Cytonn Project: Cytonn Investments’s dream to build a Sh. 21 billion tower has collapsed. The investment firm is now planning to sell the four-acre plot in Kilimani where the tower was to be built.
According to Cytonn’s chief executive officer Edwin Dande, the company had resolved to put up the property for sale following a run of bad publicity that has affected its finances.
“A few years ago I viewed this beautiful parcel and it was clear that it was prime land; the largest vacant plot left in Kilimani… 4 acres, a corner plot with two access roads on Argwings and Elgeyo, and located smack in the middle of mass affluence. We bought it. But due to recent negative publicity, special thanks to my two buddies in Upperhill, we now have to sell it to improve liquidity for our real estate funds. So, we are selling the best land in Kilimani,” Dande said.
Cytonn had planned to put up a 35-floor skyscraper on the land to house a hotel, offices, parking space, serviced and residential apartments. However, it first ran into problems with area residents before the cash-strapped firm went into financial difficulties.
In February last year, the High Court halted construction at the site because it did not conform to the zoning requirements for Kilimani. According to Nairobi County Government, Kileleshwa, Riverside and Kilimani fall under Zone 4 that allows for construction of a maximum of three storey buildings.
Cytonn Investment Partnership Sixteen LLP was also accused of failing to have address the issue of health and safety of children at a nearby school in its development plan. The four-acre piece of land lies next to Cavina School, a British preparatory learning institution catering for children aged between three and 13. There are also residential houses which members of the Kilimani Project Foundation, who were interested parties in the case, reside in.
Cytonn Tower’s plan was approved, with conditions, on July 24, 2017. Some of the conditions included conducting public participation. Failure to honour the details on the letter led to cancellation of the development plan on April 30, 2018.
The investment firm has also been facing financial difficulties that have led to multiple suits by investors. It has been accused of failing to honour the maturity of investments in some of its non-regulated investment products.