With a promise to build exquisite restaurants, banks and all that is needed for entertainment and leisure, the sod was turned on Thursday afternoon for the commencement of the new Windsor Estates community at Ogle on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD).
The gated community will be built on 30 acres of former sugar plantation which was bought at $30M per acre –from the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).
Chief Executive Officer of Navigant Builders Inc. which is the developer of the Windsor Estates, Danny Sawh bought the plots of land recently, according to Head of the Business Development Unit at NICIL, Rachael Henry. She could not recall the exact date but said it was earlier in February 2020.
The total investment is worth US$83M and will be done over a five-year period while the company has committed $100M to do social projects.
Henry told the media that over 80% of the labour will be Guyanese for the construction and subsequently employment at the businesses to be established.
“The project will provide real employment over the construction period and post-construction phases will see opportunities in the hospitality, sport, leisure and tourism sectors,” she noted.
The facility will be modelled after the other gated-community at Eccles on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) and will include a recreational and commercial Park and a commercial zone with banks, medical facilities, a modern shopping area and exquisite restaurants.
“This project is expected to be a hallmark and cornerstone in Guyana’s progressive development especially with the growing oil and gas sector and one of the intents is to definitely bring to life our theme…experience a new way of living,” Mark Thomas, one of the managers at Windsor Estates who represented the developer on Thursday.
He said that stringent measures were included in the agreement with the Government’s privatization unit to ensure the developer stick to plans outlined.
The Windsor Estates is the third of such major development to be announced for the Ogle plantation area recently, joining the Marriott-branded and Hilton Hotels. According to NICIL, all of the investments were approved by the Board of Directors in December.
The investments will be made in close proximity to the Eugene F. Correia International Airport –which serves as a regional airport –at Ogle, ECD.
The developer is a Guyanese businessman who also owns Stonewall Contracting Corporation in College Point, New York.
Head of the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) at NICIL –the unit set up to divest former sugar plantations – Colvin Heath-London said the investment shows commitment to local investors.
“Importantly, we continue to ensure that local investors are not left in the cold by ensuring that there’s a level playing field for all,” Heath-London told those gathered at the simple ceremony.
The event was also addressed by Region Four Chairperson, Genevieve Allen and Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence who noted that such investments show confidence in the local economy.
In a statement from NICIL on Saturday, credited his reason for expanding his business to the economy as it relates to real estate and the current business climate.
The Guyanese businessman said that some 500 odd persons would be involved in the construction stage at any given moment, adding that their employment would last for a minimum of five years as it is the period for the construction. He said that construction is expected to begin in a few weeks, declaring that Guyana is open to business by locals as well.