April 15, 2021

Chamber submits proposals to revitalise George Town

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Screen shot 2014-04-03 at 12.46.34 PMThe Chamber Council submitted a list of proposals to the Hon. D. Kurt Tibbetts, Minister for Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure to revitalize George Town last week.

In a letter dated 28th March, President Johann Moxam, writing on behalf of the Council, said in recent years there has been a general decline in the number of businesses operating in this area and an increase in available office space due to the challenges with insufficient parking, downsizing by some businesses, a decline in the number of cruise ship passengers arriving in Grand Cayman and the relocation of some businesses and residents to other locations in Grand Cayman.

Screen shot 2014-04-03 at 12.46.24 PM“The lack of a comprehensive, sustainable economic development plan for George Town, limited funding and ineffective leadership to implement a strategy to address the neglected infrastructure challenges has festered for many years and has allowed this area to deteriorate and to diminish its position as the heart of commerce and community activity,” the Council noted in the letter to the Minister.

The Council sought feedback on proposals to revitalize George Town from member businesses operating in the district, particularly along the waterfront and in central George Town. The Council informed the Minister that they are prepared to work with him and the Ministry to evaluate the proposals and to get to work.

The Council thanks the members who took the time to contribute to the report.

George Town Boardwalk

Problem Statements

-Lack of pedestrian access to Harbor Waterfront

-North Church Street is pedestrian unfriendly

-Inefficient automobile circulation

-North Church Street shop owners lose business due to lack of pedestrian footfall

-Lack of integration between businesses along corridor linking retail and restaurant enterprises together

-Cruise visitors want a Caymanian experience in a limited amount of time

Solution

-String local business and cultural sites together with a boardwalk running along the oceanfront

-Allow public access to waterfront, attracting cruise visitors to experience the beauty of Cayman’s George Town Harbour

-Pedestrianise and beautify North Church Street with seating, vegetaƟon and intriguing spaces, which at- tract and sustain public activity

-Highlight cultural and historical sites (indicated with plaques) to teach of Cayman’s culture and heritage

-Support local business owners such as Restaurants, shops, and watersport operators providing a variety of tourism related activities

Expected Results

-Increase in commercial activity

-Increase in cruise ship visitor appreciation

-North Church Street is beautified

-Better integration of business into a commercial strip

-More people visit the waterfront and N Church Street

-Property values increase

Chamber letter to Hon. Kurt Tibbetts

28th March 2014     VIA EMAIL: [email protected]

Hon. D. Kurt Tibbetts, OBE, JP

Ministry of Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing & Infrastructure

Government Administration Building

Grand Cayman

Cayman Islands

Hon. Minister,

RE: Revitalization of Downtown George Town

Further to our meeting on 5th February with Deputy Chief Officer Tristan Hydes and Kenneth Ebanks, who is developing a strategy to revitalize George Town, the Chamber Council is pleased to submit for your review and consideration recommendations from the Chamber membership to revitalize downtown George Town.

Downtown George Town includes the area from the Godfrey/Nixon/Eastern Avenue intersection straight west to Da Fish Shack Restaurant and south to Eden Rock and then east to the Glass House. This area incorporates dozens of local and international businesses from all industry sectors including financial services, restaurants, industrial, commercial, merchants and small businesses and includes the port, cruise ship landing and some of Cayman’s most historic and culturally significant buildings, the Legislative Assembly and the Courts.

In recent years there has been a general decline in the number of businesses operating in this area and an increase in available office space due to the challenges with insufficient parking, downsizing by some businesses, a decline in the number of cruise ship passengers arriving in Grand Cayman and the relocation of some businesses and residents to other locations in Grand Cayman.

These conditions and the lack of a comprehensive, sustainable economic development plan for George Town, limited funding and ineffective leadership to implement a strategy to address the neglected infrastructure challenges that have festered for many years has allowed this area to deteriorate and to diminish its position as the heart of commerce and community activity.

The Chamber Council is keen to work with your Ministry to organize a group of business leaders in downtown George Town who would be willing to serve on an organizing committee to consider this submission and agree on the changes that are necessary to address many of the items.

The Chamber Council supports the PPM’s manifesto pledge to take the necessary steps to appoint a city manager for George Town, to work with the private sector on a plan to make downtown and central George Town more attractive for visitors, residents and businesses, to look for ways to encourage more activity in the city centre at night and amending the Planning Law and Regulations to allow the development of residential apartments as part of commercial buildings.

The time has come to take action to restore downtown George Town to its rightful place as the hub of commerce, economic and residential activity and as an appealing and entertaining centre where persons from all walks of life can interact at all times of the day and enjoy the many treasures and history that is available for all.

The Chamber Council is prepared to work with you and the Ministry to make this happen. Thank you for reviewing this submission and please let me know if you wish to meet to discuss any of the items further. Sincerely yours,

Johann Moxam

President

PHOTOS: Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce

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