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Stewart's Hardware owner investing $300m in real estate development

Published:Friday | December 30, 2016 | 12:00 AMTameka Gordon

Businessman and owner of Clarendon-based Stewart's Hardware, Byron Stewart, is investing more than $300 million to complete his first real estate project called Nell's Cottage in May Pen in the parish.

Located next to the Mineral Heights community, Nell's Cottage sits on six acres of land bought in the mid 1990s for the purpose, Stewart told the Financial Gleaner.

Construction was, however, delayed until the time was right, he said.

The Jamaica Mortgage Bank is providing "the bulk of the funding," Stewart said.

Twenty-nine two-bedroom and three-bedroom houses will be built, with three lots reserved for green spaces.

Lots sizes range between 5,000 and 7,000 square feet, with houses of 975 square feet for the two-bedroom units and 1,325 square feet of floor space for the three-bedroom homes.

Prices wil range between $13.5 million for the two-bedroom and $15.9 million for the larger units, Stewart said.

Targeted at "mid-income earners like police officers, teachers and university graduates," Nell's Cottage will feature solar water heaters, rainwater harvesting and an eight-foot perimeter wall among the amenities.

Explaining the design for the rainwater harvesting system, Stewart said each house will be constructed with a tank at the back of the property and gutters will be fitted along the roof to channel run-off into the tank.

Each house will also be provided with a pump to assist is circulating the water from the catchment throughout the building, he said.

In recent years, planning authorities have pushed for rainwater harvesting as a sustainable development practice. This feature was a key consideration in the design of the houses, Stewart said.

Construction of the homes will be handled by BOS Mining and Construction, another of Stewart's companies, with oversight by construction manager Tyrone Graham.

For the businessman, the segue into real estate was a natural progression. "It's synonymous, you can't have one without the other," he said.

The gated community is named in honour of Stewart's mother, Nellie Stewart.