Garden City, Nairobi’s flagship retail, residential and commercial property development, broke ground yesterday in what should be seen as part of a broader progression of the service economy in Kenya and the rest of the sub Saharan region.
The $250m Garden City can be seen as part of a long list of commercial property developments springing all over the region. South African property developers, like Sanlam, Old Mutual, Billion Group, Atterbury are claiming a significant share in this movement. And South African retailers are tagging along.
Garden City broke ground at a ceremony blessed by over 100 distinguished guests, including the Governor of Nairobi, Dr. Evans Kidero.
Developed by Actis, the pan emerging markets investor responsible for the Junction Mall and Nairobi Business Park, Garden City was designed to embrace the live work and play in a safe, stylish and green environment.
A-grade standard Garden City will house a 50,000 square metre retail centre, over 420 apartments and town houses, commercial offices and a stunning three acre central park open to all.
The first phase of development, opening for business in late 2014, will bring 33,000 square metres of prime retail space to the city. Garden City will be home to over 100 major local and international retail brands, many of them opening their flagship stores in Kenya for the first time. Nakumatt and Game have already signed up as the anchor tenants. In this initial phase the developers will also make 80 desirable residential apartments and houses available for purchase.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony, Michael Turner, Managing Director, Actis East Africa said “We are delighted to set out on this journey with the citizens of Nairobi, building on the success of The Junction and Nairobi Business Park. Garden City will change the face of Thika Road, and become a major hub for the Northern Nairobi catchment area which currently has no modern retail, office or leisure facilities. The development will provide residents, professionals, visitors and shoppers with an unrivalled blend of leisure, shopping and residential facilities, all set within a beautiful landscaped environment. I am also proud that Garden City will be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified retail mall in East Africa, translating into lower water and electricity bills for tenants and residents. Garden City affirms Actis’s reputation as the most experienced private equity real estate developer in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero praised Garden City’s innovation and leadership “Nairobi is the nerve centre of the nation. Our city continues to be recognised as a thriving regional hub for logistics and investment. Under my leadership, and in partnership with the private sector and investors like Actis, City Hall will continue to address the myriad of challenges – including housing, security, waste management, and transport issues, facing the city.
I applaud Actis for pioneering this important project. Garden City is an example of how investment in regional infrastructure can bring lasting value. The contribution that this development will bring to the economy, both in terms of employment creation and individual spend from the thousands of visitors to the mall, will be enormous.”
Led by Actis, Aspire Group and Mentor Management are the project’s international and local property, construction, project and development management consultants.
Garden City was awarded Vision 2030 Partner Status in early July.