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Britam deepens foray into property sector with shopping mall

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In brief

  • The company says it would pursue property development and management as its core business after creating a separate business unit known as Britam Properties (Kenya) Limited

  • Britam has already acquired land worth Sh10 billion for its property investments

  • The firm has started leasing space at the 32-storey Britam Towers, which will be the third tallest building in Africa at 195 metres above the ground.

Diversified financial provider Britam says it plans a Sh12 billion mall shopping mall in the upmarket Kileleshwa area further deepening its foray into the property sector, Britam holdings chief executive Benson Wairegi has told investors.

Mr wairegi explained that the company plans to construct a 140,000 square feet shopping centre in a bid to meet rising demand for high quality retail space in the Kileleshwa.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting Mr Wairegi said that the company will now train its sight on property management after forming a real estate subsidiary known as Britam Properties.

We have signed a sale agreement for the land which will cost us about Sh300 million,” Mr Wairegi said.

“We plan to build a shopping mall to cater for the middle class residing and commuting through that area.”

The planned mall is one of several property investments being undertaken by Britam in a strategy aimed at diversifying its earnings away from the mainstay insurance business.

The company recently invested over Sh300 million to acquire land in Ngong where it plans to develop commercial and residential units.

Already Britam boasts of Britam Tower a a commercial building in Upperhill area.

With over 400,000 square meters of space to come under shopping malls in Nairobi within the year, anxiety is building over whether demand can match up.

According to Knight Frank’s 2016 sub-Saharan Shopping Centre Development Trends, Nairobi already boasts of 391,000 sq meters of existing mall space with an additional 470,000 sq meters in the pipeline.

The report ranks Nairobi as one of the top five cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, having the largest shopping centre development outside of South Africa, according to a new report.

Britam asset managers say that investment opportunities have now shifted to the counties, industrial, and residential real estate.

“In areas like Naivasha, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nanyuki and Mombasa, there is a lot of opportunity for strip malls that range from 1,000 to 10,000 square feet,” says Britam in a statement.


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