Nairobi Gate is constructing a Sh11 billion ($110 million) industrial park in Embakasi as demand for out of town industrial, commercial, residential and public amenities soars.

Their target include factories and processing plants, cold storage facilities, pharmaceutical and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) distributors.

The first phase of the park, which is located off Eastern Bypass in Nairobi, has already been completed amid the Covid-19’s challenges.

Its construction began last year following the leasing of a two-acre parcel of land that housed a 3,000-metre square purpose-built factory as well as the disposal of a two-acre tract of land.

“This functionality also caters for short-term rentals, or where multiple third party logistics suppliers use the same warehouse space for their distribution. A key differentiator of logistics parks is the ability to offer scalable solutions to local, regional and international tenants,” said Paul Williamson, head of leasing at Improvon, one of Africa’s largest industrial and logistics developers, that Actis has a stake in.

So far, Improvon has delivered over two million square metres of built-up spaces across sub-Saharan Africa since its inception.

It offers a strategic location due to its closeness to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and the Inland Container Depot. “The more efficient our warehouses are, the lower the overall cost of occupation for our tenants becomes,” Mr Williamson said.

Some of the park’s features include wide roads to accommodate interlink trucks, private yards for easy maneuverability of vehicles and shutter doors.

Other features are wider column grids and high underside to eaves (at around 12 metres) that improve loading and unloading of trucks by up to 60 percent.

While the pandemic has impacted other businesses, logistics and warehouse providers have been spared.

“The reason for this is mainly two-fold; logistics providers are still able to supply retailers and consumers with essential items,” he said.

“The second reason is that logistics providers, distribution companies, e-commerce companies and pharmaceutical suppliers all have to allow for contingencies in their distribution models, in order to ensure business continuity, should a particular warehouse or distribution facility be temporarily closed due to the pandemic.”

Mr Williamson said flexible space will be a deciding factor when logistics companies and retailers select working spaces.

Publication: Business Daily