Englishpoint Marina puts Mombasa on property map

The director of Marina English Point, Mr Alnoor Kanji, leads KCB chief executive Joshua Oigara (left), Mombasa County governor Ali Hassan Joho and Vision 2030 director-general Mugo Kibati during the launch of the marina in Mombasa. Photo/LABAN WALLOGA

What you need to know:

At Sh35 m to Sh55m for an apartment, Englishpoint Marina raises the bar for developers.

Mombasa’s upmarket real estate is headed for a major transformation after the launch of a five-star luxury marina last week.

Property developers said the Sh4.8 billion project will raise the sector’s profile with a three-bedroom apartment at the marina going for between Sh35 million and Sh58 million.

The Englishpoint Marina, set on a four-acre piece in Mkomani, Nyali, overlooking Fort Jesus, will be completed in November and bookings for the 96 three-bedroom apartments are reported to range between 30 and 35 per cent.

“The marina presents a completely different segment of real estate but the fact that an apartment is selling at that price will raise the bar for the real estate sector in the tourist town,” said Mwenda Thuranira, chief executive officer Myspace Properties.

“This is a landmark project and developers should be bold and take risks to come up with such projects. People might think that the price of an apartment is high but going by international markets, it is reasonable.

A one-bedroom marina apartment in South Africa goes for over $1 million (Sh85 million). Here, you get a three-bedroom one for half of that price,” he said.

The marina consists four four-story blocks with 96 three-bedroom lifestyle apartments and eight five-bedroom penthouses all designed with a sea view. The pent house is going for Sh150 million and two of them have already been sold.

There will also be a 26-room hotel, spa, gym, five star international marina accommodating 88 boats, water sports centre and restaurants. The marina is the first establishment of its kind in East coast of Africa with such facilities only found in South Africa and Egypt.

The facility targets high-end tourists owning yachts and hosting of international events such as boat races and other competitions including kite-surfing and wind-surfing, opening the tourism sector at the coast to water sports.

During the launch ceremony of the project that is fully funded by KCB Group, the bank’s group chief executive officer Joshua Oigara said KCB would continue bankrolling such products, given its financial muscle. 

“We are aware that the backbone for East Africa’s economy is the investment in strategic sectors such as tourism. The sheer magnitude of this five-star investment is an indicator that KCB Group has the capacity to finance huge projects,” he said at the ceremony also attended by Vision 2030 director-general Mugo Kibati.

The bank, Mr Oigara said, would also offer mortgage for those intending to invest in the project.

Englishpoint co-director and creator Alnoor Kanji said construction started in 2010 and the project is set for completion soon.

“Contractors are currently working on interior finishes in the apartments and boardwalk. Work on the hotel and external areas is ongoing while piling for the floating pontoon is already done,” Mr Kanji said.

The hotelier who also owns Pinewood Village Beach Resort in South Coast said the marina was designed by Broadway Malyan, a London-based architectural firm but the construction team consists of local experts.

“The development of the marina concept comes at a time when the local industry is highly optimistic of the growth momentum for the tourism sector despite a significant drop in the first half of 2013,” he said.

One of the Jubilee government’s pledge is to attract five million visitors by 2017.

Mombasa County governor Ali Hassan Joho who was the chief guest said his government would support such projects to raise the status of the tourist town.

“We are in the process of rebranding the tourist product to attract more visitors to this destination and this facility will definitely place Mombasa at a higher level,” he said adding that there were plans to renovate buildings at Mombasa’s Old Town, one of the selling points of the marina, and establish water transport between North Coast and Mombasa town to ease congestion at Nyali bridge. 

Mr Kibati said the marina would put the country on the world map, just like the famous big-five which has positioned the tourism sector in a competitive edge.

“When we talk of Vision 2030 we do not only refer to government-initiated projects. This marina will have a big impact in this region if you look at the project’s ripple effects on the economy,” he said.

PAYE Tax Calculator

Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.