Construction underway at Vantage Mall on Thika Road

Artist's impression of Vantage Mall
Artist’s impression of Vantage Mall. PHOTO/COURTESY
Thika Road has been primed for the construction of a Sh1.7 billion mall that will include serviced apartments targeting long term visitors who find it inconvenient to reside in hotel rooms for lengthy periods.

The project, known as Vantage Mall, will be a six storey development with a 70 rooms, a four star hotel and 90 serviced apartments. The mall, which will sit on a two-acre piece of land, will be located about 100 metres from Garden City Mall.

The first two floors will have a supermarket, shops, restaurants and a movie theatre among other facilities.

The developer, who is being funded by Housing Finance, will sell the serviced apartment to investors on a sale and leaseback arrangement.

“One-bedroom apartment will cost Sh15 million, two-bedroom apartment Sh18 million and three-bedroom Sh20 million,” said Karigi Kamatu, the owner and chairman of Vantage Shopping Mall.

The hotel administrator will manage the apartments on behalf of the owners with talks underway to have Best Western Hotel, an international franchise, take on the job.

With an increase in business travellers, NGO employees and tourists coming into Kenya for periods of more than three months, serviced apartments have continued to gain popularity with developers seeking to cash in on the growing numbers.

Serviced apartments have grown from approximately 1000 units in 2003 to around 2100 units in 2015. The number is set to increase even further with Chinese investors having launched a Sh1.8 billion project in Kilimani, Nairobi, as well as another 50 units at a five star hotel on Waiyaki Way in Nairobi.

The Ole Sereni hotel is also building 20 serviced apartments on its new 11 floor hotel on Mombasa Road.

A fully furnished and serviced apartment offers long time visitors and those with young children comfort, privacy, more living space and flexibility that is not usually found in a hotel room, giving it a home away from home experience.