Since its international investors secured legal support in 2016, Tatu City has grown to be one of the most promising urban developments in Africa with its long-term goal of de-congesting the crowded capital of Nairobi.
The 5,000-acre development is among the largest private foreign direct investments in Kenyan. Since its conception, more than KES 15 billion has been pumped into the city, with another KES 40 billion planned by its American, Norwegian, British and New Zealand investors. The total value of the project will exceed KES 200 billion.
So, what exactly has the city managed to achieve so far, development-wise?
The Tatu Industrial Park, which is one of the largest industrial zones in East Africa, currently hosts over 50 operational companies involved in representing over KSh70 billion of investment in a key sector for Kenya’s economic development.
Aside from the fact that Tatu city has enough space that industries require before setting up, its Special Economic Zone status has been an also means that it offers reduced corporate taxes, customs and excise duty exemptions, VAT benefits, profit and capital repatriation at reduced rates, as well as enhanced intellectual property rights. This has served to its benefit, judging by the number of industries that have already taken shape in the city.
An example of these industries includes Dormans Coffee, which covers a 10-acre piece of land. The establishment comprises its corporate headquarters alongside processing, packaging, warehousing and trading facilities. These will be capable of handling more than 15,000 tonnes of coffee per year.
Davis & Shirtliff Group has also started the construction of a distribution centre at the city. It sits on five acres of land, including offices and warehouses. If all goes as planned, the company says, it will be operational by July 2020.
Cooper K-brands Limited, a manufacturer and distributor of agricultural inputs for livestock and crop protection in East and Central Africa, also has a KSh700 million factory in the city. It sits on 5.7 acres and can produce two tons of product per hour from the automated Buhler plant fitted into a 36.5-meter tower.
Copia Global, an e-commerce business in Kenya, opened its grade-A logistics and distribution hub in Tatu in April 2019. It covers an area of 4,000 square metres. This was achieved in partnership with Africa Logistics Properties (ALP), whose anchor investors include International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s investment arm, and CDC Group, the British Government investment agency.
ALP North, ALP’s first project, is a 50,000 square metres logistics and distribution complex in Tatu City.
Apart from Copia, ALP also signed a ten-year lease agreement with Freight Forwarders Solutions Ltd (FFS), covering an area of 14,000 square metres.
Shenzhen Star Instrument Co., a global supplier of smart meters and associated technologies, is also in the process of building a manufacturing facility at Tatu Industrial Park. Once complete, the new plant will produce and assemble metering solutions for energy, water and gas.
Stecol Corporation has also set up a multipurpose steel assembly plant at the city that sits on seven acres of land. It consists of an assembly zone, storage space and a workshop.
Gallagher Power Fence Systems Limited, dealing with innovation, manufacture and marketing of animal management, security, fuel systems and contract manufacturing solutions, is also building 24 warehouses on four-acres, which will be used for storage of security products and will also be available for lease.
Friendship Container Manufacturers Limited has a metal and plastic packaging plant at the city, covering an area of 15,000 square metres.
Tianlong Cylinder has built a new production facility, spanning across seven acres of land. The company’s annual output exceeds 2 million pieces of LPG cylinder in China and exported to Europe, South America, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia.
KimFay, manufacturer and distributor of personal care, hygiene, health and nutrition brands across East Africa, will build its new corporate headquarters, as well as manufacturing, distribution and warehousing facilities at Tatu Industrial Park on ten acres of land.
Other key players include Chandaria Industries Limited, Parma Medical. Kenstar, Maxam, Monwalk, Bakpharm, Hunkey Energy, Rhodium Steel, Keppel Industries, Kifaru, Agro Solutions, Transport and Lifting Services, Jilk Construction, Wonderpac Industries and Premier Motors.
Housing and Residential
As part of contributing towards the government’s Affordable Housing program, and the Big Four Agenda at large, Tatu has set aside 100 acres for the construction of 5,000 affordable houses.
Lifestyle Properties has constructed apartments on 30 acres of land, with 450 apartments in its first 10 acres, consisting of two and three-bedroom units. The development will comfortably accommodate 2,250 residents.
Read Also: Tatu City Records 77% Sales of Kijani Ridge
In May last year, Unity Homes commenced construction of 1,200 homes in Tatu City. The units are part of a grand plan by Tatu City to construct more than 30,000 homes and contributes to the government’s goal of creating 500,000 new homes (Affordable Housing Program).
Priced at KSh4.2 million, Unity Homes’ units feature approx. 600 ft² of floor space, two bedrooms, parking, modern kitchen, spacious stone worktops, stainless steel oven hood and dining room/lounge.
Karibu Homes also signed an agreement with Tatu City in 2018 to enable it to develop over 1,200 affordable homes at the site, starting at KSh2.8 million.
Kijani Ridge, Tatu City’s premier residential development, sits on 360 acres with a total of 430 individually serviced plots in phases 1 and 2. After the successful sale of 430 units in its initial phases, Tatu City released additional plots in August last year. There are now a total of 645 plots in Kijani Ridge, with a two-year payment plan for the limited remaining plots.
Global engineering and construction group, Stecol Corporation, was appointed as the lead infrastructure contractor at Kijani Ridge, where they were tasked with completing the construction of Kijani Ridge infrastructure, including roads, water, sewage, street lighting and stormwater management.
In October 2019, Tatu City partnered with Twenty Third Century Systems (TTCS) to roll out an interconnected Utilities Management System for Water and Power Services. The system connects residents to water and power services through digital smart meters linked to a back end Meter Data Management system, for the collection and analysis of consumption data and the diagnosis and planning of the overall city infrastructure. This, therefore, enables users to minimise wastage.
Two schools, Nova Pioneer, which offers local curriculum, and Crawford International School that is offering British curriculum, have been operational in Tatu City since March 2017 and September 2018, respectively.
Crawford, which has a capacity for 1 700 students, is part of South Africa’s JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa’s largest private education provider. The group also recently acquired the Makini Group of Schools in Nairobi and Kisumu.
Furthermore, Tatu City has a training academy, in partnership with Arc Skills, that teaches skills relevant to the construction industry, such as masonry, plasterwork, electrical, plumbing, painting, tiling and carpentry. On completion of each six-week course, graduates are placed in construction jobs provided by contractors at Tatu City and the burgeoning development surrounding the project.