Dart buys another piece of 7MB

| 06/09/2017 | 97 Comments
CNS Business

The Royal Palms site

(CNS Business): Already the largest landowner in the Cayman Islands, the Dart Group has made another significant purchase with the acquisition of Royal Palms Beach Club in the heart of Seven Mile Beach, along the West Bay Road. Neither the seller, Coral Apartments Ltd, nor Dart has said how much the near three and a half-acre site, with 300 feet of beach front, was sold for and as yet there are no indications what the major investor plans to do with it. According to a short release on the firm’s website, it was a logical purchase given how close it is to Camana Bay.

The site is also next door to other land owned by the group and a private residency belonging to the group’s owner, Ken Dart.

Previously the site of the Royal Palms Hotel, which burned down in 1988, it has since then been a tourist hot-spot and a well-known beach bar and restaurant. In more recent times it has emerged as a busy daytime attraction for cruise passengers. Dart Real Estate president Jackie Doak said, “We believe it is a logical acquisition, as the property will integrate well with our Camana Bay development due to its adjacent position.”

While James Smith, the company secretary from Coral Apartments, said the firm had decided to sell and Dart was known “for its high quality real estate developments and there is every indication that the property will be developed in a manner that will be good for the Cayman Islands”.

The purchase comes at a time when Dart continues to invest in an enormous amount of development on Grand Cayman. Speculation that the group has already purchased the Ritz-Carlton has been denied by officials. The company has, however, refused to answer enquiries from CNS about whether it is still trying to acquire the five-star hotel, which has been for sale for some time.

The creditors acquired the property from the original developer, Micheal Ryan, and his network of companies in 2012. Officials there confirm in April last year that the hotel and resort was up for sale.

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Category: Local Business

Comments (97)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Too many greedy land owners who have sold their real estate & land for decades to cash in and pass the cash on to the next generation and by the time the third generation comes along everything has been squandered and now everyone cries foul.

    There are Island nations who do not allow sale of beach front property and it instead it is passed on from one generation to the next. There are nations who do not allow to develop more than a certain percentage of the Island or they do not allow one person/group/company to own more than a certain percentage of real estate and land. What this means is that the people of those nations live a simple tranquil life and not one that is dictated by possessions.

    Caymanians have opted to cash in, and what you get now is the result. It has been a long time coming so stop complaining. Dart is not to blame - he is just doing what Government is allowing him to do.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Dart is a disaster for Cayman Islands character and it infuriates me that the Dartbots feel the necessity to interject with absolute b'^*%~#s comments with no understanding of the culture and character that was the attraction that indirectly brought them here. On a tropical island whether tourist or resident alike, who the h#*l wants to enjoy the internal architecture of an underpass when the beach and turquoise sea sits to the external side of them and what they've come to experience and enjoy.

    This isn't about creating a 'better water entry experience' or anything else related to a true Cayman experience anymore. This is all about the Dart ego bots from the top down and the falsehood that their creations are better for the Island. For those that claim Dart is a Caymanian, you're argument is no better than the Spanish and English that discovered America who now claim nationality and that their developments have made the country better. Yes it's all relative, but a Native North American's perspective may offer something that differs.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Culture? Intriguing. Give me more of Camana Bay and the Kimpton over this "culture" any day.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic to hear a Caymanian has bought this site, especially one with such a great track record of local investment.

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  4. Sharkey says:

    Do we really stop and realize what a mess Government has gotten the Islands into with this man . How much money do Government owes this man ? How many millions did he negotiate with Government for doing what he did in developing the Islands ?
    Just from the sale of RP property, how much stamp duty/tax were collected by Government in cash ?
    All good developers are good negotiators , but some are more greedy .

    It is all very good for a developer to do good things for a Country and be appreciated and make his profits . But what I see here is like a woman or man finding a sugar daddy or sugar mama . If no one don't know what that is let me know and I'll explain it further .

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    • Sharkey says:

      CNS , I know that there are not going to be many people who are going to read the above mentioned questions . However I think that they should be interesting Articles to be published in the future .

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    • Anonymous says:

      DART has been wonderful. Rather than a scrubby old road Grand Cayman has a fabulous new destination at the Kimpton and a much improved roads network up to West Bay. Only the miserable are still moaning.

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  5. Sharkey says:

    This is what you can give the career Politicians credit for , allowing one man to buy up the Islands , and employ over 60% of the work force on the Island .

    So what happens when he becomes more political than the true Caymanian that just tryed to get a Independent Party Elected to Cayman Islands Government ?

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians have made a lot of money in real estate over the years. What is the problem? you buy you sell, the world keeps turning. I don't understand people acting so "sad" when someone else has made a profit on an investment. If you want Dart to own less land, make him an offer on something.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is they are selling to someone who doesn't sell. Anything DART acquires is gone forever.

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      • Anonymous says:

        He can only buy what others are willing to sell.

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    • Anonymous says:

      DART doesn't sell.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Which means no stamp duty is ever paid on what he develops.
        Which means Cayman gets nothing.
        We are so stupid.

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  7. Caymanian beach bum says:

    So have read alot of the negative comments regarding this sale.
    1) why did government let this happen?
    We'll government doesn't own the property, and they couldn't afford to buy it.
    2) why are we selling these properties to expats?
    We'll guess what, Dart has been on island since the late 80s, he's is also a Caymanian.
    3) if you want to buy local shop in GT, guess what, the Dart Corporation owns alot of the businesses in GT now, plus he's Caymanian.

    Just a couple of companies.

    What we tend to forget is that Dart is one of the largest employers on the island, he employs over 60% Caymanians, better than most companies.

    We also forget what he did for us after hurricane Ivan, major assistance.

    2008 crash if not for the Dart Corporation we would be in a very different situation, he has contributed to our economy more than anyone else, he has sustained our economy!

    Yes it is a shame that Royal palms has sold and may be rebuilt into a hotel, as the property was years ago, but look at it there will more jobs for Caymanians.

    Now the comments above are going to upset alot of you but guess what Mr. Dart is a Caymanian!

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    • Sharkey says:

      Isn't that great ONE MAN OWN about half of the Islands , and ONE MAN EMPLOYEES over 60% of the people . Get ready to do as I say or you won't have a job , that's called gotcha whereI i want you . All you can do is go to work and keep your mouth shut .

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  8. Anonymous says:

    This is not the first piece of beach land sold to a foreigner, I don't see what all the big deal really is.There are plenty of wealthy Caymanians here, if they wanted to keep it for locals there has been plenty of opportunity. Royal Palms has been on the market and listed from at least 10 years ago. Should not be a shocker to anyone, only inevitable.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Dart is a Caymanian along with his company; not sure what you're going on about.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    A close friend of Ken Dart told me that he joked TEN YEARS ago that he "owned an island in the Caribbean, the locals just didn't know it yet"
    That was 10 years ago...a lot has happened since then.
    Dart is the one to have disgust with no those that sell him property.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What have you done for the people and the economy of the Cayman Islands? Renting lawn chairs doesn't count.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Doubt it.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    I grew up going to the old holiday in and was sad when i heard it was sold and being torn down but we got the ritz in replacement and that really put cayman on the map for luxury.
    I dont like that dart sounds like he owns that now too but i guess it is what it is

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Super news. I can't wait for whatever goes in there and let's hope they do a great martini.

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    • Anonymous says:

      "Super" and "martini" ...I'm guessing the honorable Anthony Eden wouldn't like you very much.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly - generally two bottoms don't make a top.

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    • Anonymous says:

      For $20

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      • Anonymous says:

        Used to be referred to as 20 pieces of silver.

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        • Anonymous says:

          High prices mean better looking people and the riff raft stay away.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    There is one person/politician alone that is to blame for Darts control of the island.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Royal Palms has been for sale for years. Full page ads in CIREBA publications. Where was the criticism then? Regarding the sellers, why should they receive more criticism than the first people who sold their property on the beach?

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  14. Anonymous says:

    So they sell the beach where the cruise shipers go but then they want a dock to have more Cruise passengers with even less places to go to now that Tiki Beach is going as well.
    what maddnes.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    This is a very sad announcement for locals. RP was the last nice beach we had. Disgusting.

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    • Crackerjack box degree says:

      How many locals are really going there? Public beach is still underutilized in a lot of ways. The bigger issue is that DART is too big for the local economy and nothing else can counterbalance them.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You know when Public Beach is being utilized because all the garbage is left behind for someone else to clean up.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Who is we? All the beach land except public beach is privately owned

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is a wonderful announcement. I can't wait to see what will be put there, but going by the track record, it is going to be great.

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  16. Sir Turtle says:

    so we are going to build a mega dock for cruise ships and passagers to disembark to spend the day in the Cayman Islands. Mr. Premier where will they all go now to enjoy our prestige beaches? Capt Charles rolling in his grave now. For the record, a very sad day for cayman and for all that reside here. Locals, you can kiss SMB now. There is nothing left for us to enjoy call beach anymore.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Beach at Kimpton is very nice... why would we think the beach at whatever RPs turns into won’t be nice?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Kimpton is not a nice place to go with your family. You feel unwelcome. It looks sterile and it's not fun. It's a boring hotel that attracts gays. That's it.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    People will complain for a day or two then by the weekend they will have their kids playing in the C-Bay fountains while sipping a C-Bay cocktail from a C-Bay restaurant and the watch a movie at the C-Bay cinema.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There are also some of use who complain and boycott everything you mentioned.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, it is wonderful that we can go to Camana Bay knowing misery mongers like you won't be there.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I can go back to Miami or another country for that. I moved to the Cayman Islands to live in a place that looked like an island.

          Now it looks exactly like my former home. There's little difference. The quiet island life is what I was looking for. Leaving the hustle and bustle behind over 30 years ago.

          An underpass gives bad memories and feelings of being back in the US. Overdevelopment on the beach is not appealing.

          Where are the lobbyists? We fixed Smith Cove. Let's fix Royal Palms. At least push planning to enforce visibility of the ocean from the road of the property in a similar fashion to what it is and deny the approval for the extended overpass.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I bet your wouldn’t boycot Burger King or KFC if he owned that.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    If more people were going to the Royal Palms restaurant and bar instead of all the places at Camana Bay maybe they could have kept it open and not sold. Dart is the problem not any Caymanians. He keeps sucking all the life out of everything else. No one can compete with him. We're just lucky he doesn't own ALL of town yet.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yet. Over 50% is a good start to owning it.
      He already owns all of the jewelery stores (besides Kirk) all of the liquor stores (except Jacques Scott).
      Bahamas and Belize saw through him, knew what he was up to and kicked him out. Our politicians were too greedy... Handed him a key to the city so to speak

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    • C'Mon Now! says:

      I don't disagree but I think you might be surprised to know just how much of "town" and the beach they do own already.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    If you want to support caymanians, caymanian businesses and caymanian properties go shop in George Town instead was of camana bay.
    Money talks and consumers are the economy drivers. You want to protest Dart and their monopoly then don't go to camana bay.

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    • C'Mon Now! says:

      They own a lot of GT as well!

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      • Anonymous says:

        It's a lot less than it once was - there are some things that they don't do very well.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dart is a Caymanian owned and operated business... But I assume because his great great great grandmother wasn't brought over in the late 1700s to farm coconuts it doesn't count. Have you ever thought about the number of Caymanians that would be here if it weren't for generations of expats coming to the island? Your gene pool wold be worse off than it already is. You should celebrate diversity and the impressive things that expats contribute to the island.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Clearly you do not know our history but so typical of the Johnny-come- lately's who think we could not have survived without them. Here's a newsflash, we did and we'd be better off without your type today too.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You killed all the turtles and the Industrial Age killed schooners.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians like to bring down any Caymanians that have success all the time. It is the Caymainan way it seems. such a shame.

    I have heard locals cut down at the Kirkconnells when they build businesses or develop land from decades ago, now they want to cut them down again when they've had enough and sell? Comedy at it's finest.

    All other nationalities big up their countrymen. Not here though.

    Congrats on a great investment.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    To tell you the honest truth if I owned the Royal Palms property and I saw that monstrosity of a tunnel and build up land being started next to my land I would sell too!
    I don't blame them one bit. Dart would have build overtowering their land and beach and would have destroyed half the value. If they weren't planning to build on it why should they keep it? It is called an investment for a reason right?

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  22. Anonymous says:

    It's not royal palm anyone should be worried about. Dart people have been walking through the ritz carlton for months now. Trust me I've seen it. Royal palm aint nuttin compared to buying that hotel and property.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    That's one less beach for cruiseshippers to go to after we put ourselves in eternal debt building the cruise ship port.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    I see some negative comments on here but unless a private group or government put the money together to buy the property and turn it into a public space can you really blame the owners for selling? There's no way you get the same return, if any out of a Restaurant or beach bar when it is on that much prime beach land.

    Some people seem to think that it is their right to use other people's land for free. There is no reason that any ridicule should happen from someone freely selling what they have the right to.

    Congrats to a long standing Caymanian family for the foresight to purchase that land so many decades ago. RP will be missed but it has been pretty obvious for years that this couldn't remain as it was.

    People seem to forget that this was a hotel before it burned down, otherwise it would have never been a bar and restaurant stand alone ever.

    Kind of too bad it had to be DART but who else was going to buy it?

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  25. Anonymous says:

    I would like to personally thank the Kirkconnell's for keeping royal palms as long as they did. God knows they let a ton of money go by keeping one of the most valuable properties on the beach as a bar and restaurant. This was inevitable that a developer whether Dart or someone else would eventually turn it into a hotel or condos at some point. I can't say I'm happy it is Dart that bought it but the Kirkconnell family did a fantastic job holding out as long as they did. No bad feelings should bee be put their way.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Have been waiting for them to do something with RP. There was no way such an expensive piece of beachfront property could remain as it was: basically, nothing more than
      a huge car park!

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Dart buying Royal Palms is literally the smallest part of any acquisition Dart has made.
    He bought over 300 acres from Stan Thomas. He is about to buy the Ritz Carlton. He bought hundreds of acres where the current camana bay is, Bought Coral Caymanian, The West Indies Club.....
    Royal Palms is a drop in the bucket.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    It is going to be torn down.
    A condo development will have a higher ROI.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Fabulous news. DART brings first world class to everything it touches.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Prime real estate owned by Caymanians are soon going to be extinct.

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    • Anonymous says:

      People can only buy what others are willing to sell. It's not the buyers' fault that Caymanians have chosen to sell their properties over the years.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians continuing to sell their souls...shame.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Everyday Caymanians keep selling out these islands to dart then complain about the lack of power they have

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  32. Anonymous says:

    I don't know yet how I feel about Grand Dart, Little Dart and Dart Brac islands. At the current rate, it won't be long in coming! I guess time will ultimately tell.

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    • Kadafe says:

      Then it could be called the Dart Co. Islands.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Seems ideal to me. Nice tropical island that has hurricane resistant buildings and generators.

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  33. Anonymous says:

    I don't see how this is news, this was agreed 2 years ago, do you not thing the overpass being built next to it might be connected ?? lol

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  34. Anonymous says:

    I believe the percentage now is 52%. Over half of this island now belongs to Dart and his holdings.
    NOW do you believe me?????
    You are such fools.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I believe you. I don't see the problem though.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Now only if he builds a canal and charges tolls for those not living in SMB to visit.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    The only thing left of Cayman when Dart is finished with it will be memories. There goes another local hangout on 7MB. Now it will be a hotel for rich people. Where are we supposed to take our kids to get to 7MB now????

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    • Anonymous says:

      Sad! Terrible news! Love Royal Palms!

      Don't like the cement monstrosity called Kimpton- the 3 lane roundabout- Camana Bay with it's $300. bathing suits & $200 t-shirts!
      The peaceful Caribbean vibe of Cayman is being replaced little by little and it's ruining the holiday appeal.
      Imo-
      - Tourist

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    • Anonymous says:

      You could take them to public beach except our government has allowed it to become a s**t hole by refusing to inforce our own laws or any sense of common decency. You can't blame Dart or anyone else for that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Assume you let you kids run wild along the beach while you crush beergaritas in the Royal Palms pool.

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  36. Anonymous says:

    Soon Caymaninas will not be allowed in Cayman. So sad to hear he is going to turn yet another piece of Cayman into an elitists playground for the rich only. Common Caymanians not invited, they get kicked out by security.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If only security dig kick the riff raff out, that would be super. It is terrible when the young ones congregate in masses like Dickensian gangs.

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  37. Anonymous says:

    Sad sad day for Cayman. With no anti-trust laws, Ken Dart continues to turn the Cayman Islands into his playground. Somehow Caymanians and the Government have not woken up and smelt the coffee that Dart has had along-term plan from the start to dictate the island in the near future. Unfortunately, his style is historically ruthless and that has been demonstrated in Cayman by the way he bullies small business owners out of business and sweeps them up at pennies on the dollar. Competing against a person who can make decisions that will clearly lose him money, while driving others out of business is impossible. Like it is said, the two most dangerous people in the world are those with too much money, and those with not enough.

    Scary times in Cayman for anyone not named Ken Dart. The future of Cayman is in his hands now, unless the government puts anti-monopoly laws into place ASAP.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes CIG and other large local land owners have smelled the coffee but have smelled the green$ too. Won't be long before it's all gone and transformed in to some ugly contrived concrete and steel jungle. Welcome to Dart's Wonderland.

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  38. Throwing away an oppurtunity says:

    Hello. Please allow me space to express my opinion.
    I believe that an opportunity is being lost by Government.
    In most countries there is something called a Corporate Land Tax that every Corporation, that owns property, is required to pay each year.

    This ensures severale things. Number one being that a Corporation can not become a monopoly land owner.

    It also ensures that locals own the majority of the land and not outside Corporations.

    It also assists with funding the local economy.

    Now I know there are those that will cry mass exodus of Corporate Land Owners from the Island. The way I see it is thats a good thing because if the only reason they are here is to make millions then fine, leave, it was obvious that the ONLY reason why you were here was to make millions and the Island was just a tool to do that ONLY. You never had any other intention at all.

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  39. Anonymous says:

    Boy, nuttin left for Caymanians. A shame mon.

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  40. Anonymous says:

    This is significant because, if the Kirkonnels can't resist the temptation of Dart's money what hope is there for the rest of us!? I personally wish he and his billions never came to Cayman. We are losing our identity and Caymanian character/charm with his massive Americanised developments. So sad.

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  41. Anonymous says:

    Money talks! I have often been told that Capt.Charles said that as long as he was alive he would never sell that property...Guessing the kids had different ideas.. ):

    We have now lost what was probably the last piece of property on Seven Mile Beach that was Caymanian owned and all because of greed. I know it they certainly weren't hurting financially that they needed to sell this..

    We can only pray now that Dart will develop something that will still allow us a place to go other than the "reservation" provide for us called the public beach..

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    • Anonymous says:

      I remember Capt Charles putting in on the market, so obviously if the price was right he was gonna sell too!
      It takes a lot of money and risk to develop a property like that. I don't blame them if they got the right offer. When there's one owner it is easy to make decisions. There were lots of new owners since he passed so if they couldn't all agree maybe there wasn't too many options.

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  42. Anonymous says:

    This worries me. Although I know DART always does things well, this will be actually taking away the only piece of beach that locals/expats/cruise shippers and the like can enjoy together.

    What will now happen to all the events that use be done here? It is almost certain that a concrete multi storey hotel or condo will go here and will once again eliminate and cordone of accessibility to the beach and to activities at the beach.

    It is sad that as much as DART has done to prove himself a contributor to Cayman that he doesn't honor the people of Cayman by leaving this beach undeveloped or at the very least keeping a similar format as is there now.

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  43. Anonymous says:

    Thank you dart.... for propping up the cayman economy for the last 8 years....
    in dart.... people should trust

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  44. Anonymous says:

    dart's record for investment and development speaks for itself. end of story.

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  45. Anonymous says:

    Great news, look forward to the re-development.

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  46. Anonymous says:

    Watch now when everybody will blame Dart, and go all anti-Dart in the comments, but it's your own Caymanian land-owners selling the place out. You do know which family were the former owners right?

    Anyway, I'll see y'all at Camana Bay and at the movies this weekend.

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