Disquiet over planned Sh22b Cytonn housing project

Investments firm Cytonn’s proposed multi-billion-shilling apartment complex in Nairobi’s Kilimani area could run into headwinds following opposition from residents. 

Some residents have voiced their objection to the project, arguing that it is incompatible with the established estate.

“As residents and business people in the area, we have raised a number of issues and concerns on the proposed development, including incompatible land use, traffic, utilities,” said a statement by the Kilimani Project Foundation in part.

This is the latest in a growing number of disputes between developers and residents of Nairobi’s upmarket estates opposed to construction projects thought to be disruptive.

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Cytonn Towers is a proposed three-pronged tower structure each comprising 35 floors on a four-acre piece of land at the junction of Argwings Kodhek and Elgeyo-Marakwet Road.

Construction of the Sh22 billion project has been scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of this year and completed in 2022.

The residents’ lobby further argued that the development would have harmful health effects to schools and homes neighbouring the construction as well as heighten environmental pressures. The proposed Cytonn Tower will be home to more than 200 three-bedroom duplex apartments and penthouse suites, 180 hotel rooms, 160 serviced apartments and 30 typical office floors.

The tower will also have a shopping mall, a sky bridge restaurant, said to be Kenya’s highest, an infinity edge pool and an observation deck at the top.

Last week, Cytonn Chief Executive Edwin Dande and the management of the elite Cavina School traded barbs over the project. The school accused Cytonn of not conducting enough public sensitisation to those living around the proposed construction site about the associated risks.

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“With foundations that may need to be 30m (100ft) deep, the construction poses considerable safety hazards to neighbouring properties in the area,” said Cavina School Managing Director Adrian Massie-Blomfield.

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