There have been some important recent developments as plans have been formally submitted for the 18-hole Arnold Palmer-backed golf course in the East End area of Grand Cayman.
Construction of the golf course and the initial phase of the Ironwood community development project should commence in July 2016 after the Central Planning Authority reviews and makes its decision on the planning proposal. This is, of course, predicated on the Planning Authority approving the detailed golf community’s phase Iplan.
This planning proposal, submitted by the Ironwood reps, includes detailed designs for the golf course that will feature 18 Arnold Palmer-designed holes and six on-course lakes interacted with waterways running throughout the entire course. The full site encompasses 500 acres east of Frank Sound Road and will additionally feature a golf academy, traditional clubhouse and a driving range. The development will also include a 40-room hotel akin to Arnold Palmer resorts done in the past around the globe. As of now, a small placard identifies the spot where the proposed entrance would be.
Construction of the lakes and lush fairways will be no small undertaking in the rough bush that comprises most of the future development sites acreage. The developer plans, moreover, to leave as much of the natural vegetation in place as humanly possible to adhere to the natural island/Caribbean feel. The start of the construction comes to the surprise of many of the island’s residents, as there has been no headway made of the negotiations with the Cayman Islands Government over the construction of a ten-mile extension and expansion of the East-West Arterial Highway. Financing and construction of the road, in part, was to come from government in a partnership with the Ironwood developers. Many close to and observing this project’s progress - and roll out thus far - have seen this motorwayextension as vital/integral to Ironwood’s success in the future.
One of the long-term goals of Ironwood is to build a luxury retirement community with modern amenities that will attract wealthy foreign “snow bird” type investors and rival options already present in places like Florida, the Carolinas and elsewhere in the Caribbean region. This will only be possible, some presume, with the completion of the thoroughfare to allow quick and easy access to the community. The developers feel, on the convers, that the golf resort is sustainable as anindividual project free of a bustling community centre and have thus submitted their plans to begin construction. Some locals remain skeptical, but Ironwood reps feel that the planning permission application submission is a major triumph that should, along with Mr. Palmer’s endorsement, add validity to the project. The group also feels that, once completed, this course will be capable of handling PGA-level competitions and bring something that the Cayman Island’s golf scene has never seen before.
Time will only tell if this lofty project is to become a reality. The big first step, submission of an initial plan, has already been taken and the island will wait with bated breath to see if shovels will be put in the ground by the mid-summer season.