Design & Interiors

High-end offices with an ocean view

Palm Breeze Commercial and Residential Building on Links Road in Nyali, Mombasa. PHOTOS | KEVIN ODIT | NMG
Palm Breeze Commercial and Residential Building on Links Road in Nyali, Mombasa. PHOTOS | KEVIN ODIT | NMG 

Hanish Lakhani gazes at the open sea, high from his office at the Palm Breeze Complex in Nyali, Mombasa.

The grand windows offer a breath-taking view of the ocean with a breeze that engulfs you.

“There is always a breeze on the balcony,” he says as he walks pointing at the expansive waterfront view.

Strategically situated along Links Road with balconies overlooking the Indian Ocean is the new elegant residential and commercial development in Mombasa.

Greenery surrounding the office adds to the tranquillity where nature, luxury and serenity blend seamlessly.

“All people love greenery. It is so soothing. No one wants to open their window and look at other houses and buildings,” he says.

But it is not the office space that brings us to the complex, it is more of the high-end apartments and penthouses mixed with offices.

Palm Breeze is one of the newest properties in Coast targeting the affluent who want to live, work and play in one location, a concept that is picking up fast in Nairobi but in a grand scale.

According to Knight Frank, the ultra-wealthy globetrotters are looking to buy more homes and offices in Africa and the continued development of mixed-use real estate projects has placed Nairobi among cities where such schemes are reducing the overall commute time.

Developers in the Coast are now eyeing these buyers and visiting billionaires.

‘‘It is meant to attract discerning buyers seeking a one-stop place for work and leisure,” Mr Lakhani says.

While the concept seems almost new in the coastal town, there has been some residents who have lived above retail shops for years, but in low-end estates.

Mr Lakhani says one of the reasons he picked the concept from a friend who was tired of the lengthy daily commute to work.

“He told me he would love to have an office and still live in the same building. I kept thinking of what I would do about it,” says the developer.

Palm Breeze has 36 apartments above the commercial part of the building. It has a gym, swimming pool, sports area, deck for barbecues and for parties.

“We put the apartments on top of the commercial area. They start on the fourth floor giving much better views,” says Hanish.

The apartments, which were built with some materials sourced from Oman, come with fully-fitted kitchens and washing machines.

“I have used high-quality materials that you normally see in $2 million to $5 million apartments in Dubai, Singapore, UK and Europe,” he says.

For privacy, there is a separate entrance, exit and lobby for commercial and residential tenants.

The offices range from Sh8 million to Sh48 million depending on the size while the apartments cost about Sh30 million.

Paul Kinoti, director at ACL Real Estate Consultants, says the live, work and play concept is the best, especially as Mombasa’s population grows.

“We cannot increase land so we have to come up with a way of accommodating more people within the same space,” he says.

“When you mix entertainment, offices and residential. You can just live in the establishment and have your own culture.’’

Mr Kinoti likes how the Palm Breeze developers have maintained the privacy and exclusiveness of the residential area.

“You don’t feel like ‘‘I live in a building that has offices.’’ It is private and exclusive,” he says.