Source: Nation Media A section of the Nairobi skyline. Nairobi surprised critics this week with its appetite for new buildings when the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) announced six planned storeyed projects. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Nairobi surprised critics this week with its appetite for new buildings when the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) announced six planned storeyed projects.
While several banks’ gave a grim forecast of Nairobi’s skyscrapers and malls, Nema reports indicate that several properties with more than 25 floors are planned in Westlands, Upper Hill and a residential property in Kasarani at Clayworks, which will see 560 units put up in 14-storeyed blocks.
The latest was CBK’s Pension Fund last Thursday, which sought approval for construction of a mixed development property comprising a 300-vehicle parking yard, restaurant, auditorium, offices and a penthouse on its 27th topmost floor.
Nema also declared a similar 30-day period for the public to give their views on two other properties, Greenfield Developers Ltd’s 35-floor mixed development property comprising offices, retail parking space and serviced apartments off Haile Selassie Avenue in Upper Hill totalling 35 floors.
On its part, the report said that Alexander Forbes’ property would comprise twin towers where one would be 20 floors high, housing 200 retail parking spaces, offices and retail space for letting out, while the other would house office suites rising to 33 floors.
“The developments are advised by the enormous demand for high-end offices that is yet to be satiated, especially in Upper Hill and Westlands,” said Nema’s report.
Upper Hill, dubbed Africa’s fastest rising high-end central business district, has recorded some of Kenya’s and East Africa’s finest buildings. They include the recently completed UAP Towers rising 33 floors that agent Knight Frank has started leasing.
Cytonn’s investments manager Maurice Oduor says, “Kenya could achieve between 5.5 to 6.5 per cent growth if it manages to keep politics out of business in the next year.”
Financial group Britam is also putting the final touches to its 31-floor headquarters, while KCB Group — one of Africa’s leading banks — is preparing to move into its newly finished 24-floor building at Upper Hill.
Several proposals have also been placed by private firms for construction of high-rise buildings, among them Hass Tower 1 and Upper Hill Square, whose sites are now under preparation for Africa’s highest buildings at 66 floors. Currently, South Africa’s Carlton Centre in Johannesburg, at 50 floors, is the highest building on the continent.
Interestingly for Hass, it plans to build a second tower with 40 floors at the same venue.