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Cytonn protests project approval delays

Edwin Dande
Cytonn CEO Edwin Dande. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Real estate company Cytonn Investment has blamed lengthy regulatory processes for delaying its projects, forcing it to base completion on approval dates.

Chief executive Edwin Dande said its Sh20 billion three-tower mixed-use skyscraper development rising 35 floors each in Kilimani has been delayed after some residents lodged objections with the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) saying it would disrupt lives in the area.

The same delay, he said, happened to its Karen project whose commencement was first reported in August 2016.

“The four-acre parcel of land for Cytonn Towers is intact and we are soon meeting residents neighbouring our project site to seek a solution that works for all of us. These issues take a long time … for instance, our Sh5.5 billion project with 60 luxury units Situ Village in Karen that is to commence after a three-year battle before the Nema tribunal,” he said.

For every planned project, proponents must file a request with the Nema disclosing all details and architectural drawings as well as other regulatory agencies with the public notified to file an objection within 30 days of the notice being published in the Kenya Gazette and daily newspapers.

The Alma

Speaking after he signed a Sh650 million loan with SBM Bank, Mr Dande said the Sh4.4 billion The Alma project with 407 units comprising one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments is set for completion by year-end while the Sh12 billion project in Ridgeways with 700 units is expected to be ready next year.

SBM Bank deputy chief executive Jotham Mutoka welcomed the partnership saying the bank was looking forward to funding other big-ticket real estate projects as well as fund mortgages.

“We are eyeing business at the corporate, SME and retail level in our match to becoming a tier one bank.

“We bought off third-tier Fidelity Commercial bank and last year added Chase Bank to our portfolio of acquisitions bringing our branch network to 52,” he said.

Mr Dande said apart from the bank loan, the company had attracted Sh11 billion from 3,000 investors and more funds received from Finnish-based listed firm Taareli.

Currently, Cytonn manages Sh82 billion worth of investments in Nairobi and Kiambu with plans afoot to expand residential developments to other major towns in Kenya.

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