Construction of Africa’s tallest tower gets underway in Nairobi

An impression of the Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill.
An impression of The Pinnacle in Upper Hill, Nairobi. PHOTO/COURTESY
Construction has begun on a Sh20 billion mixed-use twin tower development in Nairobi, barely three months after a regional oil marketer signed a deal with a Chinese contractor to set up what is primed to become the tallest building in Africa.

The Pinnacle, whose ground-breaking was held on Tuesday, comprises a 5-star hotel and a 300 metres high office block that will overtake the 223 metres tall Carlton Centre in Johannesburg as Africa’s tallest building.

The 255-room Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill will be hosted on the 45-storey wing, while the 70-storey wing will comprise Grade A commercial offices and a luxury shopping mall.

The project is a joint venture between Hass Petroleum Group’s real estate subsidiary Jabavu Village and Dubai-based investment firm White Lotus Group.

“We are targeting the middle and high-end luxury hospitality market. Nairobi is becoming a regional hub and the expatriates coming to work here require these residences for short stay,” Hass Group chairman Abdinasir Ali Hassan said during the ground-breaking event that was graced by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“We expect the entire building to be completed by December of 2019, although the 255-room hotel may be completed earlier,” Mr Hassan said.

In March, Hass Group disclosed that it had signed a deal with China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) to undertake the project.

The deal, which was signed in Beijing on February 28, was hailed by Mr Hassan as an ‘historic’ event that came after a long negotiation and tender process.

“They (CSCEC) went through a rigorous tender system which they won over ten international companies including European, Turkish as well as other Chinese competitors,” Mr Hassan said in a statement on March 9.

At 300 metres, The Pinnacle – which sits on two acres of prime land in Upper Hill, will dwarf the upcoming Britam Towers (200 metres); AVIC International Tower (175 metres); UAP Tower (163 metres); Times Tower (140 metres); and the KICC (105 metres).

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