Groundbreaking ceremony was held on Wednesday for the Garden City Shopping Mall in Nairobi, setting stage for the opening of the mall by November 2014.
The US$250 million project, which is touted as East Africa’s the largest shopping mall, is being developed by London-based private equity firm Actis.
The 32-acre development, whose construction will be led by Nairobi-based Mentor Management, will consist of a 50,000 square metres shopping mall, 500 housing units and a 4-acre central park with an outdoor house arena for staging events.
Garden City will be home to about 120 local and international retail brands, many of them opening their outlets in Kenya for the first time.
According to Actis Head of East Africa Michael Turner, Garden City provides a rare opportunity to make a world-class development directly serving the needs of Kenyan businesses, shoppers and home-owners.
“We have been encouraged by the strong demand shown by both local and international retailers, who like us see Garden City as a landmark destination in Nairobi and the East African region,” Mr Turner said.
“Garden City sets the standards for other mega property developers, and I know there are many waiting, to follow,” said Nairobi governor Evans Kidero during the ceremony.
Actis has a good track record in retail development in East and West Africa having built ten multi-billion shopping malls in seven African countries since 2004, including The Junction shopping mall in Nairobi.
Garden City becomes the latest real estate development along the new Nairobi-Thika highway. Other notable firms that have eyed investments along the highway include European furniture chain IKEA, Nakumatt and Uchumi supermarkets as well as PepsiCo which is putting up a Sh2.4 billion bottling plant.
The Garden City project was recently granted the Vision 2030 Private Sector partnership project status.