In a neat black suit, Alnoor Kanji takes to the podium to pitch his high-end property in front of the eager buyers in Nairobi.
His English Point marina is almost complete and Kanji is making a last call to those seated at the prestigious Capital Club in Westlands, to buy into his vision.
His speech is convincing, once in a while attracting applause of appreciation from the listeners. Kanji is excited about the future face of Mombasa. And it’s upon this excitement that his speech is themed.
He talks passionately of the Lamu port project and its potential, the Dongo Kundu bypass that is set to ease movement of people in Mombasa, the standard gauge railway project launched last week, mining and lastly the billion dollar gas and oil explorations.
“Look at all the moneyed consultants coming in. Where will they stay? We don’t’ have any business development at the coast. All we have are tourist hotels,” he says. “ This is where to invest,” he adds.
30 apartments and four penthouses have been sold so far. An equal number of units are remaining. And this is what Kanji, his staff at English Point, wife and son have come to present to Nairobi-based buyers.
Given that most of the home buyers purchasing properties in the coast hail from Nairobi, English Point’s presence at Capital Club, made it convenient for the likes of Joshua Oigara, KCB Group Chief Executive to pop in after work, on a Wednesday evening and chat away with his peers.
Most of the potential home owners, were above 40 years. But, although families seemed more interested in occupying the apartments, a handful of accomplished young men and women were also present. They too were considering the possibility of purchasing the Sh170 million penthouse.
Kanji has been strategic in the sale of this property. He planned everything systematically. He explains that they didn’t want to sell all the units at ago. Instead, he allowed himself room for price adjustments as the project progressed. Thus they released the units in batches.
“We also wanted to help illustrate growth and returns for initial buyers,” he adds. The value of the apartments has appreciated by 30 per cent so far. The cost of penthouses has also gone up from Sh100 million at the start of the project to Sh170million at present.
English Point is worth Sh5 billion. The cost was inflated by Sh200 million due to international pricing of imported materials and the difficulties in construction by the sea. KCB financed part of the project. They are also ready to finance buyers.
“I am happy to say we’ll provide financing for those interested in purchasing the units,” said Mr Oigara.
The property is being constructed by an international team of architects from the UK. A local established engineer is providing supervisory and support role.
According to Kanji, one of the two owners, the project will be ready for occupation mid next year. English Point Marina is a private project nominated as one of the vision 2030 flagship projects.
The Marina is the first of its kind in East Africa and will hopefully solve the missing link on the South Africa to Egypt Yacht cruises.
Princess, a global and luxury motor yacht making company has already signed up for distributorship with English Point. A boat is going for as little as $500 to $20 million. It comes with a range of sizes.
Sunseeker Yachts have also approached English Point to rent a showroom for their high-end, luxurious boats.
The Marina will also have a hotel with adequate rooms for visitors. Those who buy the apartments can have them managed by English Point.
“You are not just buying into a development, but a hotel,” said Kanji who co-owns the property with brother Amin Kanji, who is based in England.