Home Afrika sets its sights on Kisumu city

Wednesday May 13 2015

Home Afrika CEO Njoroge Ng’ang’a (left) and the general manager finance and operations Simon Gichini on August 28, 2014. Property firm Home Afrika is targeting middle income earners in Kisumu with its new housing project in Riat Hills. PHOTO | FILE

Home Afrika CEO Njoroge Nganga (left) and the general manager finance and operations Simon Gichini on August 28, 2014. Troubled property developer Home Afrika has sacked its chief executive, days after announcing a Sh111 million loss. PHOTO | FILE 

By SILAS APOLLO
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Propert firm Home Afrika is targeting middle income earners in Kisumu with its new housing project in Riat Hills.

The Sh3 billion gated community which will overlook the lakeside city to the west, will be constructed on a 91-acre piece of land.

However unlike most developments in the area, the project will be undertaken on a purchase-and-build basis. 

Would-be tenants will be required to build their own homes besides those developed and sold by the Home Afrika group.

Once complete, Lake View Heights will join the league of upcoming high-end real estate units that have already set foot on the vast hill.

It will include additional amenities such as retail space, offices, light industries, a hotel and conference area, a school as well as a police post.

The development will comprise 140 pieces of 0.25-acre land and each piece will be sold for Sh2 million each.

Mr Njoroge Ng’ang’a, Home Afrika chief executive said the three-year plan will be built in conjunction with would-be home owners who will be required to construct their own houses.

Mr Njoroge said the strategy employed by the company will place them in charge of building of roads, schools, offices, shopping malls as well as a police posts and other supporting infrastructure.

INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT

They will then sell plots to home owners to develop houses. Once one has bought land, they will be required to construct a house but on a laid out structure that will be uniform and standard to all owners.

This will comprise villas of up to four bedrooms, town houses, apartments and semi-detached maisonettes all with a specified standard for all.

“We will give people a variety of typos and house designs that they can use.

We will have a guild of architect and a guild of contractor that will be standard for all developers. But as Home Afrika, we will also build certain areas of around 100 house units,” he said.

Already, the company has begun constructing a boundary wall, gates and levelling the area ahead of a September ground-breaking of construction. Two access roads have also been constructed at Kiboswa junction and the airport roundabout.

“We intend to have finished the construction of the infrastructure and commissioned the hotels and conference facilities by 2017. This is going to be an integrated development and a one of its kind and will define the property landscape of Kisumu,” he said.

Kisumu town, the third largest city in Kenya currently suffers shortage of decent housing for the middle class, a situation that has forced a majority of residents move to satellite towns.The town has a population of nearly 900,000 according to the 2009 population census report.

Areas such as Kenya Re, Migosi and Mamboleo are the preference of a majority of middle income earners. And to curb the lack of roads leading to various residences in the hill, Mr Njoroge said they plan to lead a team to lobby for tarmacking of the roads to the county government.

Touted to be a defining real estate unit in Kisumu, Lake View Heights that will overlook the vast waters of Lake Victoria to the west, will comprise of 300 units of bungalows and mansionattes.

“This will comprise villas of up to 4 bedrooms, town houses, apartments and semi-detached maisonettes all with a specified standard for all,” said Mr Njoroge.

The units constructed by Home Afrika will retail at Sh6.95 million for two bedroom apartment (78 square metres), Sh9.25 million for two bedroom and a servants quarter (105 square metres).

REGIONAL CENTRE

Three bedroom will sell at Sh9.75 million (110 square metres), a four bedroom town house (170 square metres) at Sh14.95 million while a four bedroom Villa (250 square metres) will cost Sh21.75 million.

Mr Ng’ang’a said that  they intend to make it affordable for people to own houses while at the same time decongest the town.

“We are not really into a profit making venture, but rather providing a solution to those in need of proper and decent houses.”

He added: “We have a board that will look at other available opportunities in the market and inform us of the needed changes.”

The company is currently doing a market study to determine other housing needs in the lakeside city and said they are setting their eyes on hospitality and other amenities.

“This is a flag ship project for us. We want to participate more in middle income settlement and to build communities around Africa by providing quality, sustainable and affordable homes to people.

“I think we are looking at Kisumu as a regional centre because of its location. It also has an advantage in conferencing and meetings in the region and by large Africa. We are also keen on reaping from the Kisumu International Airport,” he said.