Philipsburg – An active and fast contribution to the reconstruction of Sint Maarten will be the main focus of APS, Sint Maarten’s general pension fund administrator, the coming years in order to boost the economy.
The fund will contribute to relieving the post-Irma housing shortage on Sint Maarten by building more homes and fast-tracking the ongoing housing development projects within the APS portfolio, says APS Director Nadya van Putten. APS also commits itself to stimulating the economy by engaging local (sub) contractors in current and future development projects.
This was also the message given to the Workgroup National Recovery Plan during the consultations held with stakeholders for their interim report. A positive message backed by a solid belief in the resilience of the people of Sint Maarten.
APS is making the necessary adjustments to some of its development project strategies to contribute to the recovery of Sint Maarten by engaging companies specialized in pre-fab construction products and methods that result in houses that meet our local building codes and could be constructed in less than a year. “We are looking at the so-called De Castro property for the construction of such homes. The number of these homes would be limited but would hopefully help get some members of our SXM population back on their feet.” said Van Putten. This will be a long-term investment that will generate income and contribute positively to the return of investment of APS.
It remains APS’s goal to get homes on the local market that meet the needs of those persons who were looking for a place of their own before hurricane Irma or may have lost their home to her”. The shortening of the total project duration for the Welgelegen (Oryx Hills) affordable housing development project is therefore vital and already decided upon. Van Putten continued, “It is our hope that contractors will also come with proven methods that will shorten the total construction time and keep costs at an acceptable level. The assignment will be awarded to one general contractor who is expected to work with as many local subcontractors as needed. Both local and international contractors are to be invited to participate in the bidding process simultaneously. APS is hoping that contractors show interest and will take into consideration the nature of this project (affordable housing) and submit competitive price bids.”
The APS Parking and the Office Park development projects will also be fast tracked as the need for office and commercial space is at an all-time high due to businesses and government organizations being displaced /disrupted by the storm.
Meanwhile, APS will maintain its high standards in safeguarding the future pension entitlements of its members. Even when projects are expedited and re-prioritized, investments will be done in the same sound and value-creating way in the long-term interest of the fund. In this way, APS is dedicated to maximizing their contribution to a speedy recovery of the Sint Maarten economy, the tourism industry, the labour market and quality of life on our island.
Photo caption: Site of the APS Housing Development project in Cay Hill on the Welgelegen Road.