October 25, 2020



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The location of the new Shetty Hospital and Hotel complex

Hotels and residential developments will accompany the construction of the Shetty Hospital on the 600-acre High Rock site in East End, which, according to project director Gene Thompson, has been finally secured.

Previous owner of the High Rock site and copartner in the project Joe Imparato told iNews yesterday that the project master plan included a range of ancillary developments.

“Oh, yes, we are planning hotels and residential developments, all in concert with the master plan for the rest of the Shetty Hospital,” he said.

“We have a few more pieces of the puzzle to get into place first, but it is going to happen,” Mr Imparato claimed, saying it had garnered support from “both sides of the political spectrum”.

Announcing the land acquisition yesterday, Mr Thompson said survey work and initial drawings had started on the complex, but spokesman David Legge could only estimate when groundbreaking might begin on the $2 billion, 15-year project.

“Groundbreaking will be into the new year, and probably in the second quarter,” he told iNews. The start of the project had initially been scheduled for October this year, but was delayed for reasons that remain unclear.

Last month, developers acknowledged they had not yet submitted blueprints for the project to the Planning Department. Barring objections, approvals take as long two months.

“We are engaged in the initial steps that will lead to an application for final planning. That process is under way,” Mr Legge said, but declined to elaborate on dates or timing.

In August, Mr Thompson announced initial acquisitions on the High Rock site, which had previously been earmarked by Mr Imparato for the East End Seaport project, encompassing cruise berthing, hotels, fuel storage and transshipment facilities.

The project was cancelled after a public outcry, and subsequently offered to Bangalore, India-based pediatrician and heart surgeon Dr Devi Shetty for his Narayana Cayman Medical University, a 2,000-bed tertiary-care complex and college.

Dr Shetty (centre) with Premier McKeeva Bush and Minister for Health Mark Scotland.

The $150 million initial phase of the project is a 140-bed hospital, taking between 15 months and 18 months to build.

In July, India’s “Business Standard” newspaper reported Dr Shetty had sought US$67.5 million from investors for the first phase of the project.

Yesterday’s announcement capped the August acquisitions and appeared to revitalise the project after long delays.

“This is a large step forward for the project,” Mr Thompson said. “We are beginning our survey work as well as the initial mechanical design work, which will include energy-efficient technology throughout.”

The High Rock site, he said, was “among the highest elevated sites on the Island, offering natural protection against flooding and storm surges” and was expandable. Early speculation had been that the complex would occupy approximately 200 acres of the High Rock site, offering “an option to purchase more as needs demand”.

Mr. Imparato’s City Services (Cayman) Ltd, he said “will be working in conjunction with the Dr. Shetty group on site preparation and the long-term development of the project”, and while not involved with building the hospital complex, “will participate in developing support facilities”.

Together, he said, Mr Imperato and Mr Thompson would create a “master plan for the project to ensure an integrated, attractive, and well-coordinated healthcare community.”

The project is projected to include not only a tertiary-care hospital and an educational facility, but also assisted care, and a biotech research centre.


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