The crisp, elegant facades of houses in white, cream and beige stood out in renderings for Roystonia Mews, a new 32-unit duplex luxury residential community now being built in Piarco, to be completed by April 2020.
The launch for the new development took place on Friday night at the offices of Hanover Construction Limited on Pasea Street, off Carmody Road, St Augustine. Hanover Construction is the contractor building the homes, while Home Mortgage Bank is providing project financing.
“Already today nine units are sold,” said Krishna Boodhai, managing director of Hanover Construction in an interview with Business Day. In a subsequent emailed response, he confirmed that all purchasers, so far, have been locals. "The buyers are business and professional, mixed between investment property and owner-occupied. It is a relatively small project and the response has been very positive at the price point of $2.2 million.”
Hanover Construction specialises in design and construction of residential and commercial buildings, land development and related infrastructure works.
“Hanover Construction is a long-established real estate developer, having done Roystonia in Couva some 20 years ago – over 1,500 houses. Last September, we delivered 100 single family units for Government (HDC). We are now building Roystonia Mews in Piarco, and we have another private project in the vicinity of the Roystonia Mews. And then we have another project, a long time in the pipeline, in south, which will be much larger than Roystonia, for a different income bracket, mainly single-family units, so that’s in the development stage.”
Boodhai said Hanover Construction’s track record shows “where we came from, where we are, where we’re going. We are well experienced.”
The company is owned and chaired by businessman and entrepreneur Anand Persad, who was out of the country for the launch but was represented by executive director and corporate secretary Kavita Persad-Maharaj, assistant corporate secretary Vasisth Persad, director Richard Maharaj, and other senior management of Hanover Construction.
“One of the affiliated companies of Hanover owns the land (at Piarco); we got project financing from Home Mortgage Bank; we are marketing; and we have a number of financial institutions and real estate agents who will link up with us, so we are selling to third parties, and the real estate agents and bankers are here this evening to deal with prospective buyers,” Boodhai said.
“We are pleased to say that already nine of the units are sold or committed as of today.” Each unit costs $2.2 million and comprises 1,850 sq ft, all designed as end units. “Every unit has its own green space at the back, and eight feet on the side, so between two buildings there’s eight plus eight, so 16 feet which will be kept green with a very low separating fence, and landscaped,” Boodhai said.
“At the eastern end of the project, which is about 40 feet wide by the side of the road, there is green space with the potential for a pool, clubhouse and common entertainment centre,” he said.
Start-up fees to maintain shared spaces will be $600 a month, which does not include 24-hour security. When all units are sold, homeowners will decide on those issues, Boodhai said. A management company for the Piarco Roystonia Mews has already been formed, which will be turned over to homeowners to run their own operations.
As classical-sounding versions of this year’s popular calypsoes streamed through the foyer of Hanover Construction’s headquarters, bankers, businessmen, real estate agents, stakeholders and potential buyers all enjoyed the shrimp cocktails and other delicious nibbles at the cocktail party launch. In his speech to formally launch Roystonia Mews, Boodhai reminded listeners of his company’s history:
“Hanover’s first major project, the Roystonia in Couva, was pioneered by Mr Vasisth Persad with an unorthodox approach and is still one of the best models in private sector housing joint ventures with the government. That project, in the late nineties, was very successful… It closed a couple years ago and was more than 1,500 units. Those who invested in Roystonia in the early days – you can check the price in the media for current prices – in some cases, what they initially paid increased in value by several zeros to the current market price. Tremendous market value was gained in that project.”
Following on from that project, Hanover Construction received a large contract to build 936 suburban housing units at Trestrail Lands, D’Abadie, a mix of single family, townhouse and apartment units. One phase of that project was completed late last year, the completion of 100 units. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and representatives of the HDC and the Ministry of Housing and Development gave 82 families keys to new homes in a handover ceremony on September 26, 2018. “We are still very active on that project and we are currently building three-bedroom townhouses,” Boodhai said.
He said the efforts to make the duplex houses of Roystonia Mews a well-thought-out project meant consulting with many architects, engineers, interior designers and engineers. One typical drawback of row houses is the lack of windows along some walls: so every unit is this development is designed like an end unit, with every bedroom and bathroom getting a window, and every unit-holder getting a wraparound grass area.
“When we are finished with our project, we are going to be transforming that neighbourhood, enhancing its value,” he said, adding, “We had 32 units for sale when we started. As of this morning, we have 23 left. As of now (since the function started), we have 22 – one went a little while ago. That shows the level of interest in the project.”