Tue | Nov 21, 2017

Wihcon rolling out residential projects worth $7b

Published:Sunday | November 12, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Peter Melhado, president and CEO of ICD Group Limited.

President and CEO of the ICD Group Peter Melhado says construction subsidiary West Indies Home Contractors (Wihcon) will be rolling out several projects in two years, for which the cost of development falls in the ballpark of $7 billion.

There are 1,748 residential units in the pipeline for construction over the period.

Recently, Wihcon sold off some heavy equipment, including cranes, but Melhado said these were surplus assets acquired with the purchase of Kier's holdings.

"When we bought Kier's assets in Jamaica, there were a number of pieces of equipment that were surplus to requirements, which we are offering for sale in the normal course of business," Melhado told Gleaner Business.

Kier International pulled out of Jamaica two years ago. Wihcon recently moved its headquarters to the old Kier complex at Harbour Head in East Kingston. Melhado himself was once a project engineer with Kier, early in his career.

Wihcon, meanwhile, has ended its relationship with ALF Investment Limited, a property management and real estate development company - a partnership out of which two large developments came.

The investment company's shareholders are Margaret Mahfood, Sandra Mahfood, Naudia Wright and Ann Brown - each holding one share.

In 2011, Wihcon entered into an alliance with ALF, which brought large tracts of land to the partnership. The association resulted in the development of Meadows of Irwin in Montego Bay and a high-end town house complex, Somerset Homes, constructed near Graham Heights in Kingston.

The latest development was Jacaranda Homes located at Innswood in St Catherine.

Wihcon notes on its website that its partnership with ALF Investments ended in 2017.

The new Wihcon projects to be rolled out to the market by December 2019 include The Lofts, located near the National Stadium in Kingston, comprising 128 units; a development in Harbour View, St Catherine, which will field 120 units; and the continuation of phase one of the Friendship development in Irwin, Montego Bay, which is a joint venture with National Housing Trust to construct 1,500 units, Melhado said.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com