Saturday, October 16, 2010

From Grace ...

I grew up with great stories of a great place to live in Nairobi. This place the urban legend had it was the ultimate  place and was a dream for many employed persons. Kile together with Lavi I was told were places to aim for once you got to Nairobi. Maybe thats why it was easy for me to accompany my friend who has managed to cross the 'divide' and now sees Kile as the only next option, for a tour of available properties in the famed address.

Our guide was a very well informed sales agent from regent management company. We go through Othaya road and turn into Mwingi and thats where my shock starts. Maybe I have not been keenly observing the changes but the address doesn't have anything close to what I was expecting. The first thing I notice are very tall buildings. Some at 6 stories tall and the agent tells us these do not even have lifts. I wonder why someone would want that kind of punishment daily when trying to get to his house. He mentions that the rents asked here are anything upwards of 50K going to 60K for a 3 bedroom apartment. Its just a shocking overcrowding of blocks upon blocks. In fact the agent tells me that Kile is the area with the highest number of vacant units in the whole of Nairobi. Which is surprising since I thought Zimmer carried this record. Of course its not yet reached the level of Zimmer in terms of litter and chaotic developments but its clear that the sparkle of yester years is long gone.

Somehow in spite of this, some more apartments are still going up. There is clearly an oversupply but whats more surprising is that prices are still steep at 12 million or more  for these 3 bedroom units.

The agent even though aiming at making a sale still comments that he would rather buy an apartment in Kilimani.

What is worrying is that the infrastructure for this area was intended for single family on 1 or half acres. Now on the same 1 acre its not uncommon to find as many as 14 or more families living on the apartments! I wonder what they are doing about water, sewage and even traffic!

1 comment:

  1. Thats an amazing claim - that kileleshwa has the highest number of vacant units. Of course the builders went a little crazy there, going six floors up (no lifts) to small apts and selling them for 7 then 10 then 14 m ($175,000) - while the city is not likely to expand water and road connections soon


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