Scramble for Kenya’s “financial hub”

Britam Group Managing Director Benson Wairegi and Home Finance Guarantors Africa Insurance Management CEO Charlene Lea during the launch of a mortgage insurance product in Nairobi last month.

By Jacktone Lawi

In the next one year Nairobi skyline is expected to take new shape after the completion of what will be the third tallest building in Africa, Britam Towers.

The construction phase of the 30 storey office tower is complete and the contractors are embarking on the final phase.

Over the years the Nairobi skyline especially Westland and Upper hill regions have continued to witness a growth in state of the art office building constructions as they compete to be the leading financial hub in the country.

The scramble for Nairobi skyline is expected to further intense up with already a number of multinational announcing plans to not only build taller but also state of the art.

Currently UAP towers that’s almost complete is holding the record as the highest building by altitude not only in Kenya but in the region, The Hass Consult tower that has already began the ground breaking is estimated to be aiming at 60 floors

According to the governor for Nairobi County Dr. Evans Kidero, who was speaking during the Topping out ceremony to mark the structural works completion the rapid growth is redefining the new sky line and development.

“The e-construction management permit has enabled transparency in the construction industry,” said Kidero.

Rising 195 metres with 53000sq feet of office space Britam tower will have a parking of 1002 cars space.

This adds to the already bulging grade one office space especially in hotspots like Upperhill, Waiyaki way and Westlands.

With the fast changing Nairobi skyline it is no longer clear what will be the tallest structure in the next few years. One thing is certain though; the title Times Tower has held for almost two decades is gone now.

Standing at 33 floors or roughly 140 metres, the government owned building for a long time also held the title of the tallest building in East Africa, before Tanzania’s PSPF twin Towers were completed this year.

The twin towers stand at 152 metres (35 floors) each and both tie as the 4th tallest buildings in Africa.

However , Britam towers will not hold the title for long either as Hazina Trade Centre, currently under construction on top of Nakumatt Lifestyle, will be the region’s tallest structure in 2016 and will go up 39 floors.

Still in Upper Hill, Britam Tower is currently under-construction, The 33 storey building is designed like a prism, if everything goes as planned, it should be complete by end of the year.

Jabavu Village LTD. have also submitted a proposal to NEMA to build a total of 75 floors, split in two blocks. Tower 1, set to be the tallest in the country, will have 45 floors with Tower 2 having 30 floors. The building will be constructed on a 2.5 acre plot at the junction of Upper Hill Road and Haile Selassie Avenue where the excavation stage is currently underway.