Sameer starts construction of Sh260 million warehouse

Sameer Africa MD John Mugo, left, during the groundbreaking of the company's Sh260 million purpose-built industrial warehouse. [Courtesy]

Sameer Africa has begun the construction of a ‘built-to-suit’ industrial warehouse within its Nairobi complex, marking a significant leap towards its expansion strategy.

The facility is slated to commence operations by mid-2024.

The property boasts a robust infrastructure, including a 10 MVA installed electrical power supported by reliable 66kV transmission lines, high-speed and reliable fibre connectivity and ample utility water sourced from dedicated boreholes with backup storage.

It also has an in-house property management team dedicated to ensuring seamless operations.

According to Sameer Africa Managing Director John Mugo, the tailor-made project has been crafted to align with its tenant’s distinct needs, encompassing considerations of size, layout, features, and functionality.

“By constructing a bespoke facility from the ground up, our tenant can sidestep costly retrofits or modifications to an existing space,” Mugo.

The company noted that the escalating demand for customised warehousing services in the country informed their decision to venture into industrial warehousing.

 “In a landscape riddled with supply chain disruptions and soaring real estate costs, businesses clamour for a proficient team capable of delivering flexible, purpose-built facilities tailored to their operational uniqueness, grade A warehousing, like the one under construction, is poised to empower businesses to achieve unprecedented operational efficiencies, enhancing profit margins, and facilitating scalable growth while curbing operational expenditure,” Mugo said.

Operational efficiencies

Recent reports have shown that Grade A warehousing provides businesses the opportunity to achieve operational efficiencies that drive profit margins, and, allow users to scale up, while at the same time, reducing operational expenditure.

Sameer Africa Chairman Erastus Mwongera noted the company’s commitment to investing in industrial property development through greenfield projects and enhancing existing properties.

Mwongera said the property sector presents them with an opportunity to steer the future of the company while propelling Kenya’s emergence as a leading logistics hub,

“Our strategic growth blueprint underscores the revitalisation of our property business, which is a robust source of income and growth for the Group. “ Mwongera.

Strategic plan

Sameer Africa embarked on a Sh260 million industrial warehousing in January 2021, following the approval of a four-year strategic plan by its board.

The strategy, anchored in the company’s extensive real estate portfolio and tyre industry expertise, is currently underway, reshaping the landscape of Sameer Africa’s property business, a steadfast source of income and growth for the Group.

A review of sub-Saharan Africa’s emerging logistics property sector by Knight Frank report in 2016 showed that Nairobi lacked an adequate supply of quality logistics space, pushing firms to invest in their own custom-built facilities

In 2017, another survey by Knight Frank showed that investors shunned away from industrial parks due to outdated infrastructure.

Also, industrial rents had risen as a result of developers moving into the high-end logistics market.

From the survey, Nairobi, however, remained the preferred location for global corporates eyeing East Africa.

The government has however gazetted special economic zones and industrial Parks outside of Nairobi.