The Safaricom Crystal Rivers in Athi River is a mixed-use development with a shopping mall and a gated community and only 25 KM away from the Nairobi city center.
Situated along the busy Nairobi to Mombasa road, just 1.2 KM from the Kitengela Mombasa road interchange, the Crystal Rivers Safaricom mall and residential development is only 10 minutes’ drive from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The Sh4.3 billion Crystal Rivers project in Athi River, Machakos County, being undertaken by the Safaricom Staff Pension Scheme and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) will have a shopping mall and a two-phase residential estate.
Growing middle class in Kenya
For the past few years, a rapidly growing middle class in Kenya has continually been fueling demand for more properties. This has seen an increase in the number of shopping malls in Kenya as well as residential and office parks developments.
The construction sector has continued to surprise experts since it has a see-sawing performance which makes their predictions of bubble burst or impending slumps come to naught. For this reason, it, therefore, would not be a surprise to find investors such as saving societies, pension schemes, group of individuals, insurance companies, among others are turning to property investment so that they can maximize yields for their stakeholders.
The Safaricom staff pension scheme happens to be among such investors. For the past few years, the scheme has continuously been registering tremendous growth in its asset classes. Trustees for this scheme felt that it high time that they diversify into real estate in order to realize the aspirations of its members which included being at the forefront of property development in the country.
Businesses in the Safaricom Crystal River Mall in Athi River
The entire Safaricom mall and gated community project is anticipated to cost around Ksh. 3.48 billion for both the residential houses and the shopping mall. After its completion, Crystal River Kenya Mall would be the largest mall along Mombasa road. The mall would bring together different retail variety, convenience, and quality. The Nairobi Hospital will be one of the tenants in the upcoming mall. Others include, the retail chain Naivas supermarkets who has in the past commented that they have already taken around 200,000 square foot ground and first-floor space that will house their newest branch. Other local and international stores expected to operate in Crystal River Kenya Mall include Bata shoe company, Lorenzo dry cleaners, Java, pizza delight, Blue Sky wines, Roxy sports-bar, among others.
Safaricom Crystal Rivers residential units
The residential area would comprise 138 maisonettes, each with either 3 or 4 bedrooms. There will also be additional 260 unit apartments with each having three bedrooms. While constructing the residential area, many thoughts were put in finding an optimal balance between ‘needs and wants,’ craftsmanship, quality, among others. Some features that are expected to be available in the residential sectors include; CCTV cameras, riverfront, private garden for every house, internet connection ports, among many others.
Although the Crystal River Mall project is running in a generally good site for development, it is located in a low lying area that is close to a river which may cause flooding. However, the developer will address this –something which may increase the cost of construction.
Why Safaricom invested in Machakos?
Ever since the start of devolution in Kenya, Machakos County has received the highest and most favorable ratings. The county government of Machakos has created a favorable environment for businesses and real estate development.
This is encouraging property development within the county and establishing of several businesses. Other factors that favored the location for Crystal Rivers project include the convenient transport and availability of land for commercial as well as residential development in the Machakos County. In addition, the fast growing Machakos County is experiencing a 2 percent population growth and a demand of at least 1500 houses per year.
Other than the Crystal Rivers in Athi River, the Safaricom Staff Pension Scheme is developing another award winning estate in Mandharini in Kilifi County.