Tatu City – will it live up to its hype?

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Artist's impression of Tatu City. Image from http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Tatu-City-opens-new-business-doors-for-mortgage-financiers/-/539552/1045616/-/srgimh/-/index.html

Tatu City seemed like the perfect dream city when it was first launched 5 years ago in Kenya. But slowly over the last couple of years the project has been caught up in court cases and issues, which has made the project stall, which you could say is a developer’s nightmare, something that Rendeavour, the owner of the project can attest to.

Artist's impression of Tatu City. Image from //www.businessdailyafrica.com/Tatu-City-opens-new-business-doors-for-mortgage-financiers/-/539552/1045616/-/srgimh/-/index.html
Artist’s impression of Tatu City. Image from http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Tatu-City-opens-new-business-doors-for-mortgage-financiers/-/539552/1045616/-/srgimh/-/index.html

Tatu City will be a 2,500 acre mixed development consisting of offices, homes and recreational facilities. It is situated 18 km outside Nairobi and is said to have the potential to house more than 70,000 residents, have 30,000 visitors and thousands of jobs during its 20-year, phased development. Rendeavour, the owner of the Tatu City project is Africa’s largest urban land developer and they have projects in Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, and DRC.

Tatu City is part of Kenya’s vision 2030 national blueprint and it is a private sector project that strategically located to meet the growing demands of a rapidly expanding Nairobi. Nairobi is a hub in the region for financial, technology and transport services and Tatu City is supposed to tap into this.

The growth of our GDP is expected to rise between 2015 -2018 with an annual average rate of 5.8%. The populations in major towns is also growing as people move to urban areas to look for jobs and education. Nairobi city has a population of almost 3.4 million and a growth rate of 2.1% based on a 2014 study by Index Mundi.

This means that the need for proper housing facilities is equally on the rise, which is great news for realtors, however, the city planners have a lot of work cut out for them to ensure the Nairobi space is utilized efficiently and effectively.

In light of this, the Nairobi Metro 2030: A World Class African Metropolis strategy was created in 2008 as part of the Kenya Vision 2030 agenda. Following this strategy, the city has been able to witness the development of projects such as Tatu City which is a large-scale urban development located along Thika Superhighway. It consists of residential, commercial, industrial, tourism, social and recreation amenities.

Such a project will not only decongest the central business district (CBD), but also offer a unique live, work and play environment for an estimated 70,000 residents and 30,000 day visitors.

Tatu City recently launched the construction of its first residential phase, the Kijani Ridge which was attended by high ranking government officials and dignitaries. There were over 100 buyers at a sales drive assisted by the founder of the Property Show Kenya, Nancy Muthoni.

The initiation of projects such as Tatu City will definitely have significant and positive ripple effects such as;

• Contribute to the country’s rapid economic growth.
• Provide meaningful youth engagement thus lessening crime.
• Alleviate poverty through employment and balanced wealth creation.
• Encourage the creation of a more efficient mass transport system of integrated roads, bus and rail infrastructure.
• Challenge the development of an efficient water supply and waste management infrastructure for Nairobi metropolitan region.
• Transform Nairobi into a global competitive region for investment and tourism.
• Promote Nairobi metropolitan area as a regional and global service center for Financial, Information and Communication Technologies, Health, Education, Business, Tourism and other services.

Stephen Jennings, who is a Tatu City Founder will be having a talk tomorrow on how to win as an entrepreneur in Africa at the Louis Leakey Auditorium. Stephen is a former executive of Russian Investment Bank Renaissance Capital and is currently the CEO of Rendeavour, which took over Renaissance Capital’s shareholding in the project.

Stephen has spent more then 15 years working in Africa across a range of projects related to portfolio management, investment and development. He has worked on logistics and commercial projects in Central and Eastern Europe where he has been based for the last10 years. Forbes describes him as a self-made billionaire whose is worth around 1.1 billion. He is a citizen of New Zealand and made his fortune in investment banking.

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