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Safaricom scheme to build mall in Machakos

By James Wanzala | June 18th 2015

Safaricom Staff Pension Scheme (SSPS) has broken ground for the construction of a mall dubbed Crystal Rivers and a residential housing project. The project is situated on Mombasa Road and is only 1.2 kilomtres past the Athi River Interchange in Machakos County.

The mall will be constructed within two-and-a-half years and the two-phase residential estate is expected to be completed in five years. Each phase will take two-and-a-half years.

The entire project will cost Sh3.4 billion and sits on 25.5 acres. It will include a 20,000-square-metre lettable area in a mixed-user mall that will comprise a retail centre on 5.7 acres and 267 housing units called the Pedestrian Boulevard. Servant quarters will be incorporated as well.

The mall’s commercial centre will have shops, a hospital, restaurants, conference facilities, cinema and casino and rehabilitated riparian land.

It will have three secure entrances with a parking space for 700 vehicles on the lower ground level and upper ground parking deck.

Speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony, Machakos County Governor Alfred Mutua, who was the chief guest, lauded the partnership between Safaricom and the county, and expressed optimism about the economic benefits that the project will have on the area.

Increased activity

“Thanks to Crystal Rivers, we foresee an increase in commercial activities that promise to create more employment opportunities, improve the county’s economy and open up the area to more investments, as investors seek to take advantage of the county’s proximity to Nairobi city and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport,” said Mutua.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said: “With this project, we expect to contribute significantly to the economic growth of Machakos County, which has proved to be a leader in development following implementation of devolution.”

He added that the investment aims to diversify the company’s pension scheme’s investments and give its members good returns, while at the same time giving the public a chance to own some “great” real estate.

David Gaitho, director of Amazon Consultants, the project’s consultants, said the project has adopted green architecture and will also be beneficial to the community around since it will use the labour and materials sourced from the county.

Landmark Holdings is the main contractor of the project. Retirements Benefits Authority CEO Edward Odundo lauded SSPS’s efforts, proving that investment in readiness for retirement is of great benefit, especially to those who begin to do so in their youth.

SSPS has over 4,900 members and apart from Crystal Rivers, it is also investing in Mandharini, an award-wining luxury development in Kilifi County.

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