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Sh200b Tatu City gets off the ground

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 27 – The Master Plan for Kenya’s Sh200 billion mega real estate project, Tatu City, which will initially provide 1,800 entry level residential units has been launched.

The 2,500 acres development will be put up in Kiambu in 10 phases, providing much needed housing for 62,000 people, as well as business offices and shops, which are expected to attract a further 23,000 visitors a day.

Renaissance Group Chief Executive Officer Stephen Jennings said the first phase of the new development, which will be run by Tatu City Limited, is scheduled to start later this year with the third phase scheduled for completion in 2013.

"So far Sh8 billion has been invested. Sh20.1 billion will be invested for the next phase but over time it will be a multi-billion dollar project," Mr Jennings said.

The Sh200 billion project will house an estimated 62,000 residents and offer commercial and recreation facilities, including a sports stadium.

Tatu City Limited Chairman Nahashon Nyagah said thirty-five percent of the initial scheme had been set aside for a natural green belt that will be maintained as a wetland while a further 15 percent is being earmarked for world class infrastructure and social amenities such as schools and hospitals.

Mr Nyagah said local and foreign investors are being drawn to Kenya\’s property sector by returns which have outperformed stocks in the past 10 years.

Nairobi Metropolitan Development Minister Robinson Githae has pledged the government’s support for the project, which is expected to realise Sh20 billion and create 30,000 jobs into the economy.

Mr Githae said the exercise will be the first to go through a pilot one-stop licensing process which is aimed at reducing bureaucratic red-tape in government.

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Tatu City will be “self-governing” and taxes collected within the area will be spent by the development’s managers. Mr Jennings said he hoped the project would serve as a catalyst to foreign direct investment in sub-Saharan Africa.

"There will be a few ups and downs but political risk is coming down and the economic climate is improving. We are very excited and we are certainly not worried about Kenya," he added.

Growing incomes and large numbers of young people moving to urban centres are fuelling demand for housing across all asset classes and construction was the economy\’s fastest growing sector in the second quarter of 2010.

Kenya\’s population of 38.6 million is increasing by one million annually and Nairobi city authorities are expanding its boundaries to outlaying towns to ease pressure.

The Tatu City development project is partly funded by Renaissance Capital of Moscow and by local Kenyan business people.

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