History of Camana Bay

The history of Camana Bay in the Cayman Islands from it's inception in 1995 to the town centre it is today.

Joanna Boxall image
Last updated 12 December, 2023

Camana Bay is now 15 years old and it’s now hard to remember a time before the lively town of Camana Bay existed.

The planners of Camana Bay designed a community consisting of four villages – a resort village, residential areas, marina village and the Town Centre. In keeping with New Urbanism design principles, pathways and walkways were designed to connect residents with each other and any location in the town.

Today Camana Bay is a 685-acre town that is home to 130 residents, 40 locally owned shops and boutiques, 15 cafes, eateries and restaurants and 45 offices in which over 1700 people work. With 100,000 visitors coming to Camana Bay every month, the town continues to blossom.

The Camana Bay Timeline

1995 - Coral Caymanian

Dart purchased the Coral Caymanian hotel on Seven Mile Beach and the accompanying 236 acres, this site would later become Camana Bay.

1996 - Dart Nursery

Long before any building began, Dart’s 26 acre nursery contained the largest collection of tropical plants in the Caribbean at the time. The plants cultivated in the nursery were later used to landscape the Town Centre.

1996-2005 - Planning a New Town

The development of Camana Bay was almost 10 years in the making. It took nearly a decade of meticulous planning with some of the world’s best architects and master planners before construction on buildings commenced. The process involved an environmental impact assessment, coastal engineering for canals, traffic studies and multiple planning applications.

2005 - Breaking Ground

Development on Camana Bay broke ground in 2005.

2006 - Opening Cayman International School

Cayman International School moved into its new campus at Camana Bay.

2007 - Grand Opening

Camana Bay opens with its first office building; 62 Forum Lane and pioneer tenants: EY, Cayman National Bank and London & Amsterdam. One month later the cinema and Books & Books (now First Chapter) opened their doors and the Town Centre was born.

The mosaic in the Observation Tower mimics the experience of scuba diving Little Cayman’s famous Bloody Bay Wall, with the first level representing the ocean floor and the top reminiscent of the sun peeking through the water’s surface. It also features a double-helix staircase based on a design by Leonardo da Vinci.

The Camana Bay courtyards are named after the jasmine, gardenia, canella, heliconia and cassia plants, and have distinctly different personalities through their planting scheme and water features.

2008 - Planning charrettes

Planning charrettes hosted by Dart Real Estate in April 2008 saw architects Duany Plater-Zyberk meet with the local community to gather feedback that would inform the final master planning of Camana Bay.

2010 - Governor’s Award

Camana Bay’s Town Centre was recognised for innovation and sustainability in the first annual Governor’s Award for Design and Construction Excellence.

2016 - 18 Forum Lane Opens

The first LEED Gold-certified office building in Grand Cayman opens with anchor tenant PwC moving into its new offices.

2017 - Underpass Opens

Cayman’s first underpass opened on Esterley Tibbetts Highway. Over it is the walkway known as the Rise, offering pedestrians Sea-to-Sound connectivity, taking them between West Bat Road and the Town Centre in an easy 15 minute walk.

2018 - OLEA

Camana Bay announces details of its new residential development, OLEA. It will be made up of condominiums, townhomes and duplexes located to the south of Camana Bay’s Town Centre. The first phases welcomed residents in 2022.

2020 - Cayman International School (CIS) Expansion

The expansion of CIS continued as the campus was doubled in size and it increased its enrollment capacity from 630 to 1,100 students.

2022 - Camana Bay Celebrated 15 Years

In 2022 Camana Bay celebrated its 15 year anniversary! Health City Camana Bay also broke ground. This project will see a 70,000sq ft state-of-the-art medical facility built on three acres of land.

The Bubble Bench in Jasmine Court glows at night in azure blue, bright orange and deep sea green colours creating a sense of water ripples and air bubbles rising from the sea. These bubble benches are the only ones in the world.

There are two small, lifelike blue iguanas hidden around the Paseo in Camana Bay, paying homage to the endangered species of iguana that’s endemic to the island of Grand Cayman.


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