Smart homes hit the market

Published: Sunday | December 15, 2013 Comments 0
Interior of a finished Royal Plantation Estate home.
Interior of a finished Royal Plantation Estate home.

Correction & Clarification

In an article titled ‘Smart homes hit the market’, published on Sunday, December 15, 2013, it was stated that Royal Plantation Estate is located in St Catherine. However, the development is located in St Andrew. Cameron Mitchell of Canadian Brothers Development Limited has since clarified that his company is working “in conjunction with” and not “in collaboration with” the developers of Plantation Heights, also located in St Andrew.

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Tameka Gordon, Business Reporter

Canadian Brothers Development Limited has brought to market its first set of smart homes in St Catherine in a complex called Royal Plantation Estate.  Built on a roughly half-acre property, the development to be finalised in January was pursued in collaboration with the Plantation Heights developer, said managing director at Canadian Brothers, Cameron Mitchell.

The smart home development adjoins the Plantation Heights property to the east and is on Molynes Mountains, the developer said.

Seven of the nine smart units have been listed at US$196,000 (J$20 million) to US$219,000 (J$22.4 million) for one-bedroom and two-bedroom units.

A second set of three-bedroom units to be sold for US$230,000 to US$324,000, will also be constructed.

Mitchell said the lands were bought for $25 million, and that $121 million was invested in the development to bring the units to market. Construction began in February 2012.

"So far the project has been funded by just us but we will partner with National Commercial Bank (NCB) to build the second building," said Mitchell. NCB will provide $60 million in loans for the completion of the project, the developer said.

The first building is a three-story complex with seven two-bedroom homes and two three-bedroom townhouses. That building is complete, and construction of the second building, which will feature four three-bedroom units, is under way, he said.

UNIQUE STYLE

Each floor of the first building is said to have its own style and quality of finish. The doors don't have traditional key-locks but are electronically controlled.

The smart homes are plugged into the Internet, "So you can basically operate your television, microwave, fridge, stove, just about everything electronic from you android phone or your computer at your office," said the developer.

"If you want to open the door for your helper or turn off your lights, you can set up your system in which a special code is entered," he said. "You can set it up on your keypad console so you know whether your children arrive home on time or leave the home without permission. You get an email indicating who has entered the home and at what time," he said.

Brian Yap of Green Concepts did the technology design of the homes using the Control4 home automation system, with Flow Jamaica as the Internet partner.

Control4 allows technological products and systems within a home as well as gadgets such as iPads, iPhones and Android smartphones and tablets to be integrated to create enhanced security, ease of access and convenience.

The developers are "hoping the homes will sell fast".

"We basically think for the quality that you're getting and the smart homes, the cost is not ridiculous, it really isn't," Mitchell said, noting the sense of security the homes provide.

FOR YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

Other homes on the market in Kingston without the smart home features are selling at similar prices, he said.

"I don't believe it will take us a year to sell nine units," Mitchell said.

Royal Plantation Estate is targeted at young professionals "who really like that exciting life", said Mitchell, as well as small families, empty nesters and retirees, the company said.

Prices are subject to escalation "based on the movement of the dollar", but are fixed at the point when buyers sign a commitment letter.

"So far we have three commitments for both the three-bedrooms and the penthouse," he said.

"I believe that Jamaica should have access to such housing concepts irrespective of being a Third World country. If we can have access to cable television and Internet, why not this kind of technology and style of living?" Mitchell reasoned.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com

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