With an imminent population boom and lack of expansive land for development within Nakuru’s central business district (CBD), the city is steadily expanding in all directions as more centres emerge.
To the west, it’s expanding towards Salgaa trading centre, to the North towards Bahati and Subukia and to the east, it’s rapidly heading towards Gilgil.
It cannot expand to the south because the thousands of acres of land allocated there are occupied by Lake Nakuru National Park, home to thousands of wildlife species.
These expansions have resulted in the development of a number of investment facilities that have influenced skyrocketing land prices in the upcoming new centres.
In the past and as early as in the seventies and eighties, the cost of land was affordable which resulted in a number of early settlers building their homes there.
As the city expands in the three directions, the pace it’s taking towards Gilgil is unbelievable, which has seen a number of new centres spring up from obscurity to lively development centres.
Some keep on coming up while some are still in the process of being built.
Centres like Barnabas and Mzee Wa Nyama are the first and best examples not to mention Kikopey trading centre around the shores of Lake Elemeteita, which is a great tourist attraction in the county was completed decades back.
But the three centres keep on attracting more development projects from private developers.
The latest upcoming and glamorous centre, which could be marked as an upcoming ‘Nakuru Sarit Centre’ in waiting is the Kingdom Seekers Centre located in between Lake Elementeita and Gilgil town, a development when completed will cost billions of dollars.
Land around Lake Elementeita on 100x50 plots that were selling at between Sh10,000 to Sh50,000 two decades back have tripled to between Sh100,000 to 200,000 to date. Phinnel Properties Ltd chief executive Isaac Kinuthia said the prices are likely to double in the near future.
“Gilgil is the place to invest in and the current land prices are likely to double soon. Here is where the land is still affordable and arable and suitable for farming. The place is a hot cake,” he told Real Estate.
The Nakuru County Government is as well keen to have some of these new centres follow the strictly laid down rules and decent architectural designs that conform with their construction laws.
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“We need to follow strict laid down procedures set by the county government so that quality work is realised at the end of it in the construction industry in the county,” said Nakuru County Lands CEC John Kihagi.
Already good planning has seen the emergence of new roads, world-class-tourist hotels and the building of new private hospitals and schools almost around the new upcoming centres.
James Njoroge, a subsistence farmer who settled on a three-acre piece of land in the areas around Lake Elementeita, is a happy father as the land he bought then has given him the fruits of retirement.