On 12th of this month, the Waterfront Karen will swing open its doors for business, a move that is expected to alter Nairobi’s retail landscape.
The mall has already signed South African retailer, Game Stores as its anchor tenant towards the end of last year. The move enabled Game to open its second outlet in Kenya. This is further expected to bring more competition into the retail sector in the country.
Speaking during the mall’s opening ceremony, The Waterfront Karen Director, Dr David Muguku has announced that the mall’s current occupancy stands at 63 percent, with negotiations for occupancy of the remaining space currently at an advanced stage.
“The anchor tenant, Game Stores and several other tenants are currently stocking up their shelves in readiness to open on Jamhuri Day. The Waterfront Karen is offering 200,000 square feet of retail space that is designed to provide an unforgettable town centre feel as well asa world class shopping and lifestyle experience for everyone who comes through its doors.” He said.
The Sh3 billion ($805,785) investment which is set on 50 acres of land, promises to be the go-to lifestyle and wellness destination in East Africa, offering an unforgettable experience to everyone, every time.
According to a Cytonn investment’s report dubbed Kenya’s Retail Sector Report 2018, that was released in September this year, in 2018, Nairobi has a retail space of approx. 6.5mn SQFT, a 4.8 per cent increase from 6.2 mn SQFT in 2017, as a result of the opening of malls including Southfield Mall along Airport North Road, and expansion of Village Market, which added cumulative retail space of 0.3 mn SQFT
A wide range of activities
“The Waterfront Karen has exploited the wide space it occupies to provide space for would-be shoppers to exercise. It has a dedicated 1.2 kilometres walking, cycling, and jogging track. The Waterfront Karen is the must visit place for families from far and wide that are looking to spend an afternoon of relaxation. The Waterfront Karen is a breath of fresh air in Nairobi’s skyline and retail landscape.” Mr Muguku adds.
In line with its offering as a recreational space, several key events are lined up to take place at The Waterfront Karen. The events include Jameson Connect Kenya Concert on 8thDecember, which will bring together local and international music stars; The Heng: Back to the 90s music experience to be hosted by June Gachui on 15thDecember 2018, and the Rembesha Kenya beauty expo hosted by renowned media personality, Sheila Mwanyigha also happening on 15thDecember 2018.
Supporting its capacity to hold high profile events, The Waterfront Karen has over 1,000 parking bays to use within both open and basement parking, accessible from either Lang’ata Road or Karen Road.
Eco Smart Technology
The Waterfront believes in the sustainable use of water. The mall has therefore identified a company to fit in all its water output products a champion for the value of water Hansgrohe. Their mixers and showers, which are fitted with EcoSmart technology, require up to 60 per cent less water than conventional products. Thirteen litres of water per minute run through a conventional basin mixer. EcoSmart lowers water consumption by up to 60 per cent, to around 5 litres per minute. This works by adding air and by means of a special flow limitation system. The result of which is a full, bubbling water jet.
With substantial Government investment in improving the roads network in the area, Karen is set to become even more accessible; and The Waterfront will be right at the heart of this crosshatch of thoroughfare moving into and through the area with ease.
Highways Authority (KenHA) has already begun works expanding the Karen-Kikuyu and Karen- Bomas roads, upgrading them to dual carriage standard. Additional lanes connecting Karen suburb to Ngong are also planned.
As far as security is concerned, Mr Muguku said, the Waterfront, Karen has a world class multi-layered security system for its tenants, their assets and customers. Vehicular and pedestrian access into the mall has been secured through four major, convenient, spacious and high-tech scanning entrances along Karen Road and Lang’ata Road.
“Every measure has been taken to ensure that security checks at The Waterfront Karen’s entrances do not interfere with the smooth flow of traffic along the two roads, especially during the forthcoming festive season.”, Mr. Muguku added.
And as the name of the mall suggests, the architectural design of the Waterfront Karen was actually inspired by water. A man-made lake that sits on a space of 3 acres complemented by 5 acres of landscaped lakefront is situated right at the heart of The Waterfront Karen.
Beyond enhancing the natural environment, the lake was also created to act as the mall’s main water storage and recycling area.
This way, the Waterfront Karen will considerably reduce its reliance on water supplies from public utility companies.
This not only makes sense ecologically but also makes huge financial sense, especially considering that as much as 75 percent of the water bills that consumers pay in Nairobi constitutes sewerage costs.
The buildings in the Waterfront, Karen will also use as much natural light as possible and take advantage of natural ventilation as far as possible.
The Cytonn report shows that destination and community malls are the best performing malls with an average rental yield of 9.6 per cent, compared to a market average rental yield for the retail sector of 9.4 per cent.