Avia Collinder, Business Reporter
The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing (MTWH) has placed on the market 20 studio units in Albion, Montego Bay, part of its restricted housing development programme; and two land lots which are among a list of properties being divested.
The studio units, which cost J$23.5 million to develop, were built for the ministry by contractor Seal Investment Company Limited, according to acting chief technical director Authrine Scarlett.
Ten of the units are being sold for J$3 million to J$3.2 million each; while the other 10, which are quads and duplexes, are being sold for J$4.8 million each. By Sunday Business calculations, full sales will bring revenue of about J$79 million.
The lots being divested include a 3.5-acre property in Chudleigh, Manchester, with asking price of J$3.5 million; and another of unstated size but described as residential in Riverview Estate, St Thomas, with asking price of J$1.5 million.
Scarlett said that the full list of properties to be placed on the market this year by the MTWH was not immediately available, and that for those to go on the market the expected income "can only be determined when the projects are completed and/or the valuations done".
She noted that all property sale proceeds go into the Housing Fund and the monies are primarily used to fund new projects.
The ministry will be placing units on the market under its 'Infill programme', which involves the development of residual plots of land within existing housing schemes to provide housing solutions, minister without portfolio, Dr Morais Guy, told lawmakers during this year's sectoral debate.
In the current fiscal year, ending March 2014, the ministry plans to develop 70 housing solutions and commercial lots on 17.8 hectares, or 44 acres of land; as well as 34 serviced lots at Fairy Hill in Portland, and Chippenham, St Ann, costing J$46.4 million.
Another J$83 million will be spent on five projects, two will provide 19 houses, while the other will deliver 17 commercial lots located in Gazeland, near Junction, St Elizabeth; Llandilo, Westmore-land; and Old Braeton, St Catherine.
In the fiscal period that closed in March, the ministry had approved 174 requests for divestment with a combined affixed value of approximately J$88 million, Guy said. In the current year, the ministry's marketing department will be pushing to sell 1,218 solutions valued at about J$861 million.
"As you can appreciate, there may be adjustments to some projects as we proceed with implementation," MTWH communication specialist David Brown said last Monday.