Property developer Acorn set to build two new hostels

KENYA – Student hostels developer Acorn Holdings has lined up two new projects next to Kenya’s University of Nairobi’s Chiromo campus that will host about 3,000 students.

Acorn, known for its accommodation brands Qwetu and Qejani, will spend part of the US$39 million green bond resources to construct the two properties via the special purpose vehicle, Ashvale Properties LLP.

Using the Qejani brand, an 18-floor property hosting 704 units accommodating 2,112 students, will be built on a plot on Science Crescent Road off Riverside Road.

The low-cost Qejani brand has two types — double and quadruple — where students share study and common rooms with paid-up tenants accessing the facility via biometric access cards.

The second property has 16 floors boasting of 574 units that will host 837 students under the luxurious Qwetu brand where rooms are divided into four types, single, twin and cluster.

The two properties set for development in the next two years follow completion of new plans to build a 3,591-room hostel facility on a five-acre plot in Karen targeting students from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and another in Hurligham, all in Nairobi.

The firm is currently putting final touches for its Nairobi West Qwetu hostels project targeting Strathmore University students’ community with two more underway next to the United States International University Africa (USIU-Africa) set for completion by May 2021.

Acorn currently manages the Qwetu Baba Ndogo, Qwetu Jogoo and Parklands properties and has plans to float fresh bids for the remaining US$6.8 million unsubscribed bond offering later in the year.

Development of commercial students’ hostels takes away accommodation burden off learning institutions while giving investors an opportunity to develop competitive units.

Most properties hosting students are transformed residential houses that hardly conform to student requirements like study and common rooms as well as an internet connection.

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