Investment firm Centum #ticker:ICDC is seeking to sell land rights at Two Rivers as well as parcels in Vipingo at the Coast to turn the tide on slow returns from its real estate business.
The firm also plans to break ground on Riverbank Apartments, a housing project at Two Rivers in Nairobi, towards the end of the year.
According to Centum, the apartments its subsidiary —Two Rivers Development Limited (TRDL) — is developing are currently at the market validation stage of the 196-unit residential plan, which will feature one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments.
“TRDL will also roll out an intensive plot sales campaign aimed at selling bulk rights of the serviced land,” said Centum’s 2018 annual report.
“Our strategy in Vipingo is to master develop sites and provide a commercial impetus for investors to establish new urban nodes.”
The company says it will focus on the construction of its 180-acre industrial park on the coastal parcel, as well as two residential projects dubbed the Ridge Homes and Awali Estate next year.
Even as Centum deepens its foray into real estate, the firm indicated that it had struggled in the sector due to constrained credit access following capping of lending rate.
“Kenya’s real estate market also recorded the lowest capital appreciation compared to the previous six years, which is reflected in lower value uplift in our real estate portfolio during the financial year,” it said.
The firm recorded a profit decline to Sh2.79 billion for the full year to March 2018 from Sh8.3 billion in a real estate market, especially commercial property appreciated in value at a lower rate in 2017 on account of the political environment and the reduced access to credit by the private sector.
Two Rivers Mall, which opened in February 2017, has an occupancy of 75 per cent while the City Lodge Hotel at the property is operational, according to Centum.
The Sh25.2 billion shopping complex sits on 11 acres out of the 102 acres that Centum owns on Limuru Road in Nairobi, near the affluent neighbourhoods of Runda, Nyari, Gigiri and Muthaiga.
Centum now has a diversified portfolio of assets in several sectors including financial services, real estate and property development, fast-moving consumer goods, information, power generation, healthcare and agribusiness.