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Proven REIT boss apologies for “flippant” homeownership remark

Chairman of Proven REIT in Jamaica, Christopher Williams, today issued an apology for contentious remarks made comparing purchase of Starbucks coffee to one’s ability to own a home.

Chairman of Proven REIT, Christopher Williams

In a letter to the editor of the Jamaica Observer newspaper, Williams said he recognises he made a “flippant and inappropriate remark, and I wholeheartedly apologise to all those making tremendous sacrifices to achieve homeownership”.

The apology comes just days after Proven REIT’s launch for its new development, VIA, where Williams said potential buyers could own a J$21 million studio at J$130,000 per month for mortgage, which he added is the equivalent of 130 lattes a Starbucks.

A Starbucks latte.

Criticism of his remark was swift as many on social media pointed out that they were ‘callous’ and ‘out of touch’.

The 10-storey development in the popular New Kingston area will have 99 units targeted at the country’s middle class, Williams said in his presentation.

Design of the VIA development.

Williams also offered an apology to the owners and operators of Starbucks in Jamaica, saying “…I meant no harm to their excellent brand and hereby withdraw the reference…”

Proven REIT is the real estate investment and development arm of Proven Investments Limited.