City tops list in race for developers of high end shopping malls in Sub-Saharan Africa

Nairobi has a total shopping mall space of 391,000 square metres with an additional 470,000 sqm in the pipeline.

The Thika Road Shopping Mall. Nairobi is now the sub-Saharan Africa’s top destination for developers setting up shopping malls.

Nairobi is now the sub-Saharan Africa’s top destination for developers setting up shopping malls.

According to a report by property management firm Knight Frank, Nairobi has a total shopping mall space of 391,000 square metres with an additional 470,000 sqm in the pipeline.

The report titled ‘2016 Shop Africa’, placed Windhoek (Namibia) as the second biggest retail city with a floor space of 260,000 sqm with Botswana’s Gaborone coming in third at 247,000 sqm.

Kampala was ranked fourth with a space measuring 182,000 sqm.

The report reveals that office market activity in Nairobi is expected to rise as some multinationals trade up space, while others consolidate offices to single locations.

Shopping centre development

A considerable growth is also expected in the city when small scale oil production commences.

Nairobi stands out as a major focus for shopping centre development and is ranked as the largest market by existing shopping centre floor space plus it has the biggest development pipeline.

The report however excludes South Africa which has an estimated, three million square metre space, seven times more than the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

Shopping mall frenzy

Nairobi has in recent years witnessed a shopping mall construction frenzy with investors seeking to cash in on increased spending power of a growing middle class population.

The report shows a growing population that is “brand conscious and technology-savvy” and who “demand access to the increasingly sophisticated retail formats” offered by the new malls.

Some of these malls include Thika Road Mall (TRM) and Garden City on Thika Road, The Hub in Karen, Ananas Mall in Thika town and Juja City Mall.

Next in line is the The Two Rivers project that is arguably the most ambitious construction project embarked on by a private investment firm.

The project when fully completed will see luxury apartments, workers residences, a 5 star hotel and a 3 star hotel and an office block added to the mall.

The whole project sits on a 102 acre land bought by Centum from the Koinange family at the cost of 1 billion.

The mall alone seats on 62,000 square meters leaving the closest mall in terms of size by a gaping 15,000 square meters.

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