Ironwood News

Ironwood Development Ready To Go

13-Jan-2014

A $360 million commercial, tourism and residential community covering 600 acres is slated to begin construction in East End in the spring of this year.

The Ironwood community will feature a Town Centre with boutique shops, conveniences including a grocery store and entertainment; a sports training complex; an Arnold Palmer Signature championship 18-hole golf course and a vacation resort.  The golf course will be Arnold Palmer’s first Caribbean Signature course. 

Designed by local architect John Doak, the master site will carry a strong West Indian/Spanish Colonial theme and will blend well with natural environs, including the Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park. The resort hotel and club house will be designed by local architects at DDL. 

Plans for an early phase of the Town Centre which comprises a small five-unit retail park off Frank Sound Road that will include a welcome center have already been submitted to the Planning Department for approval. A second application for the main Town Centre is expected to be submitted in the coming weeks.

Ironwood developers have also secured financing for a 10-mile extension of the East-West Corridor from Hirst Road to Frank Sound Road and are in final Public/Private Partnership (P3) discussions with Government to initiate the project.  Ironwood and Government have worked diligently to ensure the P3 falls soundly within the parameters of the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility.  Many affected land owners seeking access to their land have indicated they will voluntarily give the Government the land for the road, which was gazetted in 2005.

Once the developers have finalized agreements with Government to move forward with the road project, work on an 18-hole championship Arnold Palmer golf course and resort can begin, putting people to work and sparking more economic activity.

Spokesperson for the project Denise Gower of Fountainhead Business Development reiterated the importance of this project to the local economy:  “The development of Ironwood and the continuation of the East-West Corridor is the catalyst for more development in the area as it provides the nucleus of infrastructure needed to develop beautiful East End and North Side in a responsible and sustainable way”. 

James McVey, who was part of the team during the initiation of the HealthCity Cayman Hospital, is slated to be the Project Director for Ironwood.  McVey will be ready to begin the construction process once all the necessary agreements and paperwork are in place.  “We have agreed with Government to work with local contractors on this project and construction can start within 60 days of finalizing P3.  With a build schedule of around 24 months, everyone is quite keen to get the shovels in the ground and get people working on this exciting project.”

Overall, Ironwood will benefit locals, tourists and community residents alike, but ultimately, the intention is to attract young retirees and investors looking for a holiday home.  This audience has been targeted specifically as they will be looking only for investment opportunities and a warm weather retreat – stimulating the economy and therefore creating, not taking jobs.

Benefits to the Community

The Ironwood Community and the East-West Corridor extension will benefit residents of the central and eastern districts by:

  • Creating needed construction jobs, many of which will be longer than two years
  • Investment in local infrastructure with private capital
  • Allowing the creation of central community in Frank Sound that will service central and eastern districts
  • Facilitating further development (translating into jobs) in central and eastern districts
  • Creating opportunities for entrepreneurs in retail and entertainment sectors
  • Increasing property values in district and providing infrastructure for other projects
  • Bringing investment and tourism to Grand Cayman, targeting primarily younger retirees who will not be seeking employment
  • Positioning Cayman as a golfing destination, creating another sports tourism base through hosting PGA-level golf tournaments
  • Using current economic conditions to take advantage of lower construction costs and interest rates to build infrastructure 
  • A public/private partnership enables a private company to facilitate the construction of the road to NRA standards
  • Reducing commute times for students travelling to Clifton Hunter High School
  • Hospital, quarry and construction traffic will no longer have to go through Bodden Town
  • Expanding the revenue base by opening up thousands of acres that are currently land-locked

 

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