Michael and Winfred Warui are real estate investors and run properties and projects under their company, Storehouse Holdings Company Limited.
The couple is behind a number of projects including in the outskirts of Nairobi in Kinoo, Kiambu County where they are putting up a modern housing project; Liza Heights, which has 61 units, is only a 10-minute drive from Westlands and 15 minutes from The Hub in Karen.
“We broke ground on the 4th of January 2016, and more than 95% of the project has been completed. Liza Heights is a very sound investment opportunity that promises to offer a lot to our prospective clients,” Michael states.
He notes that nothing excites him more than venturing into real estate with his wife and he’s happy with the progress they have made so far.
“Winnie and I are excited to be executing what we believe presents a great medium to long-term investment opportunity given the growth of Nairobi and need for quality yet affordable residential spaces,” he says.
According to KCB Venture Magazine, the Waruis completed phase one of the project in September 2018. The couple is constructing 31 two-bedroom units and 30 three-bedroom units. Off-plan prices are Ksh10.15 million and Ksh9.75 million respectively.
“We are building to a specification that is higher than the surrounding real estate developments. The national government will be expanding Naivasha Road (A8) to a 6-lane
highway and market prices for property along this road are rapidly appreciating,” Winnie
told the magazine.
Towards the end of 2018, Storehouse Holdings Company Limited which Michael and Winfred own, constructed a shopping/office complex on a plot situated less than 200 metres from Liza Heights.
“The family owns additional land around Liza Heights that will also be developed to high standards over the next five to seven years resulting in even greater value,” Michael said.
Michael, a Wharton School graduate has a background in real estate management and entrepreneurship. Winfred is a lawyer by profession. They have since taken up real estate and are thriving in the industry.
“We decided to combine our skillsets and try our hands in property development. And we do not regret that decision,” Michael said.
“We want to create a space that will make you feel like you are home. You open the door, feel the warmth and never want to go out,” Winfred stated.
Liza Heights has grassed playing areas, with well spaced and cabro-surfaced parking spots. The apartments has motion sensors around the ground floor units, the intercom system in every house connected to the main gate, plus a Japanese-built Johkasou water treatment unit.
While constructing the apartment, the couple faced a myriad of challenges including, the biggest being access to financing. Michael revealed that it took close them almost a year to obtain the money. They approached about seven financial institutions but to no avail.
“We broke ground for the project in January 2016 and financing was approved in October,” Michael said.
After months of frustration, their luck came after they approached KCB bank which agreed to fund their project.
“KCB Bank came through for us and provided the financing we needed,” Michael stated.
“Apart from the money, they have given us exceptional service. They have helped us market the apartments and been responsive to our customer’s needs for mortgage financing. We will never forget the gesture from one of KCB Bank’s officers who consistently worked to meet the end of the bank’s bargain although she had just lost her father. We will never forget her commitment beyond her call to duty..”
Michael has over 20 years of experience supporting international development programs and institutions in Kenya. He has served in leadership roles at Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), USAID/ East Africa, international non-governmental organizations like TechnoServe and Land O’Lakes, and private sector firms such as Price Waterhouse (now PWC). Most recently he has overseen the work of several family businesses, namely Fairview Estate and Storehomes Holdings Company Limited which recently completed Phase 2 of a 64-unit apartment project in Nairobi.
He holds an MBA in entrepreneurship and real estate from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in government from Dartmouth College.
Michael also serves as an ordained minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His predominant graces lie in fathering leaders, building and equipping saints for sonship, and operationalizing God’s Word in spheres predominantly outside of the Church.
He has enjoyed thirteen years of marriage to Winfred Wanjiru, an advocate who oversees her own law firm, and together they have been blessed with a son and two daughters.
They value family and Liza Heights is named after Michael’s grandmother.