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UK developer plans mega Nairobi mall

British architecture firm aLL Design and
British architecture firm aLL Design and Kiloran Development Group are building a shopping mall off Nairobi’s city centre called The Beacon. PHOTO | COURTESY aLL DESIGN 

British architecture firm aLL Design and Nanyuki Cedar Mall developer Kiloran Development Group are constructing a shopping mall off Nairobi’s city centre that is set for completion in 2020.

The new mixed use property, dubbed The Beacon, will be 28,500 square metres (306,771 square feet) and set on a site off the east of Uhuru Highway towards Bunyala Road roundabout.

Once complete, it will be the largest mall space on the periphery of the City Centre as most large malls are usually found closer to residential areas as opposed to the Central Business District (CBD).

"The construction budget is confidential at this stage of the project," aLL Design said in response to the Business Daily's queries.

The UK firm, co-founded by the late famed maverick architect Will Alsop, says the development will become a retail leisure destination in its own right and also house offices.

“We were intrigued by Kiloran’s ideas for this mall in Nairobi and were pleased to be able create an open-air mall with a focus on sustainability, fun and family which we believe to be key drivers on future international mall design.” said Marcos Rosello, co-founder of aLL Design.

The firm reckons the mall will sit well on its prime retail pitch immediately between major employment zones — the Central Business District, the Industrial Area and Upper Hill — thus broadening the localised leisure offer to encourage longer dwell time at the mall by visiting families with children, teenagers and young people.

In 2015, Kiloran — an investment vehicle of British nationals — set up a Sh1.3 billion shopping mall in Nanyuki with Chandarana FoodPlus as the anchor tenant. Cedar Mall is their first property development in Kenya which received Sh820 million construction funding from Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed Housing Finance.

The planned city centre mall is aLL Design's first project in Africa and the second shopping centre-led development for Kiloran LLP, who have offices in both London and Nairobi.

The mixed use space will feature a shopping centre and Grade A office project. It will have 24,300 square metres of retail, food and beverage along with a 4,200 square metre, seven-storey office tower overlooking the mall’s roof garden and bar.

"The building will be an architectural legacy for Nairobi that will serve to promote tourism," the firm said.

A recent retail sector report by Cytonn showed that Kiambu Road and Limuru Road are the most attractive for mall developers. NSE-listed insurer Britam last year raised concern over supply and demand mismatch for mall spaces, saying owners would struggle to get tenants.

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