A move by the administration to repossess prime lands at Providence, East Bank Demerara, that were in the control of Chinese-owned BaiShanLin, is now in jeopardy, facing even more delays.
This is because the 100-acres property, owned by Sunset Lakes Inc., located behind the Providence stadium, is now in receivership and is being advertised for sale.
The land had been sold in 2014 by Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) to businessman/contractor Brian Tiwarie for development into a gated community.
However, eight weeks after securing the lands from CH&PA for US$2.2M (approximately $440M), Tiwarie, who owned Sunset Lakes, turned around and flipped the company to BaiShanLin for US$8M ($1.6B).
BaiShanLin is a Chinese investor that ran into trouble over its operations here and had its forest lands taken away by the Coalition Government.
BaiShanLin, now facing financial problems, was unable to pay Tiwarie the US$8M it promised and early last year, the businessman took BaiShanLin to court, asking for his balance of US$4M. Tiwarie also demanded back his company Sunset Lakes and wanted the court to forfeit the US$4M that BaiShanLin had advanced him.
On the lands currently, BaiShanLin had started to build a number of luxury homes, announcing prices upwards of $50M.
However, all that remains now is the fence and ghostly, unfinished properties. There has been little works in the last two years.
BaiShanLin and its principal, Chu Hongbo, now a Guyanese citizen, is now reportedly concentrating on gold mining.
Yesterday, in a full page advertisement in Kaieteur News, the Receiver/Manager, accountant Nigel Hinds, announced that he was inviting tenders for local and foreign parties interested in purchasing the 100 acres, either entirely or less.
Hinds was reportedly appointed Receiver/Manager after BaiShanLin defaulted in loans it took from a local bank.
It was stated that the land is ideal for residential purposes and located less than a mile from the Providence stadium.
Hinds said that while tenders are to be evaluated primarily on price, additional consideration will be paid to the development plans submitted, as well as the capacity of the developer.
This latest development would continue to anger persons who have applied for house lots and homes from CH&PA, but are being told there are no lands.
There are more than 20,000 applications pending at the CH&PA, with Government announcing plans to build duplexes and apartments for low income families in the short term.
Large swaths of lands behind Republic Park and Providence have been sold under questionable circumstance to several private developers who were looking to cash in on the booming housing drive between 2010 and 2014.
Many of those parcels have not been developed as the housing market stagnated. Many of the developers, some of them businessmen close to the previous administration, were left in financial difficulties.
There is evidence that a number of the developers may have illegally sold the lands they have committed to develop, for millions.
The evidence that is emerging now speaks of some developers breaching their conditions of sale, by illegally selling off to overseas investors and others.
There is no word whether the applicable profit taxes were ever remitted to the Guyana Revenue Authority.
Most of the land deals at Providence were birthed in the final days of the last term of former President Bharrat Jagdeo.
CH&PA has been promising to go after the private developers for breaching their conditions, including the building of infrastructure like drains and roads.
However, more than two years after taking office, there appears to be very little progress made.
In the meantime, at CH&PA, there is little movement also in quickly reducing the number of applications for houselots and homes that are in the system.
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