The Bid family, which unsuccessfully tried to buy Rea Vipingo Plantations, is investing over Sh1 billion in a Thika real-estate project in partnership with prominent local investors.
The residential and business development is dubbed Albizzia Downs Estate and will be carried out in phases, with the first one kicking off in March according to the Bid family.
Bread maker Broadways, Dawa Ltd and manufacturer Capwell Industries are the other parties in the consortium.
The group has set aside 105 acres along the Thika-Mang’u road to host phase one of the project. It borders the Braeburn Imani International Schools.
Although the development is likely to cost much more, the Bid family could only disclose the Sh1 billion that will largely go into infrastructure.
The land itself, according to the investors, is valued at Sh1 billion at market rates due to its prime location by the tarmack road.
It also neighbours the proposed M-Pesa academy by Safaricom and an upscale residential area.
Some 48 acres of the land will be put into a high and medium-end residential housing estate. Another 45 acres will host a medium-density residential estate while three acres will be set aside for a high-density residential zone.
The road network within the property and parking space will consume 28 acres of the prime Thika land.
The property, set to take the same approach as Lake View Studio development in Spring Valley, Nairobi, will make use of water features and forests to attract investors.
The land has three patches of indigenous forest covering 50 acres.
“The idea is to keep these forests so that people get the feel,” said Rahul Bid, a family member heading the project.
It will have seven manmade lakes on two acres and one old large dam. It will host a recreational park for residents, too.
The developers say they have already contracted planners and the team that did the Lake View development.
“We are basing it on Lake View development and we have the same team,” said Mr Bid.
The team includes LDR Africa, Real Plan Consultants Ltd and Planning Systems Services Ltd.
The project will have its own water treatment plant on 0.22 acres.
Albizzia Downs Estate Ltd consortium will finance the project through a commercial loan.
Thika has recently opened up to multimillion upmarket residential projects like the Thika Greens, Buffalo Hills and Bahati Ridge.
There are also commercial developments like Ananas Mall, a project by a consortium of Thika investors.