(CMR) Cayman Marl Road can confirm that the Cayman Islands Government has purchased the downtown Scotibank building; which served as its original bank headquarters since 1966,
for an undisclosed amount and the closing is set for today.
Our sources further inform us that this in keeping with government's desire to provide the Court's with additional space. Whilst no price listing was confirmed we undersand that it was a fraction of the $20M that the Chief Justice indicated would be needed for a new court facility at the Grand Court opening back in January.
The Chief Justice made a scathing speech in which he said that 674 Summary Court cases were carried over from the previous year because of lack of space. At times, magistrates were forced to share court space which led to case adjournments and delays. He also noted that some had to pay for hotel space to hold trials at and described the existing accommodations as: “shoddy, cramped and wholly inadequate”
The Chief Justice read a letter written in November 2017 by Court Administrator Suzanne Bothwell to the chairman of the Finance Committee, Minister Roy McTaggart, and copied to Premier Alden McLaughlin expressing concern that a $4 million request for acquisition of land in George Town and design plans for a new courthouse had been removed without any explanation.
Scotia vacated the purchased building back in April when it moved to Camana Bay under a consolidation that saw two other branches close down. The one at the Strand remains unoccupied.
We understand government will have to undertake some renovations to the building before it would be opened for court use.
SEPTEMBER 6 UPDATE:
Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin confirmed in the LA this week that government has purchased the building to be used for court facilities for slightly under US $6.3 million to
The Premier, speaking during the Cayman Brac sitting of the LA Wednesday (5 September) completed the purchase of the Scotia building along with parking recently.
“These will support a larger project to provide 21st Century court facilities for these Islands – and in so doing delivering on another of this Government’s stated objectives. Plans include erecting a new multi-story courts building connecting the Scotiabank building and the existing Court House, which will also be suitably refurbished. The first phase of this project will commence early next year. When complete this project will resolve the longstanding need for modern court facilities that will also serve as a significant landmark for generations to come,”
The cost of the project is yet to be announced.