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Worldwide accolade for local housing development

Published:Sunday | May 13, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Scheme in Richmond, St Ann, to receive 2012 International Quality Summit Gold Award

The Richmond Housing Development in St Ann has been selected for the prestigious International Quality Summit Award (IQS) Gold Award for its demonstration of quality and excellence.

The housing development will be presented with the signature gold award for being a leader in its industry and for outstanding quality awareness.

The award will be accepted by Lee Issa and Steve Bennett, chairman and managing director, respectively, of Richmond Dev-elopment Company Limited, at the International Quality Convention to be held in New York on Monday, May 28.

Richmond, St Ann, was nominated after a series of consultations by the global entity, Business Initiative Directions (BID) with company executives from 117 countries.

These consultations were held over a 12-month period in Paris, London, Madrid, Geneva, New York and Frankfurt and on the basis of IQS regulations and criteria of the total quality management model. Richmond, St Ann, was designated to receive the international quality award in the gold category.

Reflecting on the award, Bennett describes the Rich-mond Development experience as a "search for excellence and a dream come true".

According to Bennett, the development came out of a dream by Issa.

"Several years ago, having been diverted to drive through a popular housing development in Montego Bay, Lee Issa could not understand how a decent housing development could be allowed to transition into being a concrete jungle, spoilt by the obvious signs of a lack of adherence to the quality standards that exist in first-world countries close to us.

raising the bar

"He could not understand why our people should be short-changing themselves, and why as a country, we should be accepting mediocrity as a way of life even in the way we organise the places we call home," said Bennett.

He added that it was during that drive through that housing development in Montego Bay that Issa conceptualised the idea of Richmond, St Ann.

"I want to raise the bar on what a modern housing development should look and feel like. It had to be a place with no less excellence than you would find elsewhere in more developed countries," said Issa.

He insisted that it could be done and when given the opportunity to acquire sections of the old Richmond sugar estate in St Ann, the dream was in full motion. Issa engaged the assistance of Bennett to be the point person to capture his dream and bring it into reality.

A team of professionals was assembled and the dream was meticulously transformed from thought to reality with Issa being the main decision maker in all the design details.

"I didn't care if I made any money on this project. I wanted to establish and create something that all Jamaica would be proud of," said the prominent hotelier and businessman.