Nairobi promises exciting growth despite hurdles
SEE ALSO :NSE share index down by 9.56 pointsKenya’s success has been partly attributed to its membership of the East Africa Community (EAC). This has produced sustained public and private investment. Looking ahead, the country’s future could be even brighter as a signatory to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). As President Uhuru Kenyatta recently pointed out, AfCFTA enables the African States to trade goods and services in a more orderly and predictable fashion. In many ways, Nairobi typifies the story across many parts of the African continent. With bustling energy and a young educated population, the city has been successful in welcoming many modern businesses, including global digital services firms and business process outsourcers. Indeed, the city’s role in the vanguard of the new economy has already led it to be dubbed East Africa’s ‘Silicon Savannah’.
SEE ALSO :A case of new road with no bus stopsThe fact of the matter is that much of Nairobi’s office stock was developed before 2010 and therefore conforms to older, less demanding, industry standards. We estimate that as much as 40 per cent of the city’s office accommodation comes with inefficient floor plate designs (less than 80 per cent gross to net efficiencies). What this means in practice is that people are condemned to working in offices that are inefficient, unattractive and often poorly maintained. To make matters worse, far too few of these below-par office developments have sufficient parking spaces that meet the needs of their increasingly affluent and aspirational workforces. Globally, progressive city planners have realised that modern real estate not only accommodates innovation it actively fosters and encourages it. Nairobi’s solution is to develop more Grade A office space, which accounts for around only 15 per cent (400,000 m²) of the total available office market.
SEE ALSO :The rise and rise of MagohaEqually importantly, Grade A developments need to be developed in new locations throughout the City and not focused on the already congested districts. This is why we have been developing the Garden City Business Park where we are constructing the first of four Grade A office building, with the first building being delivered May this year. Rent ranges from $1.1 per square foot per month for office space. Offices at the Business Park will also have a good supply of car parking, with circa 4 parking bays per 1,000 square feet, which is among the highest in the city. Giving businesses what they need to thrive, which is flexible modern space capable of attracting and retaining the best talent, and available at highly competitive rates, will contribute to Kenya’s growth prospects. And as befits a modern mixed-use development, there will be a broad choice of other amenities in Garden City including shops at Garden City Mall, restaurants, cafes, leisure and hospitality facilities and there’s convenient access to exceptional residential apartments and townhouses built to luxurious standards for either ownership or rental. We are delighted to be contributing to Nairobi’s continued development and growth and. This is part of the bigger picture - to seeing East Africa begin to make the kind of impact on the global stage we have seen from India and China over the past decade. -Mr Chris Coulson, Managing Director of the Garden City Business Park in Nairobi
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