Longonot Gate taps Malaysian technology to lower costs

A house under construction at the Longonot Gate in Naivasha.
A house under construction at the Longonot Gate in Naivasha. PHOTO/FILE
Longonot Gate Development Ltd., the promoter of a resort city project in Naivasha, has introduced a low cost building technology that promises to slash construction costs by a third.

The precast concrete technology that has been sourced from Malaysia will reduce the average cost of a holiday home to Sh9 million from Sh14 million, a 35 per cent cost reduction, while reducing construction time by half.

“A home that would cost Sh14 million using traditional construction technologies would cost Sh9 million if precast concrete technology is employed. This technology also reduces period of home building from 12 months to six months,” said the firm’s chairman Lee Karuri.

READ: Build a house in 8 days with precast concrete technology

Precast concrete technology involves the creation of a product that is cast in concrete in a reusable form, then cured in a controlled environment and transported to the construction site.

Longonot Gate is set on 2,400 acres off Moi South Lake Road in Naivasha, at the foothills of Mount Longonot – a dormant volcano located 70km from Nairobi on Mai Mahiu Road. It will comprise over 1,500 holiday homes, 18-hole world class golf course and numerous social amenities.

The promoter has been selling undeveloped plots of land to prospective home builders since December 2010 at a price of Sh3.5 million for a half-acre plot, an amount that has now risen to Sh7.5 million.

According to Mr Karuri, on completion the project will be valued at about Sh88 billion and will create huge economic impact on the area and the country in general.

“When we build all infrastructure, more than 1,500 homes and commercial sites for strategic investors, the value shall be $1 billion. This will create a huge economic impact on Naivasha and Kenya,” said Mr Karuri.

The company’s business model is to buy huge tracks of land, put up roads, water and sewerage lines and electricity connections, and sell the plots to investors.

Longonot Gate will be developed in three phases; Crater Park, Naivasha Gardens and Kingdom City.

The project will include holiday homes, an 18-hole golf course (whose construction is under-way with a completion date of 2015), a helicopter landing area, conference facilities, a police post, leisure facilities, retirement cottages, sporting facilities and theme parks.

Plot owners will have the option to build villas, cottages or bungalows of between two and five bedrooms whose architectural plans will be provided by the developer.

A show-house is under construction and should be ready for viewing by end of the year, Mr Karuri said.

Longonot Gate whose groundbreaking was held in 2012 came soon after another high end project, Sh120 billion Aberdare Hills, was unveiled in Naivasha.

The project has recorded noteworthy progress over the past two years, with the promoter issuing the first 99-year lease titles to plot owners in August last year.

So far, the construction of golf dams as well as a 10-kilometre cabro-paved road network to ease access to plots has been completed. Developers hope to have all the necessary infrastructure ready by August 2015.

“We are to meet our August 2015 deadline of infrastructure development and make the dream come true,” said the firm’s managing director Consolata Gituto.

Locations such as Naivasha, Thika and Kiambu are increasingly becoming popular among real estate developers keen to build gated communities in tourist areas.

Some of the recently publicised high end developments built for a mix of leisure, lifestyle and tourism include Mt Kenya Holiday Homes near Nanyuki, Olerai Golf Resort in Narok, Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort, and Sangare Hills and Home Resort in Nyeri.

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