Lemac: New residential tower seeks to give clients a whole new experience
Lemac is a major Mixed-use developments complex in the Kenyan capital Nairobi touted as the tallest residential tower in the country
Mixed-use developments are not a new phenomenon in Kenya but a new trend is gaining traction in commercial real estate in Nairobi.
In its 2015 report, real estate firm Knight Frank pointed out that firms are increasingly moving offices to edge-of-central business district (CBD) locations. The report named Global Cities Report shows that this tendency is creating new office hubs, with homes and shops following suit.
Normally, one high-rise building would have a mix of retail space on the lower floors, office space on the upper floors, and occasionally, some penthouses on the top-most floors.
However, what we are witnessing nowadays are properly integrated developments, which are delivering commercial, residential and retail space in far bigger magnitudes. Perfect examples include: Two Rivers Mall, The Hub Karen, Garden City among others.
It is a concept that is commonplace in big cities like Dubai where a commercial complex has a mix of retail space, residential apartments, restaurants, offices and recreational space.
This idea has been introduced in Nairobi, a market that is learning to embrace the opportunities that come with having offices in a large-format retail environment. These mixed-use formats are designed as city hubs where people can live, work, shop and play in the same location. A new mixed use commercial development that is nearing completion in Westlands neighbourhood of Nairobi is a good example.
Dabbed Le’ Mac, the Dubai styled piece de resistance project has been touted as the tallest residential tower in the country.
The Lemac is an ultra modern commercial and residential address, offering the finest features and workplace facilities in the commercial hub of East Africa, Nairobi.
Located in the calm environs of Westlands, it offers tranquility and accessibility to do business at your own pleasure without normal business and communication challenges. Modern lifestyle challenges have been considered in designing this unique concept.
The 24 storey building whose construction kicked off in 2014 is slated for completion in 2017. The skyscraper is located off Waiyaki way next to the new Toyota showroom. The mixed use development targets high end buyers, middle and upper class Kenyans. The building has 4 floors of parking space on its basement.
On the Le’Mac’s ground floor, there is a banking hall and cafe while floor 1-6 is ultra modern open-plan office space ideal for banks, restaurants, showrooms and offices. It offers office and retail space on the lower floors and residential apartments in the upper floors. At the rooftop is a restaurant that gives a 360 degrees amazing view of Nairobi and a swimming pool, gym, steam/sauna & spa.
The Lemac building has 8 high speed lifts imported from top notch manufacturers in Korea and also has ramps for easy accessibility for physically challenged people. It is one of the few buildings in Nairobi to have a separate fireman’s lift. There will be fibre-optic internet connectivity and full telephone exchange service on all floors. There is provision of a 24hr CCTV surveillance, biometric recognition entry system and guards to ensure maximum security in and out of the building.
Sylvia Kasanga is the lead architect at Sycum Solutions a firm behind the design of the building. She says that when it comes to provision of security and utilities nothing has been left to chance. “The Lemac building has 3 fire safety exits, fire fighting and protection system including sprinkler system,” she says.Additionally,the complex has a standby backup generator and a front entrance water feature.
Constructed on a small piece of land, Lemac offers the most efficient way of maximising land use in the densely populated Nairobi City. This trend is becoming common globally since developers are able to distribute land costs over a large number of units thus bring down the cost per unit.
Care has been taken with the upper floors to ensure they are sound and water proofed. This has been achieved by using double glazed windows. Mark Properties are the developers of the project that has 192 apartments. Strategically located with easy accessibility, the building has a bore-hole on site to ensure constant availability of water.
With large open-plan office accommodation, ample, secure and automated parking at basement, the building offers unique opportunity for business people and residents. The complex also has full telephone exchange service to all floors.
“The mixed use development is aimed at giving clients the best experience ever. It is a modern concept that has been inspired from buildings of similar caliber in Dubai,” Sylvia asserts.
The development also incorporates green features in it. To counter the problem of power outages, the developer has installed a state of the art solar system in addition to standby generators. Power stabilizers have also been put in place.
It also has a water treatment plant on site to recycle water that is then used in toilets. After the basement, there is a green podium offering a serene environment for tenants and visitors. The project is being marketed by Hass Consult. While sales is ongoing, majority of the apartments have been sold.
This is not the only project that Sycum Solutions is involved in. The architectural firm is involved in the design of low cost houses for low-end buyers. They have been working in areas such as Thika, Syokimau and Athi River.
In Makueni County, Sycum solutions have been involved in the construction of a university using low cost building blocks. The Lukenya University has been built using hydraform blocks. “The blocks have excellent thermo properties. In hot weather, the building is cool inside and vice versa,” says Sylvia who adds that she is proud to be associated with the Lukenya University.
Established in 2004, Sycum Solutions has emerged as a force to reckon with in the architectural field in Kenya. The firm has been involved with big projects and smaller projects in equal measure.
“We have already established a reputation for the large bespoke project like Le’ Mac so we will be securing more of these. But at the same time we will continue with smaller jobs as these are vital for continued growth of the business on a day to day basis. We intend to become leaders in what we do.”