The Hub Karen opens to public

The Hub Karen Mall was built at a cost of Sh4 billion.
The Hub Karen Mall was built at a cost of Sh4 billion. PHOTO/FILE
A new mall has been opened for the residents of Nairobi’s upmarket area of Karen, offering a convenient retail and entertainment experience to visitors.

The Hub Karen, which has been put up at a cost of Sh4 billion, offers a mix of local and global retail outlets including French retail giant Carrefour – which has occupied 6,000 square feet of retail space at the new mall.

The development, which sits on a 20-acre piece of land in Karen – some 20km from Nairobi CBD, is Kenya’s second largest mall after the recently opened Garden City Mall on Thika Road.

Azalea Holdings, a consortium of wealthy investors, launched construction of the mall in July 2013 with completion of phase one scheduled for late 2015, in a bid to ride on the city’s growing mall culture.

The Hub Karen is a two phase project, with the first phase comprising 35,000 sq m of gross leasable area on two levels of retail. It comprises shops, supermarket, restaurants, office spaces, wellness centre and medical facilities.

The second phase, which is scheduled for completion in 2018, will feature residential space, a 1,000sq m conference facility and a 150-bed hotel.

“The development promises a vibrant and unforgettable experience for visitors for all ages and gender. It’s everything you need to work, shop, play and enjoy,” Azalea said in a statement.

The growth in shopping mall culture in major towns countrywide is largely driven by a growing middle-class that wants broader variety.

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According to Knight Frank, the leasing agent for the Karen Hub, despite the increase in the number of large shopping malls, demand for retail space is growing due to the flourishing mall culture.

Property managers have also said that investors have shown interest in retail space since it attracts higher rental yields than office, residential and industrial properties.

In 2012, retail space attracted rent of up to Sh3, 060 per square meter, higher than an equivalent office space which attracted rent of between Sh1, 311 and Sh787, while industrial space brought the least at between Sh393 and Sh262 per square metre.