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Tatu City Project: The Sh240 Billion Smart City Rivalling Kenyatta Owned Northlands City 

The emergence of a strong middle class coupled with political stability has spurred economic growth in Kenya. The Government of Kenya in partnership with private investors orchestrated a master plan of constructing modern smart cities that are aimed at boosting the economy and creating job opportunities in line with the Vision 2030. 

In this article, WoK takes a look at the progress and highlights all you need to know about the famous Tatu City Project.

Tatu City

Tatu City is a 5,000 acre mixed-use Special Economic Zone (SEZ) that encompasses schools, offices, a shopping district, medical clinics, nature areas, a sport and entertainment complex and the largest Industrial park in East Africa.

The city is expected to accommodate over 150,000 residents as well as tens of thousands of daily visitors.

Located just 16 kilometers northeast of Nairobi, the city is aiming to decongest Nairobi city by providing quality and affordable housing, job opportunities and a modern lifestyle outside the traditional cities.

Progress of the multi-billion project

The journey of Tatu city began in 2018 when a group of both local and international investors obtained a 5000 acre piece of land for the project.

The investors paid a total of US$21.7 million for the Tatu farm and US$65.7 million for the Kofinaf land. In 2012, Renaissance Group established the first phase of the eleven phase project. The first phase was expected to house approximately 62,000 residents.

The phase cost US$5 billion and was ready for retail operation by the end of 2014. In the same year, the group constructed the 8 kilometer road that accesses the Tatu City Industrial Park, Logistics Park and the ring road around Kijani ridge. 

This enabled the developers and investors to gain easy access to their project. In January 2015, the construction of modern roads, water systems and sewage began.

They also constructed the Kijani Ridge perimeter fence as well as a substation and internal network design for precinct 1B and 4B.

In the same year Unilever East Africa, entered into an agreement with Tatu City that saw the company being awarded 70 acres of land for the future development of the company’s industries.

In 2017, Nova Pioneer campus was launched and admitted the first bunch of students. Also in that year, residents were given the go-ahead to begin building their dream homes.

In 2019, Tatu City installed its first solar plant which is the largest in East Africa, to create a source of renewable energy. 2,888 solar modules were mounted on 5,700 meters of roof space at Dormans Coffee’s Global headquarters located at Tatu Industrial Park.

In 2020, the developer’s focus shifted to infrastructural developments on the residential section of the modern city. In 2021, Rendeavour Group appointed Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) to create a master plan for the Central Business District (CBD) of the city.

Tatu City Sections

Kijani Ridge

The Kijani Ridge is a residential space with state-of-the-art infrastructure, bespoke house designs, gated secure community and a serene environment with green spaces and a park.

The section is a 350 acres piece of land available for sale with half and a quarter of an acre starting from Ksh 13.6 million. You can bring along your dream home design and the Development Control Company will have a look at it and appropriately guide you.

Some of the amenities available at Kijani ridge include a clubhouse, jogging tracks, a dam and natural green spaces, a perimeter wall and security system, power, water, sewerage systems and tarmacked roads.

Apartments

This section contains turnkey homes designed to offer homeowners the very best living environment under the brand name Unity Homes. Unity homes offer quality, well-priced apartments from two bedrooms and up, in the heart of Tatu city.

Unity West which was the first phase of the project is already sold out while the second phase which contains 640 2 and 3 bedroom apartments is selling fast.

Some of the amenities available at Unity homes include a mini basketball court, badminton court and a playground. Future amenities will include a two-acre park, heated swimming pool, gym, coffee shop and a commercial center.

Tatu Industrial Park

Tatu Industrial Park is a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with more than 60 companies that are operational or under development.

It is apparently the largest new private light industrial zone in East Africa. The zone offers low corporate taxes, zero rated VAT and exemption from import duties.

Phase one which comprises 457 acres of land is 90 percent sold while phase 2 which is also 450 acres is selling fast.

Some of the brands and businesses that have already occupied the Industrial zone include Gallagher, Tianlong, Africa Logistics Properties, Unilever, Cooper brands, Friendship Container Manufacturers limited, Kim-Fsy, Maxam, Chandaria Industries Limited, Crawford International School, Hunkar gas, Dormans coffee, Moonwalk investments, Stecol corporation, Equator energy, Keppel, Singhydro, Star, Kenstar, Bakpharm, Twiga, Crown healthcare, Davis & Shirtliff, Cold solutions and Africa Logistics Properties among many others.

Tatu City shareholders

Most shareholders of the smart city project are from the United States, New Zealand and Britain. These foreign investors have jointly invested over US$150 Million in the development of the project as reported by Rendeaour – the company tasked with development of the city. 

South African companies have also heavily invested in the project with their investments topping US$ 100 million.

They include ADVTECH – the Johannesburg listed stock exchange education group that is constructing Crawford International School in the city, Distell – the South African beverage company that is constructing the Kenya Wine Agencies Limited (KWAL) and Cold Solutions – an investment by businessman Patrice Motsepe through his company ARCH. 

It is however important to note that Mr Stephen Jennings who is the Founder and CEO of Rendeavour group is the largest majority individual shareholder of the city project.

Other local investors include businessman Stephen Mwagiru, former Central Bank governor Nahashon Nyaga through his company Blacknight holdings, Bidco Africa Chairman Vimal Shah, entrepreneur Rosemary Wanja through Kofinaf limited and New Zealand billionaire Mr Hans Jochum Horn.