South African Industrial property developer Improvon Group and Pan-African private equity group Actis, have announced the launch of Nairobi Gate Industrial Park. They are building the biggest industrial real estate investment in Kenya. The 103-acre development is located about 15 kilometres from Nairobi’s CBD in Ruiru’s Northland City precincts and will offer state-of-the-art industrial and logistics accommodation. Local and international companies will have quick access to key logistics and transport hubs like the Inland Container Depot and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The two firms have created a joint venture called Impact which will provide the entire infrastructure around the Nairobi Gate, it will build the 10,000 square metres industrial park development. The facility will be split into two buildings which are each 5,000 square metres in size. The industrial business park development is estimated to cost Sh11 billion on completion.
“Some South African companies have established themselves in Kenya already and can be tenants for our development, Kenyan businesses are dollar-based and the market is not too competitive so we can do well here,” said Stefano Contardo, the CEO of Improved. Contardo also said that Kenya stood out as an African country to invest while South Africa struggled with economic weakness and political squabbles. Accessibility to the rest of East Africa and high economic growth rate has attracted many foreign investors in the logistic and warehousing sector in Kenya.
Nairobi Gate offers flexibility and scalability for occupiers’ operational needs. Warehousing has evolved over the years, most significantly through advancements in technology. The development is Improvon’s first investment in Kenya, as the company already operates a business park in Zambia. Improvon is one of Africa’s largest industrial and logistics developers, in which Actis has a stake. Improvon has delivered over 20 million square feet of built-up space across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Construction is approximately at 90 per cent completion despite delays as a result of the recent lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Contardo said that phase 1 of Nairobi Gate will consist of ultra-modern logistics, warehousing, distributions centres and it will cover 103 acres. It will bring a ‘build to suit’ concept to Nairobi in correspondence to the demand for grade A flexible spaces. It will integrate corporate offices, access to wide roads and turning circles that can accommodate interlink trucks. It will also have loading facilities and high standards of security all within the industrial park.
Access from Thika road puts the site within 25 minutes of the high-end residential areas of Muthaiga, Runda and Westlands. Kangundo and Githurai-Kimbo link roads that allow access via public transport to key middle-income neighbourhoods of Umoja, Kayole, Saika, Githurai and Kahawa. The face of warehousing and the logistic property is evolving with companies merging into single facilities and migrating to better locations to achieve operational efficiency and economies of scale.
The Nairobi Gate development will offer the latest in green design and sustainability practices that optimise natural light and harness temperature regulation. It will also include water reticulation, which will make it cost-effective and less impactful on the environment over a long period. The company is confident that Nairobi Gate will be a success and that a similar design could be implemented in other African countries.