Prime Minister Andrew Holness has praised Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB) for partnering with a small developer to build 30 Red Hills housing solutions in St Andrew.
Dubbed Forest Gate Apartments, the Kirkland Heights apartment complex – featuring one-, two- and three-bedroom solutions – is the brainchild of Willard Banton, a developer and entrepreneur of humble beginnings.
At a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday evening, the Prime Minister highlighted the role of state-owned JMB in helping small developers realize their dreams.
The JMB provided funding for the project.
The 51-year-old bank mobilizes financial resources for on-lending to private and public sector developers and financial institutions.
“Mortgage Bank prides itself on empowering ordinary men and women to become skilled developers,” Holness said.
The Prime Minister also noted that the JMB was to be listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) to give Jamaicans the opportunity to hold a stake in the decades-old housing entity.
Three-bedroom units are priced at just over $40 million; two-bedroom units cost around $35 million, while one-bedroom units cost $27 million.
In a Gleaner interview, Banton said he was having difficulty with the project when a JMB representative visited the site and offered to partner with him to complete the complex.
“It’s like the Almighty sent an angel here because I was struggling from the beginning until the mortgage bank came here. I couldn’t do it alone – they played a big role,” he said.
The owners have a panoramic view of the city, with security and other amenities.
Looking ahead, Banton is considering another project at Jacks Hill, St Andrew, where he is considering another partnership with the JMB.