BELLEVUE CHOPIN, Dominica — A major new development is underway to resettle the hundreds of residents who lost their homes after tropical storm Erika wreaked devastation across the island just 18 months ago.
The Petite Savanne Resettlement program, which was established with the active support and encouragement of Dominica’s prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit, will see the construction of 368 mixed use units. Construction started few months ago and the erection of buildings is due to start this month on the 49.6 acre site, to be completed in three phases.
The development is being financed by Dominica’s citizenship by investment (CBI) program and is spearheaded by Montreal Management Consultants Est. (MMCE), and is resourced and secured by the government of Dominica to frontload the financing of the project.
The new purpose-built modern living community features 340 residential homes, a commercial plaza (mini-mall) of 28 retail units, a farmers’ market and a community centre.
Infrastructure and earth movement works at the site are now finished, roads have been planned out and the laying of foundations is in progress.
The construction phase will create 500 – 600 jobs for Dominica and is being handled by six contracting firms, five of which are local to the island.
The first and second phases, in addition to the commercial complex, are due to be completed at the end of 2017 with the project scheduled for full completion by summer 2018.
Modern Living for Displaced Residents
The new homes will feature a range of mixed feature properties from triplex and duplex townhouses to condominiums. Plans include six one-bedroom, 135 two-bedroom, 75 three-bedroom and 40 four-bedroom homes. Some 311 families directly affected and made homeless by Erika will be offered housing.
Residents from other areas of Dominica not displaced as a result of Erika will be able to apply to the ministry of housing for the remaining homes.
Commenting on the development, CEO of MMCE Anthony Haiden said: “This is a very important project for Dominica. To be able to offer new homes to locals who have suffered terribly following the utter devastation of Erika is testament to how citizenship by investment programs can really make a difference to communities.
“Every feature of the development has been carefully designed to meet the needs of the new community. Rather than just building new homes we have carefully planned it to create and curate a completely new community to meet the needs of residents.”
Opportunities for local business owners
The retail units will offer a range of commercial prospects. Applications for leasing the business real estate on the new development will be invited by the ministry of housing.
As a brand new community area, the developers will be looking to secure interest from a wide range of business types that will service the residents. The retail units will offer job creation and long term employment prospects.
An island community devastated
Tropical storm Erika ripped through Dominica in August 2015, displacing hundreds of families and all but wiping out the community of Petite Savanne, one of the island’s hardest-hit areas.
The storm brought devastation across Dominica after ten inches of rain fell in just a few hours. Many communities experienced landslides, the capital Roseau was engulfed by water and the island’s transport infrastructure was brought to a standstill, generating a huge recovery bill for the nation.
International disaster recovery and engineering specialists were brought in to provide emergency support and to restore water supplies to cut off communities.
The restoration and rebuilding costs were estimated to be in the region of $482 million.