Cytonn grows appetite for more real estate projects

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BY CHRISPINE AGUKO

Cytonn investment is starting a 15 billion comprehensive lifestyle community development in Ruiru. The project is to be done in three faces with the first face beginning this year, and expected to be complete in a record of six years.

In the project, Cytonn has partnered with Taaleri, a Finnish architectural firm in seeing the construction of the 1400 houses complete in the record time. While signing the contract, the Finnish Ambassador to Kenya, H.E Ambassador Tarja Fernandez said that partnership is a win-win situation and as cytonn will benefit, Kenya and Finland will also benefit. AUD architects and Aspera Designs are also part of the partnership.

“Africa’s growth levels are high that the West can only dream of. Therefore, partnerships are the way to do business. There is a great interest by Finland in Kenya and the partnership between Cytonn and Taaleri solidifies the relationship between both nations.

We hope to see more partnerships in future and strengthen our bond,” she said.
The households will be of stand -alone and semi-detached houses and prices will range from Sh10 million to Sh40 million. The project, located near Tatu City will cover 100hacters of land. The project will not only have residential houses but will also include commercial and water sports

Cytonn CEO, Edwin Dande says the main target for the company is to serve two things; investment return and Real estate.  He says that Cytonn began its partnership with Finland in 2014 through Taaleri, a private equity investment firm that saw good returns from the projects they had invested in such as The Alma in Ruaka where they exited early and made a 25% return on investment. “We are extending our partnership beyond investment level to partnering with consultants such as AUD Architects to ensure we deliver the best designs to the market,” said Edwin.

Edwin further said that the company is keen on partnerships both locally and internationally through joint venture agreements with landowners, fundraising and other engagements that will see the clients get the best returns from their investments.

“To deliver the best, we seek to partner with people who are aligned to our core values and who we believe can deliver beyond expectations. It is for this reason that we have partnered with AUD architects and Aspera designs to deliver this world class project that will incorporate a variety of designs thus giving the clients many options with an East African and European touch in order to create a unique look and feel for the development,” he adds. “We are interested in providing quality service to our clients and the maximum investment return. We also want to give the best in real estate; therefore, making money is not first in of our priority whatsoever.” He concludes.

The project is expected to use a mixture of Finland and local materials to give it the African touch as well. The project manager, Peter Karenju is optimistic that the project will pick up to see the company meet its target in housing the middle class cutting across to upper class income earners. He applauded Aspera Designs of Kenya and AUD for their collaborative efforts adding that he hopes for a smooth working relationship throughout the life of the project.

AUD Architects are a Finland based firm with offices in USA and China with vast experience in master planned developments in various countries. The firm brings creative ideas to industry sectors including urban design, office, hospitality, civic and community, and interiors. Aspera Designs has also had a tonne of experience in master planning including the upcoming Newtown City masterplan on 1000 acres in Athi and similar developments in the Middle East.

Nairobi will be the first town in Africa that Finland will be venturing into real estate. The city has been having a business friendly environment that has encouraged the Finnish government to venture.

Speaking during the event held at Cytonn’s Chancery Office on Valley Road, the Finland Ambassador to Kenya said that Africa is an investment destination that the world is looking at, with Nairobi being one of the fastest growing cities. H.E Ambassador Tarja Fernandez added that Finland is rich in architectural talent, which they export to the rest of the world noting that they are hoping to see more Finnish representation on the continent.