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Housing minister says new high-rise apartments could be sold

The National Housing Corporation’s (NHC) new high-rise apartments at The Grotto which were to be rented out to low-income earners could go on the market for as much as $450,000 each if Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman has his way.

He suggested that the NHC could go the route of selling the units as one way to bring in money for the cash-strapped agency.

Kellman said while it was not a decision he alone could make, selling the apartments on the open market was a “possibility”.

Minister of Housing Denis Kellman

Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman

“A lot of people believe that once it is Government that Government should not be able to sell at open market. The only way that we can reduce the deficit at NHC is by doing the same thing,” Kellman told the media last night after addressing a meeting of the St James North branch of the Democratic Labour Party.

“In order for NHC to improve its cash flow, the first thing it has to do is to sell the properties and that has been our priority and that’s what we are seeking to do. We are making progress on all sites.”

The high-rise complex at The Grotto, Beckles Road, St Michael, comprising five apartment buildings, consisting of 16 units each on four levels, was to be completed by last September. However, landscaping and other final touches are still being done.

“That is a property that we have to think about it. The cost is of about $450,000 per unit, including land, and in light of the economic situation at NHC we have to be very careful how we approach that . . . It does not make sense having a location like the one we have and not thinking about it,” Kellman added.

“We have taxpayers’ money, we have to ensure that we maximize the usage and that we concentrate on also ensuring we don’t just rent to poor people, that we find a way where we can give poor people land where they can own their property.”

Assuring that the units would give value for money  Kellman compared them to what he said was being sold across Barbados.

“There are some units that are being sold for $400,000 and when you look at them they don’t look [anything] like those. Location of any asset is the key, and when you have the right location you have to ask yourself . . . ‘what is the next best choice?”

Construction on the apartment complex by Preconco Limited began on April 1, 2013.

Each apartment is 650 square feet.

However, Kellman indicated that The Grotto site was not the only one the NHC wanted to take to the market.

He identified the Exmouth Gardens high-rise project as another one on the radar.

“It has a view of the port, it has a lovely beach, so should the NHC ignore all of those things and not make certain decisions to suit that?” Kellman questioned.

18 Responses to GROTTO SALE?

  1. Brenda Bryce-Husbands
    Brenda Bryce-Husbands January 13, 2015 at 3:00 am

    NHC: Barbados’ new Real Estate Agency!

  2. Roberta Walcott
    Roberta Walcott January 13, 2015 at 3:18 am

    Denis Kellman….what is this please sir?. this story correct? Did you start a project to rent and now want to sell at a price that most single income families who would be interested cannot qualify for the loan to purchase. ..are you paying attention to the current mortgage market?

    • Marsha Peppa Fly Hinds-Layne
      Marsha Peppa Fly Hinds-Layne January 13, 2015 at 8:07 am

      Kellman’s interest is not in people…it is in reducing the NHC deficit..which id obviously mutually exclusive of catering to the needs of the low income bracket of house seekers…What I want to knoe id what is in each of these house that made them cost what they did /sq ft!!!….seems they are way more reinforced and well appointed than several bigger properties in Barbados!!

  3. Matthew Greaves
    Matthew Greaves January 13, 2015 at 3:40 am

    It serve poor people that were really depending on these homes right. they say this government is a government for the poor but yet they now want to come and sell you the houses at $450k i wonder which financial institution in this county will lend the average bajan almost half million especially now that everybody loosing their jobs stupes.

  4. Michael Turton
    Michael Turton January 13, 2015 at 5:54 am

    Talk some sense man ya using words and figures that don’t match poor people, own property, $450,000. The mission was to provide low income dwellings now ya gone pass middle income wha gine on. Every project FAIL, FAIL, FAIL.

  5. Mark Wrd
    Mark Wrd January 13, 2015 at 6:11 am

    This is yet another unfair decision by this government to the poor people of Barbados .

  6. Duane Burke
    Duane Burke January 13, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Should this not have been thought about prior to start of construction in 2013?

  7. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte January 13, 2015 at 6:29 am

    A sale of these properties will mean that many could go in to non-nationals hands and or to several bajans who already have property.

    Think again and just do a rent to own to 1st time bajan home owners. This i beleive will be better received and supported by locals. In other words the Minister will score points.

  8. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall January 13, 2015 at 7:11 am

    For a whole block

  9. Roger Manning
    Roger Manning January 13, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Clueless Government. There really have no real plan for the country.

  10. seagul January 13, 2015 at 8:42 am

    The Barbadian people are an extraordinary people. We are naturally hospitable and full of character. We work hard to develop our country and just try to honestly do our best. The real challenge lies in politics, they are prepared to bury the poor for a pouch of gold.

  11. seagul January 13, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Voters should have the right to sack MP’s midterm if they’ve done something wrong, and the sooner we introduce that the better it would be for a society in control.

  12. Elle Tee
    Elle Tee January 13, 2015 at 9:06 am

    I would hardly think that if a person has access to $450,000, he or she will invest it in The Grotto.

  13. Sanky January 13, 2015 at 11:16 am

    So wait, am I correct in the understanding that one of those apartments will cost more than one of those things at Coverley.

  14. Simon Templar January 13, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    $450,000 for 650 square feet??

  15. Peterkin Brome January 13, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Government cannot continue to sell land and houses below the construction cost and remain solvent. If poor people is to have a piece of the rock the sale of these properties would provide the funding to sell them land at concessional rates. They can then proceed to construct their own houses.

  16. Carol Springer January 13, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    I really want to know where is the land that going with these apartments because I think he talking about the parking lot. One could get houses even
    cheaper than that and is a package deal. House and land.

  17. in-total-amazement January 14, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    i think these apartment from the outside look really nice, but there is no way that they can cost more than an upscale condominium or house and land in some of the more upscale areas.


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