According to Daniel Ojijo, chief executive of Universal Homes Limited, well-to-do Nairobians and expatriates are driving a current craze for fancy apartments in suburbs like Lavington, Karen and Kilimani, where land owners have stepped in to meet the ever increasing demand.
“Surging land prices and its unavailability is the reason why many buyers continue to prefer buying apartments. However, the recent spate of insecurity coupled with the need for space is pushing the demand for apartments in the serene suburbs, perceived to be more secure,” said Ojijo.
Apartments in these areas are not your everyday type as they are exquisitely built for royal buyers. Developers are not sparing any effort in creating housing units that will exceed the expectations of even the most discerning home seeker.
“They are offering everything you ever wanted in an apartment; from space, design and style, security to amenities like sauna, swimming pool, gym, club house, manicured gardens, jacuzzi, basketball court and jogging tracks,” Ojijo explains.
Sigmo Enterprise, a real estate developing company based in Westlands, is currently developing a project dubbed Duchess Park, a luxurious community project in Lavington Green, along Hatheru Road comprising 62 Apartments. “Duchess is synonymous with royalty and associated with the kingly title ‘Duchess of York.’
We are offering royalty coupled with sheer elegance, a fresh aura in the beauty of nature and spacious living with all the necessary support facilities,” said Gideon Ngure, a manager at Sigmo Enterprise Limited.
Set to be completed this year, Duchess Park will offer home owners lounges with balconies, study niche, a kitchen with an island, cloakrooms, en-suite bedrooms with jacuzzis.
Other support amenities will include a swimming pool, fully equipped gym, jogging track, sauna, a club house, basketball court, landscaped gardens and an electric fence with CCTV cameras.
The property comprises 62 apartments, including 52 spacious three-bedroomed apartments all en suite with spacious master bedroom, balcony and self-contained servants quarters at Sh 29.5m and Sh35m for mortgage buyers.
There are also large four-bedroomed apartments at Sh39m and spacious five bedroom duplexes, all en suite, at Sh49.5m. “These are luxury apartments, built-in trending designs and finished in style.
Discerning buyers are ready to pay top shilling for them,” said Ojijo. Besides exquisite furnishing, a beautiful garden, club house, gym and a wide swimming pool, there also is a baby pool, covered basement parking space with two slots per unit and a extra space for visitors, borehole ad backup generator. But quality alone won’t get the buyers.
For a development like Duchess Park to convince people to cough over Sh30 for an apartment, an amount that can get one a good sized piece of land outside of the city and have enough left to construct a kingly mansion, other considerations must come into play.
Enter shopping malls. At the moment, there are about 10 malls under construction around the city, all topping Sh0.5b in costs. Duchess Park is in close proximity to several shopping malls. And with the Kenyan economy growing faster than the earlier predicted speed, a higher spending capacity for the growing middle class is going to entrench the battle for clients.