Dart's 2019 Year In Review

This year marks the end of a decade that has brought many changes to our company, our country, our region and the world. As we look ahead to 2020 and the opportunities and challenges that a new decade will bring, Dart remains committed to sustainable growth in the Cayman Islands, balancing economy, society and environment, through the creation of exceptional opportunities, places and experiences that enrich lives now and for generations to come.

Working together, and through thoughtful investment, we look forward to continuing to create value for our customers, employees, business partners and community.

Here are some of the highlights that made 2019 a remarkable year for us here at Dart.

 

Economic impact

With a growing real estate, hospitality and retail portfolio and now one of the largest private employers on island, Dart continues to add value to the local economy through our investments and business operations and by promoting the Cayman Islands around the world as the Caribbean destination of choice for tourism, a centre of excellence for international business, and a thriving place to live and work.

Seafire going three years strong

Three years ago, the doors opened at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, the first new hotel in Grand Cayman in more than a decade. In a short period of time, Seafire joined the ranks of hotels rated best in the world, recently taking third place in Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards for the Caribbean and voted 36 worldwide.

Both Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa and The Residences at Seafire achieved LEED® Silver certification in 2019, culminating the three-year anniversary with a nod to the importance of sustainable development.

KAABOO thrills attendees

The largest festival ever to take place in the Cayman Islands, the two-day KAABOO Cayman event was a sell-out as 10,000 people came to enjoy music, art, comedy, food and indulgences. The entertainment experience was presented in partnership with sponsors Virgin Produced and Digicel.

Although the 2020 event was cancelled, the success of KAABOO Cayman in 2019 established Cayman’s ability to deliver large-scale events at international standards and has set the stage for future similar-type events at the site. 

Camana Bay continues to blossom

Camana Bay is growing with a new Early Childhood Centre at CIS, a state of the art Foster's Supermarket and OLEA, for-sale residential.

Almost 12 years after the Camana Bay town centre opened to the public, a new chapter in the town’s history began with the construction of OLEA, Camana Bay’s first for-sale residential community.

In addition to OLEA, Camana Bay saw the opening of the new $40 million Foster’s supermarket, fulfilling a long-held vision to open such an amenity in the Town Centre. The Cayman International School saw growth of its own as well with the addition of its Early Childhood Centre and an expansion of the high school.

Dart acquires Soleil d’Or in the Brac; Comfort Suites

As part of our growing hospitality portfolio, Dart acquired Le Soleil D’Or, a boutique resort in Cayman Brac which gained international acclaim for its farm-to-table philosophy and Comfort Suites Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, which has won awards for its service and guest loyalty programmes.

These two hotels join The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa as part of Dart’s hospitality offerings.

CDG invests in local brewery

Cayman Distributors Group (CDG) and the Cayman Islands Brewery (CIB) confirmed earlier in the year that CDG invested in the country’s brewery.

Since its founding, the brewery has grown from a start-up to a major player in the local beer market. Located in Prospect, the brewery produces a range of core beer brands – including the popular Caybrew and award-winning White Tip Lager – in addition to an ever-changing roster of seasonal specialty brews.

 

Social impact

Developing our community is central to our purpose in the Cayman Islands. Through strategic investment in education and youth development, Dart supports the continued stability and prosperity of our society.

Minds Inspired STEM Teacher Award

The inaugural Dart Minds Inspired Award for Excellence in Teaching STEM was held in May at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands to recognise outstanding educators in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics – collectively known as STEM. Recognised for their role in fostering STEM interest in their students were Lune Vermeire of Island Montessori Von Ryan Abrantes of St Ignatius Catholic School.

Dart Scholar

In July, Diamond White, Michael Marzouca and Marcos Bertran - three local students with outstanding academic and extracurricular achievements - were named the Dart Scholars for 2019 joining 20 other Dart scholars and 3 Scholar alumni.

Minds Inspired Robotics

Later in the year, the Cayman Islands National Robotics team, made up of 11 students representing seven schools, competed in the FIRST Global robotics challenge in Dubai. After completing nine matches over three days, the team finished 109 out of 190 teams with a total of four wins and five losses. In addition to their excellent work on the field, they also received two awards recognising their commitment to robotics through their preparation in the lead up to Dubai.

Inspire Cayman Training

As a major investor in the local construction industry, Dart teamed up with Inspire Cayman Training Ltd., a new vocational centre founded by former government youth worker Michael Myles, to support local workforce development. In addition to supporting the launch of the center, Dart is working with Inspire Cayman to facilitate apprenticeship placements our contractors on upcoming development projects.

Inaugural Dart Grants awarded

Launched in 2019, Dart Grants is a new programme of fixed grants to help well-run, registered non-profit organisations make an even bigger positive impact in the areas of education, youth development and the environment. A total of CI$250,000 was awarded to the inaugural Dart Grants recipients: the Alex Panton Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Cayman’s Acts of Random Kindness, the Cayman Islands Sailing Club, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute Literacy Is For Everyone, Special Needs Foundation Cayman, the Stingray Swim Club and the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. In addition to financial grants, Dart staff participate in volunteer opportunities and share their expertise in areas such as data protection, IT, marketing and strategic planning.

 

Environmental impact

Recognising the importance of the physical environment, both natural and built, to our shared community, Dart strives for best-in-class sustainable practices in our developments and business operations. As the preferred bidder for the country’s Integrated Solid Waste Management System (ISWMS), Dart is committed to a sustainable solution for solid waste management.

Dart donates land in New Zealand

Land donated by the Kenneth B. Dart Foundation to the New Zealand government has been designated a recreation reserve.

The Wairoa Gorge land, which comprises 2,127 acres of native forest in the Tasman, Nelson region of the South Island, will be held in perpetuity by the Department of Conservation, partnering with the Nelson Mountain Bike Club to provide public access to the property’s network of trails.

Dart volunteers create local impact

Through a series of impact days to celebrate Earth Day and Celebrate Cayman’s 60 Acts of Service, Dart volunteers restored the greenhouse at the Frances Bodden Children’s Home, planted trees at the historic National Trust for the Cayman Islands’ Mission House in Bodden Town, helped renovate the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme captive breeding facility, participated in a beach clean-up at Barkers, and cleared the vegetation and debris from land designated as Public Open Space for the potential establishment of a new public park in the North Sounds Estates area of Savannah.

Works to begin on George Town landfill 

As talks continue to progress between the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) and the Decco Consortium as the preferred bidder for the country’s Integrated Solid Waste Management System (ISWMS), the Government has allocated funds in the 2020/21 budget for capping and covering the main mound at the current landfill, and works are expected to start early 2020. The Terms of Reference for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was submitted to the Environmental Assessment Board (EAB) in 2019, along with the Remediation Options Report for the George Town Landfill.

What’s ahead in the new decade:

Camana Bay continues expansion

The new year will see the construction of two more projects at Camana Bay, as planning approval has been given for both a new commercial office building and a for-lease residential apartment building.  Construction for both projects will begin in January 2020, with the new commercial office building expected to be completed by 2021 and the residential building by 2022.

SKYSTONE builds STEM blocks

FIRST Global robotics will continue in Cayman with the 2020 interschool robotics competition taking place on 1 February 2020. The chosen theme is "SKYSTONE," in partnership with the charity arm of “Star Wars.” Teams will work together to design, built, test and programme autonomous and driver-operated robots to build a tower, move stones and manoeuvre under a skybridge.

A year of trees

Whether it’s providing hands-on learning for local students, supporting butterfly and bird populations or offering shade to families that play in the fountains on the Crescent, Dart recognises that trees have an important role to play in building a sustainable community.

In keeping with its commitment to sustainable development, Dart will donate 366 trees – one for each day of 2020 – to the Cayman Islands.

Building to new heights

In an effort to keep development footprints small while leveraging the benefits of greater density, Dart is in initial discussions with the Cayman Islands Government to consider the possibility for increased height buildings that will provide another US $1.5 billion in investment to support Cayman’s continued economic growth, reduce sprawl, increase energy savings and conserve resources while transforming the country’s skyline.

 

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