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Towering luxury comes to Nairobi

A model of Le’Mac, a 22-storey building with four levels of underground parking and a rooftop swimming pool with  a sky club, to be situated along Nairobi’s Waiyaki Way. The high-end luxury apartment block will break ground before the end of the year. Photo/ DIANA NGILA
A model of Le’Mac, a 22-storey building with four levels of underground parking and a rooftop swimming pool with a sky club, to be situated along Nairobi’s Waiyaki Way. Prices of prime residential properties in Nairobi recorded the second fastest growth in Africa. Photo/ DIANA NGILA  Nation Media Group

Sitting in the rooftop restaurant at the Le’ Mac high-rise luxury apartment blocks towering 22 storeys into Nairobi’s skyline promises a new kind of lifestyle.

The launch of Le’ Mac, touted as the first high-rise luxury apartments in Kenya, represents a new class of real estate, targeting the rising number of unashamedly chic urbanites who won't mind living high up the sky.

It’s an area of real estate that has received little attention, the demand for higher quality housing having driven waves of gated community settlements to the outskirts of the cities and more recently golf estates, all pegged to the joys of rural living, nature and tranquillity.

At Le’ Mac there will be no rolling hills or birds singing in the gardens. The occupants will rather have to look out at skylines at night - and might very well have nothing in the fridge but a bottle of champagne.

Residents of Le’ Mac are expected to be a mix of foreign residents, returning diaspora, middle and upper class Kenyans seeking luxury accommodation at a location that offers modern lifestyle.

“Our clientèle will be in a class of their own. They will consist those who are looking for the best in, truly, urban housing and are willing to pay for it,” said Ravi Vashta, the director of Mark Properties Limited, the developer behind the project.

Duplexes

Le’ Mac’s one and two bedroom high end duplexes, of up to 400 square metres, will sit in a tower that is topped by a 5-star 360 degree rooftop restaurant and one of the regions highest and close to the largest residential swimming pools.

The building is a wholly new look for Nairobi, but echoes a future vision of the city, often seen on billboard showing a new, modern and contemporary urban centre.

The prices range from Sh12.4 million to Sh13 million for the one bedroom apartments, and Sh14 million to Sh15 million for two bedrooms.

Each apartment will have floor-to-ceiling windows, offering the kind of dramatic fully glass backdrop that is common in urban movie shots and presenting stunning views of the city, as well as a sense of space and light. Its location on Waiyaki Way gives the block a vantage view of the Nairobi.

The interiors have been designed by architect Susan Watts, of Image360 Degrees, known for its innovative and ground-breaking designs.

This is the company that has recently worked on the interiors of the World Bank’s Nairobi headquarters, Southern Credit Bank, Procter & Gamble, Orange and many other buildings in Kenya.

The architecture offers Le’ the up-market elegance of the world’s top hotels and apartments-as a high-tech but simple platform for modern living.

Kitchens will come pre-installed with cookers, microwave oven, washing machine and tumble dryer, with tastefully decorated and furnished interiors and the latest trends in design and layouts, allowing optimum utilisation of space.

Commercial

The tower, which will host offices and commercial space on the first six-floors, is also being built with own banking hall, a restaurant, as well as a gym and spa.

To ensure maximum security, Le’ Mac residents and visitors will access the building using a biometric key card system, which is further supported by an extensive network of CCTV cameras.

While apartments have always featured in the real estate market, high-end of market units of this calibre are a relatively new concept, having come in only in the past couple of years.

But as Nairobi continues to be the city of choice for multi-nationals, many of who have been setting up regional headquarters, the demand for high-end accommodation has been on a steady rise.

“To capture this market, we are using the highest global standards borrowing heavily from the European real estate landscape,” said Mr Ravi.

Real estate firm Knight Frank estimates that home values in the top end of the market rose by 25 per cent last year, revealing a strong shift in market trends, where the biggest gains were reported in luxury homes.

The firm’s 2012 Wealth Report, released in April, lists Nairobi, for the very first time, as among the top 20 emerging cities that will shape the world over the coming decade, alongside London and New York.

“Living at the Le’ Mac will be like staying at a five star hotel with similar if not more perks” said Ravi of the development which will break ground in January 2013 to be completed by late 2015.

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