Targeting mid-income earners
By By FRANCIS AYIEKO
| July 25th 2013
By FRANCIS AYIEKO
The stretch between Nairobi’s Kangundo Road and Mowlem Police Post is generally characterised by scattered middle-class homes and vast vacant spaces. But you can’t also miss the few single-room lower-middle class residential flats that have sprouted up in the area.
By the standards of real estate development in the city, the area can be described as underdeveloped. In a few months, however, that will change as the area welcomes what backers have described as a “pace-setting-development” project.
Mowlem Heights, whose construction started in mid-May, is a 180-unit, two-bedroom housing project expected to pioneer modern high-rise residential buildings in the area between Kangundo Road and Mowlem Police Post.
It is only a stone’s throw away from Komarock and about 100 metres away from neighbouring Saika. From where it is located, you can drive to Juja Road through Tononoka in Dandora in less than 20 minutes. It is about 200 metres from Kangundo Road, and 200 metres from the Mowlem Police Post.
According to Isaac Ireri, a director at the family-owned project sitting on 2.1 acres, the development will have a transformative effect on the area by enhancing lifestyle and security, as well as attracting better infrastructure and social amenities.
“We are coming up with a product that is well-thought-out, durable and will have an impact on the community in terms of attracting more people to this area. Jobs will be created and security will be enhanced. We see this project as part of Kenya’s modernising story,” says Ireri.
Compared to some well-known housing projects that have come up in Eastlands, Mowlem Heights, whose ground floor columns have been completed and the slabs are currently being put up, can certainly not be considered a grand project.
Boasting only a planned retail centre, a kindergarten centre and a borehole, Mowlem Heights pales against Eastland giants like Greenspan (about five kilometres away), Housing Finance’s Komarock Phase Five (about 2.5 kilometres away) and East Capital Apartments (about four kilometres away).
But its potential to enhance the profile of Mowlem area, named after a United Kingdom construction company that operated in the area in the 1980s and left the country in the 1990s, is not in doubt.
“The developer is setting pace for this area given there is no project of this magnitude or this class around. For the neighbourhood, I think it is a motivation and a pace-setter for other developers,” says PM Munderu, the project’s quantity surveyor.
Ireri notes that the construction will be to high standards, with finishing matching those used in Nairobi’s apartment-boom areas like Kileleshwa and Kilimani.
“We strongly feel that the fact that the project is in Eastlands is not a licence to go cheap. There is the option of doing a PVC floor, but we have chosen instead to use ceramic tiles. We want to create something liveable. We are not cutting corners. We want finishes that are durable,” says Ireri.
The 180-unit project will be built in two phases, with the first phase, expected to be ready by April next year comprising 60 two-bedroom (master ensuite) houses. With each unit going for Sh5 million, the project is targeted mainly at middle-income first-time homeowners.
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