Seascape, the Harbour View housing development in east Kingston partly earmarked for persons displaced during the passage of Hurricanes Ivan and Dean in 2004 and 2007, is slated to be constructed later this year.
The development spans 3.51 acres and is a joint venture between the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation and West Indies Home Contractors (WIHCON).
Seascape development was first announced in 2017, and at the time, was expected to comprise 40 one-bedroom apartments, 40 two-bedroom apartments, and16 two-bedroom townhouses.
Two years later, WIHCON is just about ready to lay the first block for the planned housing development but has reduced its initial target of 96 units to 72 homes that will only take the form of townhouses.
“We were just looking at demand and working on pricing the units accordingly,” Janelle Brown, sales and marketing manager at WIHCON told the Financial Gleaner in response to queries about the delays in the housing development.
It is not clear if the previously announced 20 residents from Caribbean Terrace whose houses were destroyed following the hurricanes will all benefit from the housing subsidy to be provided by the Government, given the 25 per cent reduction in the number of housing units.
WIHCON also intended to target individuals earning between $150,000 and $300,000 per month, but there could be price changes in the development given the time lag. In 2018, the Seascape development was budgeted to cost $1.12 billion.
“We are still finalising the prices, but the budget would have changed as well,” Brown said.
The developer will, however, hold to its promise of making provision so that residents can have 24-hour security as well as a play area and a clubhouse. The house plan spans 955 square feet and will be Tropicana-style.
“The style of the units will be similar to the Bermonde development we did in Portmore,” the marketing and sales manager said. “The decision to construct only townhouses was really based on the demand for housing. In most instances, what we are seeing now is the building of quite a few apartments, but we are going with townhouses because we recognise that there is a high demand.”
Eastern Jamaica itself has garnered more attention from potential homeowners given the plans by the Government to rehabilitate 110 kilometres of roadway between Harbour View in St Andrew and Port Antonio, Portland.
“We are more optimistic, and that’s the very reasons why we are here. We know that a lot of activities are happening this side. It’s near the airport, it’s easy access to downtown (Kingston) and Portmore. Seascape is well anticipated. A slew of calls have been coming in and people want to know when we are getting off the ground,” Brown said.
Following the agreement with the Government for the development of Seascape, WIHCON built new headquarters at Harbour Head in East Kingston, consolidating at least three bases from which the six-decade old company operated in downtown Kingston.
The entire property is 6.5 acres, roughly half of which is occupied by WIHCON under a long-term lease, with the remainder to be used for the housing development.
WIHCON’s most recent project in Kingston is The Loft, which sits on 2.65 acres of land at Arthur Wint Drive in Kingston. WIHCON has built 128 apartments on two blocks that rise six storeys high. All the units have been sold.