Ian Kahara and Kimiti Wanjaria: Sigona Valley Project
These two young men are co-founders Sigona Valley project, a multi-million-shilling investment (Sh350million) in Sigona on the Nairobi-Naivasha highway about 20 kilometres from the central business district.
The Sigona Valley development boasts of 30 four and three bedroom stand-alone houses with ample parking. Kahara and Wanjaria started the project out of the need to venture into a profitable business.
The two took advantage of a four acre- piece of land previously owned by Kahara’s grandmother which they bought at Sh50million two years ago which they raised from their savings and borrowings facilitated by their combined assets.
With the title deed in hand, they approached Shelter Afrique who agreed to finance the development to the tune of Sh200million. The houses, which are still under construction will cost Sh14.5 million and 19.5milllion respectively. They have so far sold 70 per cent of the houses off plan.
Pete and Sue Muraya: Suraya Property Group Ltd
Pete Muraya entered the real estate sector after 20 years of private practice as an architect. He sold off some of his property and partnered with a friend to start his first project, but later brought in his wife, Sue – a fashion designer. She joined the lucrative sector as marketer and human resource person before diving deeper in the competitive market.
The two have today invested in expansive projects among them: Fourways Junction off Kiambu road which has cluster houses, apartments, office blocks, and now a shopping mall, three-star hotel, a business park , a school, retirement home and country club.
They also own Tulip Apartments, a 40-unit development on a one acre piece of land; Rosslyn Heights, a 39 unit project with exclusive four and five bedroom villas, among others.
Suraya has become a household name in the real estate market in the country. The couple has relied on institution financing to nurture their dreams and aspirations.
Sam Wanjohi: Foresight Group
He attended St Mary’s and Brookhouse schools in Nairobi before proceeding to Birmingham in the UK where he pursued a civil engineering and project management degree after which he worked at Ove Arup, a leading civil engineering company in the UK.
After three years of building bridges, railways and highways, he made up his mind to come back home and start something of his own.
Wanjohi ventured into real estate upon his return from the UK because he did not want to go into formal employment so he started looking around for a business idea. He thought of starting a fitted kitchens business as a viable area to explore.
He went back to the UK in 2007, sought out a few suppliers for his kitchen business and in no time, the business was up and running. He has since expanded it to include home, office, bar and bathroom fittings. Today, he has a factory and showroom on Ngong Road.
Foresight has become a household name in real estate. The business previously went by the name Kitchen Direct but was rebranded to Foresight Group as a result of the rapid growth in the range of product it is now offering.
Retired Major David Karau: Windsor Homes
Retired Major Karau developed interest in real estate 16 years ago while still a major in the armed forces. He started by buying parcels of land in Embakasi and later took an early retirement and plunged fulltime into the world of real estate with the help of property expert Daniel Ojijo of Mentor Holding Group.
The two worked out a deal which saw Mentor Holding develop Major Karau’s land on agreed terms. Today, Major Karau counts his investment in millions.
Among his property portfolios are Malibu Gardens, gated town houses on Mombasa Road going for Sh7.5 million per unit, Lenana Gardens on Ngong Road, going for Sh6.9 million per unit, Runda Terraces and Kitusuru Terraces, four bedroom town houses.
His Kitusuru property was priced at Sh25million per unit in 2011. Most of his projects are financed by banks.