The 39 storey Hazina Trade Centre in Nairobi will become the tallest building in Kenya and third in Africa, coming after the Carlton Centre and Cairo Tower.
The construction involves expanding an existing building, currently occupied by Nakumatt Lifestyle, several restaurants and other assorted businesses, and whose construction is expected to be complete in 2016.
The building was designed by local consultant’s Mruttu and Salman Associates, and is being developed a Chinese firm, Jiang Xi International, a locally incorporated international construction firm. The structure is located between Moktah Daddah and Monrovia Streets and its design inspired by the outline of a Maasai Moran standing while leaning on a spear. It is owned by National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and is set to cost Ksh. 6.7 billion.
This development is part of NSSF’s strategic plan to diversify their investment portfolio to cover high impact investment projects that guarantee a high return in the energy and infrastructural development sectors. It is estimated to run up to 180M, and once fully operational, NSSF expects to collect Ksh 100 million in monthly rent. It features state of the art architectural designs including; a Helipad, Fritted glazing, Vegetated roof terraces, a Ventilated atrium, and a Nairobi City skyline Viewing gallery. According to NSSF, it is willing to sell part of the floor space so as to meet the regulatory maximum of 30%.
The move to build the tallest building in Kenya (at least by the time of completion) and which was given the nod by the county of Nairobi is a positive indicator of Nairobi city rising status as a global investment destination. The Hazina Trade Centre will be constructed atop the existing eight-storey (4 basement levels, Ground Floor, 2 Mezzanine & 1 Podium) that currently houses the Nakumatt Lifestyle store. The four basements are used for private car parking and accommodate over 300 vehicles. The parking is very popular with motorists due to the security and its hourly billing system where one pays only for the time parked which can range from 30 minutes to full day.
The initial development of the project started in mid 90s, and construction works started in 1997 but due financial constraints NSSF was unable to carry on with the development and instead leased it Nakumatt Holdings, a retail chain, to set up a shopping mall in 2003.
NSSF also plans to package its commercial buildings to Real Estate Investment Trust with the aim at listing at Nairobi Security Exchange. Other buildings that are owned by NSSF and will be in the package are NSSF Complex in Upper Hill, Bruce House in CBD and Social Security House in Mombasa, all valued at a Ksh 7.4 billion.
Upon completion the Hazina Trade centre unseat the Times Tower which is the current tallest building in Kenya.In addition, the the Hazina Trade centre will be ranked third tallest building in Africa.