Builder in Sh1.2 billion homes plan on former former Kyang’ombe slum area

Posted In Business, Real Estate - By admin on Thursday, July 18th, 2013 With No Comments »

prestigeA real estate developer has set out to build houses for low-income earners in Embakasi, Nairobi, in a stark shift away from its mainstay of high-end housing.


Taj Mall Ltd, a 18-year old firm, plans to build Taj Shelter estate on part of the former Kyang’ombe slum area. The slum was demolished in late 2011.


Managing director Ramesh Gorasia said the development will target low income earners, who will be vetted to ascertain income status. Former Kyang’ombe slum residents will be accorded priority.


“It is a corporate social investment initiative. We serve all Kenyans; we have catered for the high- and middle-income segments, but we want to be all-inclusive,” Gorasia said in an interview.


The development, to be valued at Sh1.2 billion by completion, will sit on 2.5 acres. It will have 448 units of two-bedroom houses, parking space and play area. It will be completed in 1.5-2 years once construction begins in October.


Gorasia said county government approvals have been obtained and is awaiting structural plan and the National Environment Management Authority approvals. The offer price is Sh2.5 million per unit. Parking space will be sold or let separately as an option.


“Those interested will apply for consideration on a first-come-first-serve basis. We will conduct due diligence to ensure buyers are low income earners. There will be penalties if one tries to cheat and they will also lose the houses to more deserving Kenyans,” he said.


One must be a first-time buyers and an owner-occupier. There will be a lock-in period of five years from time of occupation before one can be allowed to transfer ownership “to ensure people will not be in it to make quick money”.


“The target market are people earning up to Sh100,000 and below. They must show us payslips or tax returns as proof of income level,” said Pallavi Bhatt, the firm’s sales and marketing manager.


Buyers will pay a deposit when applying and another instalment on qualifying, Gorasia said. Remaining instalments will be staggered over the construction period.


“The deposit is proof of the buyer’s willingness. Those who will not get the units will be refunded. Buyers will also pay other costs such as stamp duty and legal fees,” Gorasia said.


Potential homeowners at Taj Shelter will mostly be people working in industries around and at the JKIA, saving them on commuter costs.


“They will easily walk to work,” he said.


Taj Mall Ltd is eyeing to work with the government in upgrading informal settlements. The firm has in the past concentrated in the more lucrative high-end residential segment and office and retail space. Its previous developments include Taj Tower in Upper Hill, Taj Gardens and Taj Millenium in Kileleshwa, Taj Prestige in Westlands, and Taj Shopping Mall on Airport North Road.


- The Star

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