Home » Kenyan tycoon Edward Kirathe’s Acorn plans expansion for student hostels in Nairobi

Kenyan tycoon Edward Kirathe’s Acorn plans expansion for student hostels in Nairobi

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Edward Kirathe

Nairobi-based property developer Acorn Holdings, led by Kenyan real estate tycoon Edward Kirathe, has unveiled ambitious plans for further expansion in the city’s center and Juja, Kiambu County.

The property developer aims to construct new student hostels to meet the growing demand for Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA).

This strategic move follows Acorn’s announcement on Aug. 3, expressing its intention to raise $10.5 million by Jan. 2024 through its existing Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) unit holders. The funds are earmarked to fuel the expansion of their PBSA projects.

Acorn’s expansion plans outlined in their semi-annual report for the REIT program include a new Qwetu hostel in Juja, Kiambu County, for Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology students. Another Qejani hostel with 1,116 beds is also being developed in Juja.

In Nairobi, Acorn aims to establish Qwetu and Qejani hostels on a strategically located plot for students from the University of Nairobi and the Technical University of Kenya.

“The Acorn Student Accommodation D-REIT (ASA D-Reit) continues to seek out suitable land parcels for expansion of both its Qwetu and Qejani offerings to address the unmet demand of the purpose-built student accommodation market segment,” Acorn said.

The D-Reit’s expansion strategy is evident in its pipeline of 13 separate hostel projects, which range from completed ones awaiting transfer to the developer’s investment Reit, to projects at the land acquisition stage, including the CBD and Juja Qejani units.

Since its establishment in 2001 by Kirathe, Acorn Holdings Africa has successfully delivered over 65 projects, accumulating assets valued at Ksh11.8 billion ($82.7 million). With a strong portfolio of 17 properties totaling 17,000 PBSA beds and 6,000 operational beds across nine properties, Acorn focuses on projects within the Nairobi Metropolitan Area.

Kirathe’s influence in Kenya’s real estate sector spans 25 years, making him a prominent figure in the East African real estate domain. Acorn achieved a milestone in October 2019 by issuing Africa’s first Green Housing Bond under Kirathe’s leadership.

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