Juja Mall set to join Thika Road large developments

City Network Holdings says work on its Juja City Mall is halfway through and expect it to open doors by December 2015.

The Sh1.7 billion Juja City Mall project in Kiambu County broke ground in January and joins a raft of other similar projects on Thika Road.

The project includes a four-star hotel, petrol station, bar, restaurant and an amusement park sitting on a 10-acre plot. It is entirely funded through debt.

“The project will cost Sh1.7 billion and it is being fully financed by a consortium of local banks,” said City Holdings marketing director Geoffrey Chege.

The firm is owned by local investors.

Mr Chege added that negotiations with two major retailers to determine the anchor tenant are going on.

Juja City Mall joins the growing list of mixed developments that are coming up in urban areas of Kiambu, Machakos and Nairobi counties.

Developers say that consumers want to live in planned estates that also afford them easy access to work and shopping malls all of which are in short supply.

Huge demand

“There is a huge demand from investors for good quality investment grade properties with decent long-term returns and prospects. This demand is pent-up as there has been very poor supply of such properties over the years,” said Acorn Group chief executive Edward Kirathe.

Acorn is developing a shopping mall at Mlolongo in Machakos.

Except for the residential units Juja City Mall has a similar mix with Centum’s Two Rivers project that is coming up in Runda, Nairobi.

Two Rivers will host a mega shopping mall. Centum recently announced that City Lodge, a listed South African hotelier, would put up a three-star hotel.

Two Rivers is, however, 10 times bigger than Juja City Mall, sitting on 100 acres.

The Environmental Impact Assessment report on the project says that Juja City Mall will also result in land prices appreciating in the surrounding areas.

“The proposed multiple development is unique in the area and has the potential to cause a sharp increase in land values in the area due to the demand created for the land in the area by potential investors,” says the Environmental Impact Assessment report.