Kenya is known for its well-developed building and construction industry, with quality engineering, building and architectural services. Couple that with a fast growing population and an increasing demand for affordable housing, plus the continuing need for residential, commercial and industrial buildings, and it is little wonder that the sector is thriving.
One of the most significant developments of recent years is the Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi. With over 159 stores, 15 restaurants with unique riverfront views and 2,100 parking spaces, it is the biggest mall in sub-Saharan Africa. ALN acts for its developer, the Centum Investment Company, on all legal matters connected with the 100 acre, fully-integrated and mixed-use development, currently valued at USD 166 million. Opened in February 2017, it also comprises a hotel, a proposed 3500-seater amphitheatre, a multi-screen cinema, offices and various residential units. There will also be solar and diesel power plants to provide electricity to the development and telecommunications infrastructure to provide internet, voice and data services.
ALN advises, drafts and negotiates complex corporate, equity and management structures and agreements ensuring tax and regulatory compliance, as well as land acquisition and disposition documents and construction contracts for the various phases of the development. The firm’s work includes the structuring of the residential development (196 luxury apartments, approximately valued at USD 43 million) plus the advising, drafting and negotiation of lease documents for retail space within the mall. This includes international brands such as French supermarket chain Carrefour, an anchor tenant, Turkish retail outlet LC Waikiki, Azadea, Villeroy & Bosch and Magic Planet, as well as for the development’s office and commercial spaces.
Unsurprisingly a development of this size involved large and complex financing with several entities, including AVIC International, ICDC and the Co-operative Bank of Kenya, with USD 155 million of funding in debt and equity, and AVIC investing USD 70 million, the equivalent of a 38.9% stake in equity into the project. This investment by AVIC is one of the largest foreign direct investments in the region by a Chinese corporation in a private enterprise.