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Nakumatt books space in Eastleigh’s biggest mall

Nakumatt Supermarkets is set to open its first store in Eastleigh’s upcoming “Comesa” shopping mall, the biggest in the populous residential and commercial estate.

Kenya’s biggest retail chain will be the anchor tenants of Comesa Mall whose construction is underway.

The shopping complex, set on a six-acre land, will have four floors measuring 120,000 square feet and a basement parking.

Nakumatt will occupy two floors measuring 40,000 square feet, according to a memorandum of understanding reached with the project managers who, however, said they are yet to sign a final deal.

“Ten banks have expressed interest in leasing space in the mall so far and this is because of the huge amounts of money that is exchanged in Eastleigh every day,” said George Muhandi, an architect with Imperial Concepts Company.

SH3 BILLION MALL

It is estimated that the shopping arcade will cost the developers, Darasa Investment Limited, Sh3 billion and create hundreds of jobs.

The mall has also attracted interests of food joints and coffee outlets that are seeking a piece of the multi-billion shilling Eastleigh business pie.

“It seems that every bank wants a slice of the money made in Eastleigh,” added Mr Muhandi.

Currently, all major banks have branches in Eastleigh and most are open till 8pm during weekdays.

Construction of Comesa Mall, which is located on General Waruinge Street and opposite Pumwani Hospital, began in December last year and is expected to take two years to complete.

The mall developers are betting on Eastleigh’s booming businesses community to rent out the retail space.

They say the many traders streaming in to Eastleigh from countries like Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and Congo inspired the “Comesa” name.

“Every day Eastleigh plays hosts to traders coming in from countries in the Comesa (Common Market for East and Southern Africa) region, this inspired the name of the mall,” said Mr Muhandi.

RIVAL

The complex is set to rival the Eastleigh Mall, which is located a few minutes away at the General Waruinge and Eastleigh Avenue junction.

Eastleigh is regarded as one Nairobi’s biggest economic hubs hosting traders of all kinds selling electronics, furniture and clothes.

Hundreds of local and East African region traders visit the hub for bargain products, making Eastleigh possibly the busiest trading district in Nairobi County.

Security being a major concern in the area, Mr Muhandi said the design of the shopping mall features multiple exit and entry points.

Other big shopping arcades currently under construction in Nairobi include Garden City Shopping Mall and Two Rivers Mall in Runda which are set for opening in May and September respectively.