UK firm to build Sh12bn ‘city’ along Thika Highway

Artist’s impression of the proposed Garden City/COURTESY

London-based private equity firm Actis has announced plans to build a Sh12.4 billion housing project along the newly constructed Thika highway.

The 32-acre mixed use development, dubbed Garden City, will comprise a 50,000 sq metres retail mall (the largest in East Africa), modern commercial premises, 500 homes and a 4-acre central park that will house an outdoor house arena for staging shows and concerts.

Groundbreaking for the project is set for December with completion targeted for May 2014, according to Actis Head of East Africa Michael Turner.

Mr Turner said the Garden City offers a rare opportunity to create a world-class development directly serving the needs of Kenyan home owners, businesses and shoppers.

“We have been encouraged by the strong demand shown by both local and international retailers, who like us see Garden City as a landmark destination in Nairobi and the East African region,” he said.

Actis has a robust track record in retail development in East and West Africa having built ten multi-billion properties in seven African countries since 2004, including The Junction shopping mall in Nairobi.

The construction of the ‘city’ will be led by Nairobi-based Mentor Management, while Knight Frank Kenya will act as the property managers.

Garden City comes at a time when investment in real estate along the Nairobi-Thika highway has been rising ahead of its completion in September.

Among the notable companies that have eyed investments along Thika highway include PepsiCo which is building a Sh2.4 billion bottling plant, European furniture chain IKEA as well as Nakumatt and Uchumi supermarkets.

The highway has also attracted residential property investors including Thika Greens, Tatu City and Migaa Golf Estate among others.

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