Sanlam’s Sh2.7 billion ‘green building’ set to open in Westlands

Sanlam Towers
The Sh2.5 billion Sanlam Towers on Waiyaki Way, Nairobi.
Sanlam Kenya Plc, formerly Pan Africa Insurance, will next month open its newly built 18-storey green office complex in Westlands, Nairobi, adding 160,000 square feet of Grade-A office space in the upmarket district.

The Sh2.5 billion Sanlam Towers, which is set to be one of the tallest buildings along Waiyaki Way, will house the firm’s headquarters in about three floors – and the balance will be leased out to other companies.

Chief executive Mugo Kibati has disclosed that the building, which has been under construction since October 2014, has received reservation requests from a host of local and international firms keen on letting high quality offices.

“This is a huge milestone in our growth strategy as a group. It will stand as a complimentary investment to our traditional investments,” he said.

Sanlam Towers has been designed to allow for environment-friendly cross ventilation and lighting, making it cost efficient for occupants.

The building boasts anti-glare windows that dim the sun’s glare while allowing sufficient lighting in thus eliminating the need for electric lighting during daytime.

Sanlam Towers, which was designed by Triad and Gapp architects, is being implemented by Seyani Brothers and supervised Acorn Management.

The building will see the financial services firm relocating from its Kenyatta Avenue head office and earn rental income from corporate tenants, who will be paying rents of between Sh140 and Sh180 per square foot according to Knight Frank.

Westlands offers some of Kenya’s highest commercial rents, with office space going for as much as Sh180 per square foot – more than double the cost of similar spaces in the Nairobi central business district.

Insurance firms have lately ventured into real estate, building high-end commercial properties, as they seek to cash in on high rental fees and capital appreciation.

Britam is, for instance, building a 31-storey office complex along Hospital Road in Upper Hill – Nairobi’s fastest growing commercial district.

The building, to be known as Britam Tower, will have 30,000 square metres of space for rent and will house the firm’s headquarters and accommodate corporate tenants. It is scheduled for opening next year.

Britam is also building a Sh12 billion serviced apartments development in Kileleshwa, which is set for completion in 2019.

UAP Old Mutual Group recently opened its 32-storey tower in Upper Hill that now serves as the company’s headquarters, with surplus space being rent out to corporate tenants. The UAP Old Mutual Tower was built at a cost of Sh4 billion.

The company has also built a 15-floor office block in Juba, South Sudan. Dubbed Equatorial Towers, the building is the tallest man-made structure in South Sudan.

The Kenya Reinsurance Company has also announced plans to build a high-rise commercial building in Upper Hill at a provisional budget of Sh4 billion to cash in on the rising demand for office space in the area.