Tower brings taste of New York to Nairobi

An artistic impression of the 88 Nairobi Condominium.
Lordship Africa CEO Anuj Kale is a man on a mission. Kale is tasked with overseeing one of Africa’s most ambitious residential projects come to fruition. The Kenyan chapter of Prague-based Lordship Africa is putting up 88 Nairobi Condominium, sub-Saharan Africa’s tallest residential tower.

Rising 44 floors into the sky, the tower will radically change Nairobi’s Upper Hill skyline currently dominated by commercial buildings.

The construction of the tower, Kale thinks, is the closest Kenya will come to duplicating life in New York, London or Dubai where apartment living next to a bustling Central Business District is the norm.

88 Nairobi Condominium.
The new development will consist of exquisite studios, one- and two-bedroom units as well as executive apartments. The showhouse has already been constructed.

The living rooms and bedrooms will extend to terraces and balconies fully protected using reinforced safety glass balustrades.

88 Nairobi Condominium.
Prospective residents will choose between watching the sun rise over the city’s CBD, the greenery around State House and the Arboretum, or Nairobi Club and the adjoining financial district of Upper Hill.

Some of the amenities occupants will enjoy include gyms, spas, a 21-metre heated pool on the 34th floor, a VIP sky lounge and a helipad.

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A unit on the lower floors will cost you between Sh8.5 million or a monthly rental price of about Sh225,000. Some units on the higher floors will cost a cool Sh34 million with rental prices of Sh400,000 or more per month but with annual yields of up to 20 per cent.

Anuj Kale, CEO of Lordship Africa, developers of 88 Nairobi Condominium, the highest residential tower in Sub-Saharan Africa at Nairobi's Upper Hill.
We had caught up with Kale at the condominium’s sales offices on Ngong Road opposite the Kenya National Library Services building. Though he would not divulge the exact figures, the pre-sales are looking up, a pointer to the project’s viability. “Look around this place. Business is thriving. Nairobi people are educated and want to thrive, not just survive. These homes are a walking distance from key places hotels, hospitals, and the workplace,” he says, pointing to the skyscrapers dotting the area.

It will cost Sh5 billion and will be completed in 36 months. It’s just a stone’s throw away from 4th Ngong Avenue.

But it is not lost on him that Nairobi’s real estate sector has been cooling off in recent times.

He just has to look a few hundred metres from the site to see completed apartment buildings that are not yet occupied or with erratic tenancy.

This, though, hardly worries the dyed-in-the-wool New York realtor. He says the work that has gone into the project’s concept and financing is too much to engage a slow gear at this stage.

88 Nairobi Condominium.
His confidence is boosted by the success of Karen Hills, the group’s pilot project in the local market. Karen Hills is a master-planned gated community with 60 fully serviced one-acre plots and palatial houses overlooking the Ngong Hills. When completed, a home here will cost as much as Sh200 million, an indicator that high net worth individuals continue to invest in Kenya’s real estate.

A holder of a master’s degree in real estate finance from New York University, Kale followed in the footsteps of his father, a seasoned architect whose signature projects dot New York’s skyline.

His father was a key architect for the World Trade Centre 7, a third tower that collapsed shortly after the twin towers during the 9/11 New York bombing.

“Every time I saw that building in New York, I was filled with pride. The fact that my father, an Indian, could accomplish such a feat in New York, gave me the drive to believe in myself,” says Kale.

Kale is married to a Kenyan and hopes that the unbridled love he has for his wife and two children will be replicated in 88 Nairobi Condominium, the new baby who is eager to run.  

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