Increase in cars, land scarcity in Nakuru jolt landlords to put up underground parking

Underground parking facility. [John Muchucha, Standard]

The increased number of vehicles within Nakuru City, coupled with the scarcity of land to construct parking spaces has seen new buildings steadily embrace underground parking technology.

This is aimed at saving customers from the predicament of parking whenever they are on official duties on their premises.

Inadequate land to build parking lots in the city’s Central Business District (CBD) has forced the storey building owners to adopt this technology as spaces for development register a decline amid increased demand for land.

Some of the buildings with these facilities charge private motorists and their tenants a reasonable fee monthly owing to an increase in the land rates.

The proprietors of some of the buildings claim the shift from open parking lots to underground parking has transformed real estate in the city.

The six-storey Eastmark Hotel Complex, located at Oginga Odinga Street has 28 parking slots that accommodate vehicles. General Manager Newton Karanja said the facilities are elevating the status of Nakuru.

“This kind of facility spurs development locally and it shows our seriousness in the use of small spaces we have and is a centre of attraction in the tourism industry,” said Karanja.

Tower One Complex - the tallest building with 14 storeys also boosts such facilities. “We have been forced to charge our tenants and those wishing to park their vehicles at our basement parking bay because of the high cost of land rates,” said Tower One Complex General Manager Sammy Mwangi.

The complex is situated on Moi Road and adjacent to Kenyatta Avenue at the heart of the city. Mwangi said they charge Sh6,000 per month per vehicle in all 63 parking lots within the facility.

However, Eagle Palace Hotel located along Oginga Odinga Street, which has a parking bay of 20 vehicles does not charge their clients, according to General Manager Norman Temu.

“This is ideal for our resident clients and they normally feel at home at our facility with the safety of their vehicles guaranteed,” he said. Temu said their facility can only accommodate medium-sized vehicles. The eight-storey-56-Roomed-Legacy Hotel building located on Maralal Lane, off-Mburu Gichua Road sits on a 100x100 plot and has over 60 parking spaces.

General Manager Boniface Oduor confirmed they also hire out some of their parking slots to their neighbours but not their clients.

“We have reserved parking slots for private individuals who feel secure with us but we don’t charge our clients who reside in our facility. This is what we do to all and sundry,” Oduor told Real Estate.

They charge Sh3,400 per month. This is happening as Governor Susan Kihika’s administration pursues the modernisation of the city to give it a major face-lift.

Nakuru City County Attorney Caleb Nyamwange said the underground parking technology has come in handy to improve services in the CBD.

“We are allowed by law to impose proper usage of land at all times and therefore this technology has come at the right time and we support it,” he said.

Other new buildings with similar facilities are Westside Mall and the Jenniffer Riria Complex.

The new development has reduced parking problems at the CBD - exposing some of the old-storey buildings to lack tenants.


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