives it a visual interest as well as a soothing sound when the seeds chatter inside the pod when the wind blows.

  1. Plumeria pudica (also known as Bridal Bouquet or White Frangipani)

These can be found by Bismarckia Way in Camana Bay (just past Anytime Fitness and Jessie’s Juice Bar), at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa and The Residences at Seafire, and in the surface parking lot behind Gelato & Co., Ryde and Starfish Village in Camana Bay.

Its beautiful white flowers are the most common variety of Bridal Bouquet or White Frangipani that one will find. However, Shannon noted, there is a hybrid variety from Thailand that is pink. “It is called ‘Sri Supakorn,’ but I have never seen it here,” she says.

The plant is native to Central and South America and performs best in warm climates where it will flower year-round if cared for properly. In colder climates, which Plumeria can tolerate to an extent, it will bloom in warmer months.

  1. Cocos nucifera (also known as Coconut Palm)

Palm trees can of course be found all over the island, but our most notable locations are the Camana Bay Island, where they are planted in such a way that there is a spot of shade to be found at any given point in the day, at all of our hospitality properties and at Regatta Office Park.

Known for being synonymous with tropical vacations and coconuts, palm trees are incredibly sturdy. “Some people do not realise how old and resilient palm trees really are,” Whit says. “Around us every day there are palm trees that are over a hundred years old and have been through many hurricanes and droughts.  Some of the curved palm trees are very intriguing as they take decades to achieve a single curve in their trunk!”

About the author

Anna Wootton is the Digital Marketing & 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. She has worked for Dart for the past six years.

Service with a mask-covered smile: Camana Bay’s service businesses endure

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By Alan Markoff

As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, several of Camana Bay’s businesses have been steadfast in their commitment to providing much-needed services to the public.

Although it’s not quite business as usual, Grand Cayman residents can still see a doctor for tests and treatments of various ailments, take care of a painful tooth, have their eyes examined and get a new pair of glasses, receive packages from overseas, have their dog groomed or get their clothes and linens laundered, thanks to the adaptability of some of our Dart Real Estate tenants.

TrinCay Medical Centre & Urgent Care
COVID-19 isn’t the only reason someone on Grand Cayman might need to see a doctor. A medical visit could even be for a joyous reason.

In addition to offering urgent care services, TrinCay is also providing appointments for obstetricians, gynecologists and internal medicine doctors. The clinic is providing laboratory testing as well.

All TrinCay employees use masks or personal protective equipment — often referred to as PPE — as preventative measures, says Human Resources Manager Gloria Deosaran. “Hand sanitiser is available for public use and sanitation is done every day to the facility,” she says.

TrinCay’s pharmacy is also open and offering delivery service. TrinCay is currently open Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call +1.345.943.4633 for an appointment.

Cayman Dental
A toothache is never a laughing matter, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can become a frightening personal health crisis.

Cayman Dental can’t shine up your pearly whites with a teeth cleaning just yet, but its dentists can provide emergency services – all while wearing PPE to keep you, and its staff, safe.
If you are not sure if your toothache qualifies as an emergency, or you have questions about a procedure, the dentists are available for virtual consultations through the teledocky.com website. Call +1.345.945.4447 for an appointment and office hours.

VisionWear Cayman
Sunglasses are one of the hottest selling items on Grand Cayman over the past two months, as more people have taken to the outdoors for exercising than ever before. But what if you need prescription sunglasses — or just new eyeglasses because you’re reading or watching television so much these days – VisionWear Cayman can help.

You need to make an appointment because only one customer is allowed in the store at a time, although a parent can accompany a child.

Face masks must be worn by all customers and a staff member will take your temperature with a non-contact digital thermometer. All optometrists and opticians will be wearing a face mask, gloves and face shields and all equipment is sanitised after each patient visit.

All eyeglass frames are sanitised before they are displayed and customers are limited to trying on a maximum of six different frames.

VisionWear is open Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call +1.345.943.5151 for an appointment.

Mail Boxes Etc.
 With the airport closed to regular passenger traffic, some people are relying on international courier services to receive important documents and goods from overseas.

Mail Boxes Etc. has been delivering packages that arrive by air or ocean cargo throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re handling packages in and out,” says owner Lucy Tibbetts. “We have pick-up and drop-off. We also offer home delivery for CI$5 for most items, no matter where someone lives on the island.”

Payments can be made online or over the phone with a credit/debit card, and through Butterfield Bank.

Mail Boxes Etc. also offers several other services, including mail pick-up by those who have postal boxes there, passport photos and printing services. For the latter, customers can email digital files, pay online and the print job can be delivered to their home or office.

Open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., customers can find detailed information and contact details at www.mbe.ky.

There probably are not many times in life when people might be jealous of their dogs, but this is one of them. Why? Because your pooch can get a professional haircut and you can’t — at least not yet. Must Love Dogs will come to your home, pick up your dog and take it back to its shop for a full grooming service, all while you remain at home.

Although grooming services are only being done at their George Town location as it is a bigger space, the Camana Bay shop is open for walk-in customers who need pet food or other pet supplies. Only two people can be in the shop at any one time and they must wear face masks.

Call +1.345.746.7222.

Fluff ‘n’ Fold
One business that is operating almost exactly as it did before the COVID-19 pandemic is Fluff ‘n’ Fold. Simply drop off your dry cleaning or laundry at the shop on Market Street, pay and come and collect your clothes and linens when they are ready.

The only change is that you will be required to wear a face mask when you enter the shop and the person assisting you will have one on too, sporting a smile you can only see in their eyes.

Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call +1.345.943.5833.

About the author

Alan Markoff has worked with Dart as the editor for Camana Bay Times for three 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 16 years of experience in the real estate industry and previously worked as a journalist for Cayman Compass before joining Dart to relaunch the Camana Bay Times monthly newspaper. An avid baseball fan, Alan loves travelling but also schedules trips back home around catching a summer game or two with his home team, Cleveland Indians.