Cruise Terminal Leases
The article "Port let Royal Watler leases slide" published by the Caymanian Compass on 16 July 2010 was based on findings presented in a Report on the Port Authority by the Government's Internal Audit Unit. The Audit Report contains some serious inaccuracies, and accordingly the Ministry of District Administration, Works, Lands & Agriculture wishes to publicly clarify the role of the Lands & Survey Department in the initial leasing and ongoing management of the Royal Watler Retail Units.
The Department was contracted by the Port Authority in 2006 to market and sign up suitable tenants for its Royal Watler retail units. Commercial leases were duly executed for 13 of the 14 units between December 2006 and January 2008. The final unit remained unoccupied due to planning issues until October 2009. Contrary to statements contained in the Report, no tenant was permitted into occupation prior to signing a Lease and paying a first rent cheque.
The Department agrees that registration of the completed Leases could not occur until ownership of the Parcel was vested to the Port Authority and that this took 3 years, but this was largely outside the control of the Department. Most importantly, this had no effect on day to day management of the Tenants nor did it in any way affect the legality and contractual nature of the Lease agreements which had been signed.
Once tenants had been signed up for each unit, the role of the Lands & Survey Department was complete. Thereafter, the Port Authority undertook to directly manage all Royal Watler units itself, taking full responsibility for all rent collection, rent delinquency, and its own decision to award rent reductions across the board.