Private industrial park eyes SMEs to grow manufacturing

To reap from this State sentiment, a businessman has set out to build a 200-acre industrial parkalong Nairobi's Eastern bypass. The Infinity Industrial Park aims to accommodate between 800 and1,000 small and medium scale industries, to rival the nearby 450-acre Tatu City.

Owned by property mogul Ashok Shah, the facility is providing serviced industrial plots and warehouses for firms engaged in manufacturing, distribution, technology and the service sectors.

In an interview with Real Estate, Mr Shah said the park's key targets are mainly small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

He said 40 of the 46 godowns in the first phase are already sold. The park's design includes other amenities such as a police station, waste management system, modern shopping mall, security patrol, public transport stage, fire station, hospital and power station.

"Infinity presents an extraordinary all-in-one-place opportunity for SMEs to locate their operations as part of their long-term strategic plans in a top class secure environment," said Shah, Infinity's chairman and managing director.

"The concept is called 'plug and play', where entrepreneurs set up their businesses without worrying about the necessary infrastructure."

Investments, Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria lauded the company for the investment, noting that Shah had invested more than Sh7.2 billion in setting up the infrastructure around the park.

Special zones

"Everything is now ready to go, with even warehouses ready for occupancy. The establishment of our special economic zones is humming along across the country," the CS said while hosting the company's executives at his office in Nairobi.

"These zones will play a very pivotal role in luring more foreign investments into the country."

He said Infinity Industrial Park was already approved as a private special economic zone. "I am extremely impressed by the great development."

Mr Kuria said that once completed, the park has potential to create over 20,000 jobs and spur economic activity in the city.

"The key players in these sectors mainly comprise of SMEs who are looking for a favourable environment to conduct their business.

"Infinity Industrial Park has committed to serving the needs of these commercial enterprises by putting in place world-class infrastructure and amenities."

Construction of the second cluster of warehouses at Infinity will be in a 10-acre cluster, with the space at about 710,170 square feet with mezzanine floor.

According to Shah, the purchase price at infinity of Sh3,569 per square foot is the lowest in the market around Nairobi, within the going price at Sh8,500.

The industrial estate will be serviced by a four-track railroad of the standard gauge railway from the Eastern bypass.

The company plans to take 24 months to develop the industrial park and 36 months to complete the shopping mall, hospital, wholesale market and other commercial places.

Started operations

Shah said many of the companies that have acquired space have started operations within the highly secured premises.

"Infinity Industrial Park is keen on implementing solar power, rain water harvesting and waste management systems to create an eco-friendly environment for workers and visitors."

The property mogul said he was prompted to develop the park after establishing a similar facility on 11 acres on Baba Dogo Road, Nairobi, in 2012.

Martin Kariuki, managing director of Miliki Properties, told Real Estate that Kenya's economy is among the fastest growing in Africa and the opportunities for investors are infinite.

"The government has invested heavily in massive infrastructural projects such as the development of road networks, Standard Gauge Railway, geothermal power stations, Lamu seaport and Lapsset Corridor, to name a few.

"These projects ensure that the economy is going to continue to grow without bounds," he said.

The manufacturing sector contributed 7.8 per cent of the country's gross domestic product in 2022, according to data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.