HAJ and China Harbour partner to build close to 2000 houses in St Catherine

HAJ Chairman Norman Brown (r), Prime Minister Andrew Holness, President of China Harbour Engineering Company Limited’s (CHEC) Americas Division Dr
Zhimin Hu and Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for Housing, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr.

The Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) is slated to build 1,650 studio and one-bedroom homes in St. Catherine, under a joint venture partnership with China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), at a cost of approximately $9.5 billion.

The 54-month project, to be called Catherine Estates, is being developed on land in the Bernard Lodge area and is scheduled to commence in November.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, CHEC Americas Division President Dr Zhimin Hu and HAJ Board Chairman, Norman Brown, signed the project agreement during a ceremony at Jamaica House on Tuesday (Oct 15).

The venture, which is being funded and executed by CHEC under the ‘design, build and finance’ model, represents the first foray by the firm into Jamaica’s housing development market.

The price of the units will range from $5.5 million for a studio to $6.6 million for a one-bedroom house, which will be designed to facilitate expansion by prospective owners. Holness said the 1,650 units form part of the 3,027 affordable solutions that the HAJ is slated to deliver by the end of the 2019/20 fiscal year, next March.

Additionally, he said the development will be the largest undertaken in St. Catherine since the construction of Greater Portmore in 1992. The Prime Minister indicated that Catherine Estates will be developed in six phases, comprising 14 clusters with wide-ranging amenities and features. Additionally, there will be two large parks for community recreation; and land earmarked to build a primary school and high school, as well as a church, police station, health centre and commercial facilities.