Sun | Jun 24, 2018

Orchards developer heading to market with phase two units

Published:Friday | January 19, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Graphic design of The Orchards residential development

Completion of the first phase of The Orchards will miss its February deadline, but the developer says it's already sold out, and is about to start marketing the next set of residences to be built under phase two.

The development being done by Rivi Gardner & Associates will deliver 780 two-bedroom bungalows spread across 140 acres at Innswood in St Catherine.

In a nod to the name of the residential complex, 15 acres of the property will be set aside as an orchard for a variety of fruit trees, the developer said. The houses are also named for fruits, based on size: Mango, for units starting at 773.5 square feet, and Pineapple, for units of 983.5 square feet.

The first phase comprises 260 bungalows units and cost $1.6 billion to develop. Gardener said construction was backed by pension fund money, and that financing was structured by MoneyMasters Ltd.

He said the cost of developing Orchards Phase Two will be announcement when the finer details of the project have been settled in just under a month's time.

"In another four to six weeks we should start advertising phase two," Gardener told the Financial Gleaner.

Land for the Orchards development was contributed by SCJ Holdings in exchange for a minority stake in the project.

"They didn't get involved with financing, but they will get 25 per cent of the profits," Gardener said.

The Orchards was first announced in early 2016 but did not get fully under way until April 2017. Gardener gave a nod to the "many patient early depositors who endured a lot", even while noting that the expected completion date has been pushed back from February due to weather-related delays.

"The first phase is completely sold off," he said. "We've been having a bit of a problem with the rain, so that has set us back with completing the infrastructure, but we're pressing along now that we have a little sunshine," he said.

He did not offer a new completion deadline.

The phase one houses were marketed at $10.75 million for Mango units and $13.5 million for the Pineapples.

"The phase two units will be priced at about 10-15 per cent more, since we're really holding the price to affordable levels where persons using NHT funds and so on can make a purchase," Gardner said.

Rivi Gardner & Associates is well known for design services. But Gardner says his firm has always been a player in the development market, albeit on a small scale.

"Over the years, we've been doing developments, but those were smaller. This is the first time we've done something this major," Gardener said.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com