Acorn invests Sh3.6bn in 3 new student hostels


Acorn-owned hostels in Nairobi’s Ruaraka. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Property developer Acorn is set to invest a total of Sh3.6 billion to build three hostels with a capacity to accommodate 4,842 students.

The planned projects will be run by the Acorn D-Reit, the unit which specialises in developing the hostels brands Qwetu which is the premium offering, and Qejani for the mass market.

Acorn has incorporated Ebony Creek Properties LLP which will develop Hurlingham Qejani at a cost of Sh959.6 million. The project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024.

“The proponent, Ebony Creek Properties LLP, proposes to construct a 16-storey residential block with 504 units accommodating 1,440 students,” the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) said in a notice inviting the public to comment on the proposed projects.

The hostels will offer shared accommodation and communal washroom facilities in line with standard Qejani model.

Acorn has also formed Magnolia Creek Properties LLP which will build Qwetu and Qejani hostels targeting students of Kenyatta University. Qwetu hostels feature self-contained studios and free gym and Wi-Fi among other services.

The developer plans to complete the construction in the first quarter of 2024 at a cost of Sh1.9 billion.

“The proponent, Magnolia Creek Properties LLP, proposes to develop a student residence at Northlands City … opposite Kenyatta University, along Thika Road, Kiambu County,” Nema said.

“The proposed project will entail construction of Qejani and Qwetu model residences in twin blocks of 9 floors … with 924 units accommodating 2,348 students. The development will be complemented by a minimart and cafeteria, launderette, salon, reception, study rooms, switch room, pump rooms, refuse collection areas, furniture store, lift lobby, movie area among others in each block.”

Acorn has also incorporated Willow Creek Properties LLP which plans to build a Qejani brand of hostel targeting students of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

The project, whose expected completion date is first quarter of 2024, will cost Sh712.1 million.

“The proponent, Willow Creek Properties LLP, proposes to develop student residences comprising one block of 14 floors with a total of 378 units to accommodate approximately 1,054 students, with associated facilities and amenities … along Gachororo Road, Juja, Kiambu County,” Nema said.

The projects are part of Acorn’s plans to expand its portfolio of modern student accommodation near universities and colleges.

Acorn says monthly rent at Qejani hostels range between $75 (Sh8,500) and $125 (Sh14,000) while residents of Qwetu pay between $135 (Sh15,300) and $300 (Sh34,000).

Besides developing the properties, Acorn also holds them for income alongside other investors who bought into its real estate trusts.