Developers select golf course contractors

| 06/09/2016 | 9 Comments
CNS Business

Ironwood development, artist’s rendition

(CNS Business): A Florida-based general contractor has been named as the developers of the much-anticipated Ironwood golf community to work on the proposed golf course and infrastructure works, officials said Monday. Described as a $1.1 billion development around an Arnold Palmer golf course, the developers have been in discussions with the current and previous government for many years but so far very little has happened. At this point, the developers have planning permission for just the golf course on the proposed site in Frank Sound on the North Side-East End border, next to Grand Cayman’s Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.

In a release yesterday, Ironwood said it had picked Wharton-Smith International, which “has a comprehensive background in infrastructure works” and has constructed several regional golf courses. It has connections with the Cayman Islands, having previously overseen the construction of the US$17.2 million wastewater treatment plant and other projects for the Water Authority.

Ironwood has plans to be the first large-scale development here to build a “reclaimed water” treatment plant to recycle treated wastewater to irrigate the golf courses.

“Wharton-Smith’s significant experience in this advanced environmental friendly method of treating wastewater will be invaluable,” officials said in the release.

David Moffitt, the Ironwood developer, said the firm was pleased to have Wharton-Smith on board. “Their history of successfully competing in the Caribbean, along with an experienced leadership team are key reasons Ironwood along with Arnold Palmer Properties have chosen WSI to oversee this critical component, which is the anchor of the Ironwood development,” he added.

Promising to create local jobs, the developers said Ironwood and WSI would engage 60% Caymanian contractors and local labour for the project.

David V Hayes, vice president of Wharton-Smith International LLC, said he loved Cayman and its people. “Our prior projects support our commitment to provide opportunities to our Cayman employees, including, where needed, skills training and creating opportunities for local companies to participate in the project,” he stated.

Over the last few years, Moffitt and other representatives of Ironwood, have stated that the development of the golf resort is contingent on the extension of the east-west arterial road out to the location. But despite being in talks with the current administration over how that will be achieved, no deal has been settled.

Since coming to office, the PPM administration has pointed to this proposed project as one of the major developments it would be depending on to stimulate the economy and provide jobs. While MOUs have been signed, handshakes photographed and numerous announcements made about other contractors, including one with Arch and Godfrey more than 18 months ago, with just over six months to go before the current parliament is dissolved, it is still not clear if or when the project will get started or to what extent beyond the actual golf course the massively ambitious plans will materialise.

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Category: Construction, Local Business

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone ever notice that all these Johnny come laity’s always say the same old bull – “Oh I love Cayman and these people so much”. Yea so they can put the whammy on you and then hit the road with there pockets full of cash!!!!!

  2. satirony says:

    Ironwood’s golf course development, when combined with the road extension they want, will radically and irreversibly modify about 3% of the entire land area of the three Cayman Islands. The environmental consequences that follow will be even more destructive.

    The GT cruise-piers would result in the destruction of less than 1/4 of one 1% of our total reef length. It’s seems odd we should pay so much attention to our marine environment, and in contrast, so little to our terrestrial one. Speaking for myself, I spend most of my time enjoying the latter. Can anyone put their hand over their heart and say that the inappropriate developments in South Sound or the industrial-sized mess at the scenic coastline at Breakers represent the best we can do?

    • Anonymous says:

      Please tell me that you live in a tree house, and no earth was moved in order to build your residence.

  3. Bill Dunk says:

    It never fails to amaze me how certain people come up with grandiose schemes to get money from other people. Grand Cayman is ill-suited for professional or amateur golf courses. For starters, it’s just too hot to be out in the blazing sun hitting golf balls. And there aren’t enough people on Grand Cayman to support the game. If there is no audience, doesn’t that make a difference? How many people fly off to foreign places to play golf? Not very many! Golf is also on a downhill slide in popularity. Golf just isn’t popular with the public anymore. Sure, there are a few diehards, but interest has been waning for years. I sincerely hope that our that our government doesn’t waste OUR MONEY on another dumb idea!

    • Anonymous says:

      The people building the course don’t feel the same way.

    • Happy Gilmore says:

      The International Association of Golf Tour Operators control some 87% of international golf holiday packages sold worldwide and in 2015 they carried 1.9 million golfers with a turnover of more than €2.1 billion. 2016 looks likely to be the 5th year of consecutive growth for IAGTO operators as sales grew by an average of 10.7% in 2015 with forward bookings at 1 January 2016, 12.1% up year on year.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wharton-Smith would lend a bit of credibility to the project. Being from Florida, they would also be aware of Moffitt’s history of projects in that state, so I would imagine it’s a case of “show me the money” before they do anything.

  5. Anonymous says:

    yawn…won’t happen…and if it does, some people are getting scammed….

  6. Anonymous says:

    Again, this is all hocus pocus this development will never get built

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