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Village Market to expand with new hotel and shops

Section  of the Village Market, Nairobi. Photo/FILE
Section of the Village Market, Nairobi. Photo/FILE 

Greenhills Investment, the developers and managers of Village Market and the Tribe Hotel, are investing Sh4.2 billion ($50 million) on an expansion plan that will see a new shopping annex, hotel, parking and expo centre constructed.

The expansion plan is driven by increased demand for accommodation and retail space in the northern side of the city.

The new plans will see the developers put in place a one-stop shop to start early next year and be completed in two years.

“We are very bullish about the market and positive of what is happening in Kenya,” said a Tribe Hotel director, Mr Hooman Ehsani.

Built over two decades ago, the Village Market was one of the first shopping malls in Nairobi. It started out with 10 shops, and continued to expand and has remained a popular venue over the years.

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The new development will take up the space that currently has water slides and swimming pool. The new hotel is expected to have 190 rooms and will be a part of the new extension of the shopping mall.

Guests at the hotel will be able to walk out of the lobby into the mall, as is the case in major shopping centres in South Africa, America and Europe.

Success

Tribe Hotel’s success has motivated the group to put up new accommodation in the area. Tribe, which opened its doors about five years ago, has attracted continuous clientele mainly from the diplomatic and business community in the Gigiri area.

The presence of many embassies such as the American and Canadian, and the UN offices has seen the hotel record high occupancy rates.

Mr Hooman says the hotel will be a mid-level one, very business traveller like with an offering of about $180 to $200 (Sh15,480 to Sh17,200), adding it will have conferencing rooms to meet the demand.

The conference room will be complimented by an expo centre that can accommodate up to 500 people. The shopping mall extension will have 50 new shops.

“We are talking to many retailers. We have seen a long list of people looking for shops at the current mall. We will just need to get the right mix for our vision for the new side,” said Mr Hooman.

Work will be carried out in different phases. The recent refurbishment of the food court at a cost of Sh41 million, giving it a new modern feel, was phase one.

The second phase has begun with the upper level parking lot being expanded to host new retail shops and additional parking space.

Nakumatt is also expected to take up a big chunk of the additional space. Funding for the project has been sourced from the company’s own coffers and local banks.

Rebranded

Greenhills Investment is owned by two Kenyan families.

It has been expanding its business with the setup of a hospitality arm that has taken over the management of formerly 1º South, along Eldama Ravine Road, and rebranded it to WestHouse.

For now the boutique hotel, which sits at the edge of Karura forest, is being run by the Tribe management team, with some of the staff being deployed to the new property.

The property officially reopened its doors on September 1, with the new management having taken over in November 2012.

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