Stanlib unveils plans for Sh1.2bn mall in Machakos

A shopping mall in Nairobi. PHOTO/FILE
Greenspan Mall in Nairobi. The mall was recently acquired by Stanlib. PHOTO/FILE
South Africa firm Stanlib, which recently acquired Greenspan Mall in Nairobi, has yet again signalled its confidence in the local real estate market by unveiling its plans to build a Sh1.2 billion mixed-use development in Athi River, Machakos County.

The Athi River Mall will be located on the Nairobi-Namanga road, off Mombasa Road, about 30 kilometres from the city centre, and it will consist of a shopping mall, offices and other amenities.

There will be no residential component.

According to the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, the mall, which consists of a basement; ground floor; first floor and a roof top, “will comprise retail and commercial buildings consisting of fashion, financial, restaurants, furniture, electronics, health and beauty, line shops, children entertainment, modern offices and other services.”

The retail section, the EIA report says, will have 127 units covering a total area of 20,797.95 square metres that will be constructed in two phases.

The first phase of the project involves construction of 83 retail units, with an area of 12,973.42 square metres while phase two will involve the construction of 44 retail units, with an area of 7824.53 square metres.

The EIA report does not indicate the construction schedule but such projects usually take a minimum of two to three years.

The Athi River Mall becomes the second mega shopping facility to come up in Machakos after the Sh3.4 billion Crystal Rivers Mall – which was launched in June last year by the Safaricom Staff Pension Scheme.

The mixed-use development that is set for completion next year comprises a 20,000-square-metre mall and and 270 three and four bedroom houses.

Wealthy investors are increasingly building fancy malls across the country to meet the demand from retailers seeking to woo middle- and upper-class customers.

“There is a big number of people especially in Nairobi who aspire Western lifestyles,” says Jane Wasike, a doctorate student at the University of London.

“This group of people has developed a taste for luxury and will not shy away from spending a fortune to be fashionable.”

The changing lifestyles of the middle-class is attracting global luxury brands to Nairobi seeking to exploit the growing appetite for the finer things in life – from wines, to jewellery and clothes.

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