enya’s economic boom can be accelerated through access to world class industrial space rather than traditional, outdated go-downs which in terms of international standards are now considered sub-standard. A new development, Nairobi Gate Industrial Park off Nairobi’s Eastern Bypass is about to fill the need for state-of-the-art warehousing. Developed by Improvon and Actis, Nairobi Gate is set to bring next level logistics to the city.
Improvon is an international smart warehouse developer and Actis is a UK private equity firm. Construction of Nairobi Gate Industrial Park commenced in late 2018.
Kenya’s high economic growth rate and access to the rest of east Africa have attracted many foreign investors in the logistics and warehousing sector. Growth is further supported by the government’s efforts to enhance infrastructure in support of business efficiency, with remarkable success so far.
But there are problems with old established industrial nodes as well as the aging go-downs, especially in Nairobi. These facilities tend to be small-scale, grade C go-downs that are of a relatively poor build quality and do not meet the standards expected by logistics, light industrial manufacturers, e-commerce companies and pharmaceutical suppliers. In addition, severe traffic congestion and constrained operational efficiencies limit growth opportunities. This is why Kenya is primed for new, well-located warehousing which complies with generally accepted international standards. Nairobi Gate Industrial Park has been designed with this in mind and is primed to fill this gap.
Nairobi Gate forms part of the larger Northlands Mixed Use Scheme, which will include industrial, commercial, residential and public amenities. Phase 1 of the Industrial Park is set on 100 acres.
With Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and the Inland Container Depot only ± 30 minutes away, Nairobi Gate will be one of the best located industrial logistics parks in Nairobi. The expanding consumer markets of Nairobi and up-country Kenya are in easy reach, as are source markets in Central Kenya.
Access from Thika Road puts the site within 25 minutes of the high-end residential areas of Runda, Muthaiga and Westlands. The Kangundo and Githurai-Kimbo link roads allow access via public transport to the key middle-income neighbourhoods of Kayole, Umoja, Saika, Githurai and Kahawa.
The national highways agency has factored a key interchange that will connect Nairobi Gate Industrial Park and Northlands City to the Eastern Bypass in the ongoing Sh40 billion upgrade of the road into a dual carriageway. The Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) is upgrading the road into a dual thoroughfare complete with service lanes. The 31.4-kilometre Eastern Bypass and the 20.2-kilometre Northern Bypass will see the current two-way road increased to four lanes.
“Nairobi Gate brings a unique ‘build to suit’ concept to Nairobi. We provide tenants with grade A flexible space, good access, efficient truck circulation, large yards and volumetric racking capacity on an ownership or lease basis,” commented Paul Williamson, Head of Leasing at Nairobi Gate.
The high-end infrastructure been put into place so that the site is supplied with reliable water, electricity and sewer systems. The first phase of 2,500-10,000m² warehouses are available for occupation immediately. Smaller units from 500 m2 up to 1,000 m2 warehouses will be available for sale or lease from June and construction on a 20,000 m2 warehouse is underway.
In October 2020, two landmark lease agreements with East African conglomerate, Ramco Group, and its subsidiary, Kentainers were signed. The first transaction is for a two-acre including a 3,000 m² purpose-built factory with a warehousing component. The second transaction will see Ramco acquiring another 2-acre tract of land that will house office buildings, and a client collections centre.
An array of factors such as location, reliable road networks away from inner city congestion and operational efficiencies were considered. Set in a park-like environment, Nairobi Gate will boast large yards, wide roads and turning circles that can accommodate interlink trucks. In line with modern trends, warehouses will also have office components with separate parking.
The warehouses and logistics centres will be scalable, with high underside to eaves to accommodate racking, wide column grids and 1.35 m dock heights.
“These operational efficiencies translate into a much quicker turn-around for our tenants, saving them time and money,” said Williamson.