Blue Water Hotel in Kisumu is set to go under the auctioneer’s hammer on January 22, 2021 as Guaranty Trust Bank looks to recover a Ksh330 million debt.
The hotel is owned by William Guda Osewe, the entrepreneur behind K’osewe Ranalo Foods. The restaurant guru owns properties including the popular Ranalo Foods eatery along Kimathi Street in Nairobi
The stalled four-star hotel in Kisumu was supposed to be the crown jewel in the K’Osewe Foods empire and is reportedly valued at Ksh2 billion.
The bank has been trying to auction the property since 2018. It sits on 1.3 acres in Kisumu’s upmarket Milimani Estate.
Osewe and his wife had sued to stop the auction arguing that they had been servicing the loan. They further argued that the property was worth several times more than the debt.
The hotel had also entered a lucrative franchise deal with the international Marriot Hotel chain and Dubai-based Aleph Hospitality Group.
The deal would have seen the hotel operated by Aleph Hospitality under the prestigious Protea by Marriot brand from 2022.
The deal now seems dead in the water despite Osewe’s appeals to the courts. GT Bank argued that it was not party to the franchising deal as it looked to auction the property.
“The development comprises an incomplete seven storey building with a mezzanine floor which is 60 percent complete and semi detached double storey building which is 27 percent complete,” noted Garam Investments which is leading the auction.
Osewe had argued that the hotel was located on prime beachfront property and would be difficult to replace.
Judge Thripsisa Cherere, however, okayed the sale of the property in October, agreeing with GT Bank that Osewe had defaulted on the loans.
The businessman has faced a turbulent past few years. In 2018, he almost died after being shot three times by his friend Tom Oywa Mboya.
In 2019, his Ranalo Foods branch in Kisumu was demolished shortly after being opened as it was found to be sitting on Kenya Railways land. The branch has since relocated.
In June 2020, Ranalo Foods Upper Hill Branch in Nairobi had to close down after auctioneers sold hundreds of items.