Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani has started constructing yet another multi-million shilling office block in Nairobi barely months after making billions from the sale of high-end property to the World Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The billionaire, behind industrial conglomerate Reliance Industries, is constructing a six-storey building along Waiyaki Way, next to the Deloitte office block.
Like in previous works, the proposed office block is being developed by Delta Corporation East Africa Ltd (DCEAL) — a local subsidiary of his Indian based Reliance Industries.
“The project will take about one and a half years from now,” managing director Govind Sentrim said during ground-breaking last week but declined to reveal the estimated value of the building.
Mr Ambani has a controlling stake of 60 per cent in a joint venture with DCEAL, which has acquired and developed several prime plots in Nairobi for sale, earning him a fortune.
His projects include Delta Centre in the prime Upper Hill area and the Twin Towers of Delta Corner in Westlands, with the former having been sold to the World Bank reportedly for Sh1.9 billion ($22.8 million) two years ago.
Consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and University of Nairobi’s Staff Pension Scheme jointly bought the 21-storey Delta Corner building at Sh4 billion.
Another property is Delta Plains Estate in Athi River, comprising 153 residential units, which is estimated to have fetched Mr Ambani’s companies Sh548.8 million.
DCEAL has also developed a gated complex of four office blocks at Nairobi’s Riverside Drive. Forbes’ latest rankings placed Mr Ambani at position 22 among the richest people in the world and in the top slot in India with a net worth of Sh1.8 trillion ($21.5 billion).
The proposed commercial office block — the latest in a series of high-end properties belonging to Mr Ambani — is located on a prime plot measuring 91 metres by 33 metres with construction expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015.
The new structure, according to Sentrim Contracts Ltd who is the main contractor, will have two basements serving as parking lots for about 200 cars.
Nairobi’s Westlands and Upper Hill have emerged as key commercial districts attracting developers in droves owing to growing demand for office blocks from corporates, NGOs and State agencies which have been moving away from the capital’s central business district.