Coromandele Investment Group, the latest entrant into Kisumu’s real estate sector, has announced plans to build a unique, upper middle-class estate in the town that has created a buzz.
Known as Riat Hill Villas, the project will comprise 30 housing units, all offering a view of Lake Victoria.
The group’s chairman, Mr Fred Andersson, told DN2 that the Sh1.3billion property, which is aimed at transforming the face of Kisumu’s middle class housing, will be markedly different from the other housing projects hitherto seen in the area.
He said the every unit will comprise four en suite bedrooms, walk-in closets, an expansive roof terrace with an external jacuzzi, and a two-room servant’s quarters. There will also be a free-flowing open plan in the common areas.
The developer said the project was based on contemporary Swedish design and will contain unique design features that blend in with nature.
“This is a great milestone for Kisumu. Every house will have a distinctly unique look,” he said.
BEAUTY OF KISUMU
“Our compounds aim to give stunning views of the hill, Kisumu Town, the lake and a glimpse of the sunsets in Lake Victoria,” he said, adding that the view the site offers of Lake Victoria and Kisumu Town, coupled with its cooler climate thanks to the breeze from the lake, makes the villas ideal for most people.
Mr Andersson said the idea to build on Riat Hill was prompted by the desire to create a new, exclusive estate due to increased encroachment on high-end estates like Milimani, whose face has changed drastically with the setting up of high-rise buildings, which has robbed it of the privacy it once enjoyed.
“We thought around the idea of exclusivity and realised that the growing middle class in Kisumu is suddenly running out of exclusive residential housing,” he said.
The beauty of Kisumu, and especially the first rim of the Riat Hill, inspired me to create a new concept of living for the town,” he said, adding that the project will break ground for new, upmarket villas in Kisumu.
The villas, to be located in Dago Sub-location, will each occupy a quarter of an acre.
Meanwhile, Lake Estate Agency proprietor Ms Nishma Karia, who is coordinating the project, said the villas, which were designed by the TMS Consulting Group, will be very roomy.
They will have a flowing design, with large windows to allow in lots of light while the external walls will have stone layers, cement fibre boards and textured paint to give them a brownish look that blends with nature.
“The cabinetry, like other modern developments, will be made using medium-density fibreboard and granite. The floors will be wooden to ensure warmth at all times since the area can be quite chilly at times,” she added.
“There are also plans to build a club house and swimming pool for the residents.
Riat Hills is increasingly attracting a new breed of well-to-do individuals and investors with a vision for affluent and urban living designs,” said Ms Karia.
Mr Andersson said the construction materials for the project will be manufactured locally, adding that only those unavailable locally will be imported from Sweden.
“Already 10 villas have been had been sold offline. The 10 houses will be complete within a year,” he said.
He added: “I don’t know the profile of the buyers, but anyone can buy. We are also getting enquiries from Kenyans in the diaspora who want to buy and rent out villas, or to use them while on holiday.”
ODM leader Mr Raila Odinga, who presided over the launch, said the project would help open up the county.
“It is unfortunate that our youth still fancy working in Nairobi because more than 60 per cent of Kenya’s GDP is held by the central government. This project is, therefore, important in bringing about enormous change,” he said.
The villas will cost between Sh38.5million and Sh48.5million, depending on the design.
Mr Andersson, a native of Sweden who boasts more than 40 years’ experience at the helm of different international companies, said the project was very timely.
“My predictions for the next five years is that with the upgrade of the Kisumu International Airport, roads as well as the railway line, Kisumu is set to experience a huge influx of people who will in turn need decent housing,” he said.
He has set up a number of successful companies in East Africa in the past 10 years including Kinondo Kwetu (one of the best coastal lodges in East Africa), Kinundu Kwetu Trust fund, Oriflame in Kenya and other East African countries.