Camana Bay is a must-see place. Fifteen years ago, Dart Realty purchased the West Indies Club on Seven Mile Beach and 238 acres of land on the opposite side of West Bay Road. The following year, after a design competition, architects and landscaped designers were appointed. Their task? To imagine a town which would be open to all and provide a walkable mix of commercial, retail, resort, entertainment and residential opportunities. Despite the immense scale of the plan and some daunting obstacles in its path, their vision is now a reality. Enhancing recreation and lifestyle options for both residents and visitors to Cayman, it’s worth visiting for many reasons: for the every-increasing range of attractions, for the spectacular landscaping, for the shops and restaurants. And especially, for the scope of its ambition.
When the developers decided, as a very first step, to establish a nursery where native and indigenous flora could be propagated and nurtured, they nailed their colours to the mast. Quality of life was going to be a priority. Design would be key. No corners would be cut. No compromises made.
It took ten years before the first phase of the development broke ground. The following year, in 2006, a $20 million campus of an international school opened and the development’s architects and landscape designers won two of world architecture’s most prestigious awards. Since then, Camana Bay has expanded to a 500 acre site and the first phase of the Town Centre has opened with a six-screen cinema and shops, restaurants and offices. Last year, the first residents moved in, as tenants of the sophisticated loft apartments at The Terraces.
The most recent addition to Camana Bay is an Observation Tower, a 75-foot tall structure offering visitors an incomparable view of the island from Seven Mile Beach all the way to Rum Point. In tune with Camana Bay’s design aesthetic, the tower is an attractive structure with a double helix staircase and floor-to-ceiling tile mosaic. As visitors climb the staircase, the mosaic alongside evokes a sense of rising from the deep sea dive towards the surface of the sea. The Tower is open from sunrise to 10pm every day and admission is free.
Two key aspects dominated Camana Bay’s masterplan. One was its flexibility, ensuring that it would evolve in harmony with the changing requirements of Cayman. The second was its emphasis on offering a balanced mix of amenities to encourage community life in Cayman. A particular success story at Camana Bay, this strategy includes offering physical amenities such as Camama Way, a beautifully landscaped boulevard median showcasing planting that marks these islands’ five distinct ecosystems, dedicated pedestrian and cycle paths, interactive fountains at two locations, a pedestrian-only main street (The Paseo) and a pedestrian-friendly harbour front at The Crescent; it also includes a programme of special events which are helping to position Camana Bay at the heart of life on the island.