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Sh4 billion Lake Basin Mall opens its doors

By Harold Odhiambo | March 15th 2018

KISUMU, KENYA: After years of controversy, the Sh4 billion Lake Basin Mall opens its doors as residents expressed optimism that the move is set to improve the economy of Kisumu.

The move comes at a time when local leaders and activists have been piling pressure on the management of Lake Basin Development Authority to fast track the process.

Early this week, hundreds of youths pitched tent at the mall protesting the delays in opening the mall  which is now set to give residents of Western Kenya a new shopping experience.

Dr Evans Atera, the acting managing director of LBDA told The Standard that everything had now been finalised with the authority leasing out more than 30 percent of the mall to clients.

The management has organised for a two-day open day also to showcase the mall to the public where tenants will also have a chance to interact with customers between Friday and Saturday.

Atera noted that the opening is set to boost to the economy of the region, a notion that has also been supported by reports by the auditor general Edward Ouko who indicated in a report the mall will raise about Sh230 million each year and projected to register a five per cent increase each year.

Arguably the biggest in western Kenya, the mall is set to transform the economy of Kisumu which is recovering after a stormy political season and revamp the shopping experience in Western Kenya.

Already, the construction of the mall which is located at the Mamboleo junction along the Kisumu-Kakamega road has attracted massive developments in the area with investments in real estate and supplies coming up.

Measuring about 60,000 square feet, the five-floor mega investment has about 140 shops, a three-star hotel, showrooms, and a parking area that can accommodate 335 cars.

“We are glad that we are going to open the mall this week and we have already leased out a significant percentage of the mall to tenants,” said Atera.

Dr Atera noted that several tenants had expressed an interest in the mall, whose construction has already seen a lot of development in nearby Mamboleo and its environs.

The Communications Authority, Bata Shoe Company, and Best Western are among the tenants who have already booked space at the mall with a UK company also planning to set up a Casino at the mall.

With the expansion of the Kisumu-Kakamega into a dual carriage highway already underway, the mall is easily accessible to residents.

The mall which is set to be the fifth mall in Kisumu and the largest in Western Kenya has been a bone of contention among politicians and other government organs.

At the centre of it was the loan used to construct it that threatened its auction which saw local leaders and residents up in arms demanding that it be paid before Treasury stepped in.

Now however, hopes are high as residents lauded the project which is set to transform the economy of Kisumu which is on a recovery path after a stormy political season.

Dr Atera said that the mall was ready for occupation last year but the authority was still doing consultations as they also sought for tenants who have now taken over 30 percent of the building.

He noted that the authority is in talks with two clients who will be the anchor tenant as they seek to make a mark in the economy of the region.

"We are projecting to raise over Sh230 million a year once it picks up and we are optimistic because its location also favors business," said Atera

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