The ongoing expansion of the 25km James Gichuru-Rironi Road stretch along Waiyaki Way into a superhighway is turning out to be a blessing to the city’s real estate sector.
In a bid to ease traffic to and from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and around Nairobi, and also decongest the city centre, the road is being converted into a major six-lane thoroughfare, complete with interchanges as well as service and bus lanes, among other features.
For the real estate sector, this means more profit as more investors, businesses and corporate meetings are bound to be directed to the area, calling for more developments in terms of both office blocks and residential apartments.
Safaricom, Deloitte, Barclays Bank, Sanlam and Communications Authority of Kenya are some of the major corporates that have established offices in the area, which means an increase in demand of accommodation facilities for their staff.
Chinese real estate firm Avic International is also constructing a Sh9.6 billion mega complex in the neighbourhood — along Chiromo Road.
“The relocation of most of these corporates from the CBD among other areas to Westlands, amplified by anticipated expansion of this part of Waiyaki Way has ensured that there is a sharp demand, not just for office blocks, but also for quite inexpensive residential flats,” says Mr Muigai Thumbi, a real estate developer and the brains behind Waiyaki Ridge Gardens, an expansive residential development along the highway.
The residential apartment is strategically nestled within a short distance to just about all the corporate offices in the rapidly growing Westlands area.
“Waiyaki Ridge Gardens, for instance, has six blocks of flats, each with 38 -two and three bedroomed apartments, which are more suitable for middle-income earners, most of whom work with these organisations. It is thus more fitting for them, given the short distance to their working places and also in terms of affordability,” says Mr Thumbi.
The development of the area has similarly seen an increase in social amenities that appeal to members of this statute. “Hospitals, schools, banks, entertainment spots and even worship places are many, and with the completion of the highway, more expansions are most likely to be witnessed in the area,” says Mr Ngugi wa Kiriro, another property developer.
Mr Kiriro points out that more activities in Nairobi are practically moving towards the ‘west of Westlands’ due the expansion of Waiyaki way.
“It is practically the place to be when it comes to doing corporate businesses, which means more traffic of people, and hence more demand for accommodation,” he notes.
“Just as the expansion of major roads and highways throughout the country has seen an inflow of developments along those roads, Waiyaki way is no exception,” he adds.
He cites Ngong’ Road’s expansion and the numerous bypasses in the county, which have seen demand for parcels of land in the areas soar, and other developments also coming up by the day.
“Waiyaki Ridge apartments are in essence located in an area easily accessible to some of the important bypasses in the city, such that one doesn’t necessarily have to go through the city centre when heading to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Wilson Airport, and Mombasa road,” he notes.
One only has to use either of the bypasses and easily get to their destinations, evading in the city centre,” he says.
Mr Kiriro additionally mentions other residential developments in the area, some already complete, and some still upcoming, which now are convenient in diminishing the challenge associated with decent housing in the city.
He, however, notes that Waiyaki Ridge dominates most of these residential developments, and he thus calls for even more investors’ input in addressing Nairobi’s accommodation challenge.
Mr Thumbi, who targets that the development be complete for occupancy by early next year, and has his eyes still yet set on other forthcoming residential developments soon after, concurs that development of major roads helps in opening up satellite towns around the city.
He mentions Ruaka, for instance, which has seen growth in the recent years; with better and affordable housing facilities.
This has mainly been due to demand for accommodation, which has largely been attributed to emergent real estate developments along both Limuru and Kiambu roads.
“Developments on these roads served to attract investors who set up such malls as Two Rivers and Rosslyn Riviera, and the upcoming Tilisi, among others,” he says.
“This augmented the influence posed by other previous developments such as multinational offices and hubs, and also diplomats’ residences,” he points out.
He adds that while the same is replicated in other areas boasting convenient access to major roads around the city, it will soon be duplicated in the ‘west of Westlands’ through the Waiyaki Ridge Gardens and other developments, which will soon come up, driven by the motorway’s expansion.