Before the conceptualisation of Camana Bay – the crown jewel of Dart Real Estate’s assets in the Cayman Islands – Ken Dart, sole shareholder of Dart Enterprises, had the vision to establish a nursery that would supply mature landscaping to all of our developments. A lover of trees and horticulture himself, Ken Dart recognised landscaping was just as important as the architectural design of buildings. Fittingly, his first Grand Cayman development was not born on an architect’s drawing table, but in a nursery.
For 10 years, the Dart Nursery staff cultivated and cared for more than 600 species of native plants and trees in preparation for the grand opening of Camana Bay. In doing so, the nursery set the stage to become the environmental glue in four distinct ways for Camana Bay as well as for future Dart-owned real estate in Grand Cayman.
1. CREATE REAL ESTATE UNIFORMITY
When the same underlying vision is woven throughout every aspect of a building’s life, everyone is on the same page, from architectural concept to construction completion, to property management, to landscape design. The uniformity of creating a space which respects the natural environment and values the native flora in which it is found – such as the Coccoloba (sea grape tree) and Cayman’s native tree, the Silver Thatch Palm – is a design characteristic of all Dart Real Estate properties. While building designs evolve as a result of industry standards, sustainable demands and growing needs, one thing remains constant: landscaping.
2. ENHANCE DESIGN FEATURES
There’s an art to landscaping that goes beyond simply planting trees and shrubs. The right landscaping design can soften the lines of a modern property, play on the whimsy of a charming storefront, add drama to an otherwise neutral façade and revive a public space that’s become worn and unkempt. Landscaping connects us to nature and can transform a house to a home, a typical commercial building to a delightful work space and a lonely concrete bench to the perfect reading spot.
3. EXTEND LIVING SPACE
Over the years, Dart Real Estate has garnered the reputation for designs in which the lines between indoor and outdoor living are blurred through landscape. Tenants of Dart’s residential properties at The Terraces at Camana Bay, owners of The Residences at Seafire as well as owners at Dart-developed Salt Creek are encouraged to maximise the use of the property’s adjoining gardens, terraces and courtyards. These outdoor spaces are used to entertain guests, dine al fresco or simply enjoy a cup of coffee.
4. BOOST PROPERTY VALUE
Property that is visually appealing is generally in higher demand, irrespective of whether residential, retail or commercial space. While asset upkeep plays a large part in maintaining price point, landscaping is equally important to enhancing overall property value. Not only does it suggest the property is well-cared for, it instills a sense of pride for those who work or live on the premises and, in turn, decreases the likelihood of tenant/owner turnover.
Now in its second decade of life, the 26-acre Dart Nursery remains a testament to Dart Real Estate’s commitment to development excellence and sustainable practices. The Nursery team has planted more than 2,000 trees, vines and shrubs; 38,000 herbaceous ground covers; and 65,000 square feet of lawn grass.