Ed Ahmad building housing scheme, mall, at Leonora
NICIL sold land ‘strictly’ for wood processing
New York-based Guyanese, Edul Ahmad, who is facing trial in a US$50 million mortgage-fraud scheme, is looking to build a posh housing scheme, mall and gas station at Leonora, West Coast Demerara. The housing development would be called Hollywood Gardens.
The land for the project was previously owned by the state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), up to 2008. The almost 17-acre plot was sold by the government’s asset holding company, NICIL.
In announcing the sale, NICIL and the Privatisation Unit had said that the use of the land was restricted to value-added wood processing operations. The sale of the land was made to one of Ahmad’s companies, South American Woods Incorporated.
The plot of land once served as the senior staff compound for the Leonora Estate. At the time of the sale, NICIL claimed that all of the buildings were destroyed by fire or were vandalized. The land, 16.3098 acres, was sold for $80M or $4.9M/acre.
Ahmad, who was released on bond in the mortgage fraud scheme, is not allowed to leave New York and travel to Guyana. Jury selection in his fraud case will take place in November, and U.S. prosecutors say they will need only one week to prove their case against Ahmad.
But Ahmad is currently offering parcels of the land for sale. The Leonora projects are being run from Ahmad’s building materials depot at Ruimveldt, Georgetown.
Persons are being told that if they want to build their own house, they can buy a 95-foot by 50 foot lot for $6.5 million. Persons can also let Ahmad custom design and build for them.
As land development is now ongoing, persons who make inquiries are being told that if they secure a plot of land, they would only be able to start building next year.
Ahmad proposes to have 87 houses built at the location. To that will be added a full gas and service station, facilities to house two banks, and a huge shopping mall, the company says on its website.