New Urbanism in real time at Camana Bay

Man walking with reusable shopping bag
Kapok resident Sebastian Mirbel lives, works, exercises and socialises at Camana Bay, fully utilising the concepts of New Urbanism the community was designed with. — Photos: Rhian Campbell

There’s an old saying in real estate about the three things that really matter when valuing a property: location, location, location.

Although that quote primarily relates to monetary value, living in a property that has the right location can add value to one’s life in different ways. Just ask Sebastian Mirbel, who resides in Kapok, Camana Bay's first 10-storey residential offering that opened its doors early last year.

“Living at Camana Bay changes your perspective on what you want to do and what you can do,” Mirbel says. “It is a life-changing experience.”

A former long-term resident who recently moved back to Grand Cayman, Mirbel is now enjoying the benefits that come with living in a community that provides safe, walkable neighbourhoods and accessibility to a wide array of amenities – the underlying characteristics of New Urbanism, which has been at the heart of Camana Bay from its inception. He lives, works, exercises and socialises within the community, and having everything within walking distance means that Mirbel and his roommates don’t have to leave Camana Bay unless they want to. One of his roommates, who works from home, doesn’t own a vehicle and rarely leaves.

“We joke around with him when he goes outside of Camana Bay and ask him: ‘Did you feel the time difference?’”

Whether it's grocery shopping, dining, entertainment or recreation, it's the options and easy access Camana Bay provides that make living in Camana Bay so alluring.

“I go to Anytime Fitness as well as Cayman CrossFit,” Mirbel says. “It’s really good to be able to just head down the elevator and walk over. I don’t have to think about the drive to get there. I almost feel guilty now if I don’t go because I’m so close by. I’ve even gone twice a day at times, it’s so easy.”

With 89 residences, the Kapok community inspires connection between neighbours.

“When I first moved in, I had knee surgery and the whole building knew about it almost immediately. This is because taking the elevator every day enables you to see more neighbours from the building and connect with them," Mirbel said.

“It is more connected than a normal apartment complex. It must be due to the proximity of people living and working so close to each other. It is by far the best place I’ve lived on island.”

This article was originally featured in the February 2024 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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