Several investment companies have lined up funds to inject in Nairobi's real estate market as they diversify portfolios. The firms, ranging from asset managers to private equities, are set jolt the flagging property market which has seen slowed activity in the past one year. Last week, British-American Asset Managers (BAAM) in an advertisement said it is looking for property investment opportunities in Nairobi and the outskirts (metropolitan area) where it will invest $3-10 million (Sh255-850 million) in individual real estate transactions. "This will be done through direct equity investments or quasi equity investments. We are looking to invest in existing properties, ongoing projects, planned projects and available land and would be willing to enter into a single asset joint ventures with selected counterparties," said the firm on Tuesday.
The firm is eyeing the geographical spread from Thika, Ruiru, Kenol, Kiambu and Juja to the north of Nairobi and Tala, machakos, and Kajiado to the south of the capital. Private equity fund Actis, with about $1.5 billion (Sh127.5 billion) invested in 18 African countries, has invested in a real estate project along Thika Road where it intends to build a business park.
The development will sit on a 32-acre parcel of land, and is set to kick off before the end of the year. The PE fund will develop over 60,000 sq. metres of mixed-use retail and commercial space and 1,000 apartment units. Actis has in the past been involved in the development of The Junction shopping mall on Ngong Road and the Nairobi Business Park.
The firm, when announcing sale of its 85 per cent shareholding in Accra Mall to South African property developerAtterbury and financial services group Sanlam, said it intends to initiate and develop real estate projects worth $0.5 billion in sub-Saharan Africa over the next three years. Centum, a listed investment company, last year announced plans to develop a 100-acre land in Nairobi besides another project in Entebbe on a 300-acre piece of land. The firm was expecting to break ground for the Nairobi project this month on completion of the master plan.
The fund's chief executive James Mworia when announcing lead consultants for the two projects said Centum was ramping up its real estate portfolio with master-planned neighbourhoods with a blend of residential, commercial and hospitality facilities. Another investment company, TransCentury, has invested in real estate in addition to its diversified portfolio spreading across financial services, food and agriculture, energy and infrastructure.