Kenyans are strangers to living in high rise apartments in the middle of the city. Until very recently, the idea that someone can live in a skyscraper in the middle of Kenyatta Avenue for example was quite unheard of. Mostly because the owners of these skyscrapers built them for purely commercial purposes.
In New York for example, Donald Trump’s home for many years has been the 66th floor of Trump Tower. His penthouse takes 3-floors and is valued at KSh 10 billion.
The tower is mixed-use, meaning some floors are residential and others office or commercial. And this is the case with many New York skyscrapers.
Looking through real estate websites, an apartment in Manhattan will set you back upwards of $1 million, and this can be as small as a 1-bedroom. Penthouses cost upwards of $10 million (Sh1 billion).
The story is the same in all major US and European cities.
Here in Nairobi, wealthy individuals are not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to quality apartment or condos. Most flats around the city and its suburbs are, for lack of a better word, eyesores. They have inferior finishing and small windows. Whenever you find one that might interest a millionaire, the surrounding environment is nothing to sing about.
We still have a long way to go, but some developers are trying. The latest is L’e mac – a just completed 24-story commercial and residential building in the Westlands. It will provide probably Nairobi’s tallest residential space.
The Sh3.5 billion tower off Waiyaki Way has been under construction since 2014. It goes without saying that its target market is wealthy buyers or renters… and perhaps occasional jackpot winners.
There are about 170 apartments, and the developer plans on selling half and renting out the other half. Such a development will obviously come with amenities like a gym, sauna, spa, swimming pool, uninterrupted electricity, restaurants etc.
But what buyers will be paying for is the executive address and the ‘executive’ view. In fact, the apartments have different price ranges for different views and floors. For instance, if you want to look unto the city centre, you will pay more than your neighbor downstairs who chose Rhapta Road as his view.
From this price list on their website, the cheapest apartment will set you back Sh13,320,000 (13.3 million). That’s a 1-bedroom on the 8th floor overlooking the city centre.
The most expensive apartment is a 3-bedroom on the 13th floor with a Lavington view. It costs Sh27,573,000 (27.5 million). You might also pay some taxes on top.
Price in Kshs (Million)
|Apt No||View||Type||Size Sq. Ft||Level 8||Level 9||Level 10||Level 11||Level 12||Level 13|
Compared to the New York prices, it looks like the buyers will be making a steal. Obviously you don’t have the great city to go along with it, but you can look forward to comparable interior design. While the high-end apartments in New York are often sold with the furniture, the above prices at L’e mac don’t include that.
But if you do it right, you can replicate the same ‘New York’ feel right here in Nairobi. Here’s a show house at L’e mac, giving you a sense of how you can achieve that modern minimalist living.
Perhaps you may be asking yourself, “Which foolish rich person would want to live in such a cold apartment instead of buying a ‘plot’ to build a ‘mansion’?” You’ll be surprised that there are in fact many takers.
Remember the 40-story Montave at the junction of Lower Hill Road and Haile Selassie Avenue, well, their 1 bedroom and 3 bedroom apartments are already sold out. Never mind major construction work is yet to start. It will probably be at least 2 years before the first owners move in. But booking many months or years in advance can potentially save you several million shillings.
And in case you’re wondering, the 3-bed apartments were going for at least Sh22.9 million. 1-bed was going for Sh8.9 million.
If you have Sh13 million lying idle somewhere, you can head over there and book a 2 bed apartment before they too sell out.
Photos courtesy of Skyscrapercity