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Phoenix Estate puts out first development - Buyers have pick of 'shell' houses or complete units

Published:Sunday | May 15, 2016 | 12:00 AMTameka Gordon

Real estate developer Phoenix Estate Limited (PEL) is spending roughly $400 million to bring 110 lots and 57 starter homes to market within the next 18 months.

The residences include 'shell houses', or units that are roofed, but the floor is untiled, and the rooms are not partitioned.

Phoenix Park Estates sited on 26 acres of lands in Old Harbour, St Catherine, targets the low- to middle-income bracket with three basic solutions, project administrator Randolph Mair told Sunday Business.

Purchasers may acquire a 4,000 square-foot serviced lot priced at $3.5 million; a 413 square-foot 'shell house', which comes with a bathroom but no kitchen fixtures and partitions, for $5.95 million; or a completed house priced at $6.95 million.

Mair says the 'shell' is "really a one-bedroom" unit which allows the buyer "an opportunity to create their own internal environment". The units will be made with poured reinforced concrete and the roofing made of timber with alu-steel sheeting.

Phoenix Park Estates mirrors a market trend in recent times for developers to create semi-complete units aimed at reducing the eventual selling price on the basis that the fixtures generally drive up the cost of the completed units.

Another such development is Seville Meadows in St Catherine, built by MJC Masterbuilders Limited.

Phoenix Park is being sold through Coldwell Bankers Realty, which said the model unit will be ready for viewing in the next four to six weeks.

Overall, PEL projects to deliver 167 lots with 57 slated for the starter units/shell houses and 110 lots, Mair said.

PEL is headed by financier and new government senator Aubyn Hill, lawyer Malcolm McDonald, Peter Marley, and Mair.

Mair's track record in the construction industry includes the Orchid Estates residential project, being executed on behalf of Jamaican Teas' real estate division.

Phoenix Park is the first development for PEL, but not the first for the four individuals associated with the company, Mair said, adding that the directors have been mulling the concept for a few years.

Land for the development was bought some years ago, and paid for out of pocket, Mair said, without disclosing the acquisition price. The company is financing the development of the property from loans, he adds.

Construction is projected to begin on June 1.

"We already did some work on the site, preparing the site for presentation (and) scribing out the roads. Within the next two weeks, we are going to start the actual infrastructural works and the project should be finished in a matter of 18 months including construction of houses," Mair said.

"I'm trying to go below what is termed the normal market price by offering starter units, giving an opportunity to an individual who can apply to National Housing Trust and get their own mortgage, so they don't need two people," he said.

The project administrator said some lessons learnt from the Orchid Estates project have been incorporated in the business concept for Phoenix Park.

"A lot of the people who are interested in buying are single mothers and they want to be able to do it on their own," he said. Young individuals who "want a start in life," are the prime market for the venture, he said.

"They want to get a roof over their heads and then they can expand based on their income and will have adequate space to do so," he said, of the 4,000 square foot lots.

Five acres of the property will be developed as recreational space, inclusive of play areas for children.

"We are trying to arrive at something that we would term a 'community type' development," said Mair.