JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Repeated requests of the government to “do it all” in providing more housing solutions “ is just impossible”.
  • Caymanas Country Club Estate is a collaboration between New Era Homes 2000 Limited and UDC.
  • The Minister described New Era as an emerging trendsetter.

More housing solutions are being developed as a result of the administration’s renewed mandate and focus on facilitating increased public/private partnerships.

This was noted by Minister with responsibility for Housing in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, at the official opening of the Caymanas Country Club Estate housing development, in St. Catherine, on October 23.

Dr. Guy emphasised that repeated requests of the government to “do it all” in providing more housing solutions “ is just impossible”.

In this regard, he cited the Caymanas Country Club Estate development as an example of a successful public/private partnership endeavour, which must be part of the solution going forward.

The development, a partnership between New Era Homes 2000 Limited, whose Directors are Canadian, and the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), entails the construction of 684 two and three bedroom houses by  New Era on lands acquired from the Corporation.

The units are being developed in two phases, with the first, which has been completed, comprising 264 units, while an additional 420 will be provided under phase two.

Dr. Guy said Caymanas Country Club Estate represents “what can be done when government and the private sector work together for the greater good of the people”.

“This partnership between the Urban Development Corporation and New Era Homes is one that signifies that a risk taken with this government in the provision of social amenities for the people is, indeed, a safe and comfortable risk,” he stated.

The Minister described New Era as an emerging trendsetter, whose successes to date, are “testament to the valiant and dedicated efforts of its principals”.

Dr. Guy commended the company on being professional and reliable in their undertakings during their 16 years of operation in Jamaica.

“We see their record of excellence in communities like Angels Estate, Vineyards Estate, Cedar Grove,  Cedar Manor and Caribbean Estate housing developments, all of which combined, represent the investment of billions of dollars,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, the UDC’s General Manager, Desmond Malcolm, described the Caymanas Country Club’s opening as “special” for the agency, given its siting on one of the entity’s designated areas for development.

He explained that in executing its mandate, the UDC has undertaken some developments and facilitated others.

“This Caymanas Country Club Estate is an example of the latter, where the Corporation was instrumental in facilitating New Era’s purchase of the land on which these homes are built,’ the General Manager said.

Mr. Malcolm said Caymanas Country Club is consistent with the UDC’s strategic development plans for the Caymanas Estate area, which started in 1983 with the signing of an agreement to purchase of 12,316 acres of land, and the subsequent formation of the Caymanas Estate Development Company Limited.

“Currently, the Caymanas designated area comprises 10,703 acres, of which approximately 46 per cent has been earmarked for various types of development, including mixed income group residential solution, light industrial, commercial,  institutional, and recreational uses,” he outlined.

Mr. Malcolm pointed out that being mindful of its role as stewards of the environment, the UDC has maintained the remaining 54 per cent as forests, woodlands, and wetland reserves.

He informed that New Era Homes Limited is the first developer to seize the opportunity created by the UDC to establish housing solutions on the Caymanas lands.

“As we continue to work together to make development happen and bring to fruition the vision for Caymanas, we congratulate New Era, the forerunners in the development of Caymanas Village. We are confident that other developments will follow and that, over time, the UDC will realize the concept envisaged for the estate, a place to live, work, and play,” Mr. Malcolm said.

New Era’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Leo Taddeo, described the official opening as “a very proud day for all of us,” because “we are celebrating the realization of a vision. He added that “it is very heart-warming experience to see our ambitious plans come to fruition.”

The firm’s Vice President, Desmond Young, disclosed plans by the entity to acquire more lands on the open market at Caymanas as well as Drax Hall, St. Ann, to pursue additional developments.

“At the same time, in order to provide low-income housing solutions to fit the new National Housing Trust (NHT) financing requirement, we will seek joint venture partnerships with the NHT, Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), and Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change. There are also plans to respond to the housing demand in the Jamaican Diaspora, through partnerships with Jamaica National building Society (JNBS) and Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS),” he informed.

In the meantime, Member of Parliament for East St. Catherine, where Caymanas Country Club is located, Denise Daley, said that New Era’s commitment and dedication to the provision of housing solutions “cannot be questioned.”

“New Era Homes has exceeded our expectations and (this official opening) is a testimony of your commitment and loyalty. Not only are you putting (roofs) over our heads, but you are also making sure that you build communities as well. I am confident that those who occupy your dwellings and communities have no regrets,” Ms. Daley added.