Kenya Based Real Estate Developer Tilisi Moves To Cash In On Lucrative Warehousing Sector

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Tilisi Developments, a Kenya-based real estate company, has become one of the first developers in the East African country to provide ‘plug-and-play’ plots for companies needing new warehouses.

The firm believes their revolutionary new service, offered via their similarly named ‘Tilisi Warehousing Park’, will cut building costs radically by up to Ksh23 million ($220,000) on electricity connection alone, securing a better quality of buildings at far lower costs.

With almost two-thirds of Kenyan producers and retailers reporting warehousing shortages, and many looking at options to extend their own space, most report they do not have the space to add further warehousing on their own sites, said the realtor.

In a statement issued this week, Tilisi noted that the development costs of greenfield sites are also proving prohibitive, leaving producers struggling to stop wastage and losses, and expand output.

Greenfields are previously undeveloped sites for commercial development.

“This roadblock in producers expanding their storage is now materially slowing down the growth of our manufacturing take-off as a nation,” said Tilisi Co-CEO, Kavit Shah.

Currently, a green-field land structure requires developers to work with up to 11 types of engineers and consultants to achieve a finished warehouse. These include quantity surveyors, power engineers, water engineers, road and civil engineers, landscaping consultants, cost consultants, urban planners, traffic consultants, environmental consultants, structural engineers, and legal specialists.

The cost for companies of connecting a greenfield industrial site to electricity averages around Ksh10 million ($100,000) to Ksh15 million ($150,000), to get the transmission lines extended, and a further Sh6m to Sh8m for an industrial transformer, according to the utility company, Kenya Power.

These costs sat beside a two-year trial of permits and permissions, make building warehouses from scratch a slow and expensive journey. Yet in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, there are too few facilities to meet the city’s aim of becoming a regional production and logistics hub, stated Tilisi.

“Our aim with the Tilisi warehousing park is to provide everything around the warehousing plots to enable high-speed building without the need to detail design the area around the land, look at stormwater drainage sewage, water or electricity connections as these will be all done by Tilisi,” said Tilisi co-CEO Ranee Nanji.

“We have also provided for all our users the easy lorry access, along with other infrastructure to make the sites easy to reach for staff, including matatu routes and stops,” Nanji added.

The project is part of a master-planned construction that includes street lighting, security fencing and cameras, pre-installed internet connections, and footpaths. It will be complete by July 2018.“The internet fibre laid to every plot will allow developers to get instant fibre Internet connections, and we are now running a tender for the provider. We are also installing smart metering on the power and water connections. But with this network in place, we are able to make Tilisi a ‘smart city’,” said Ranee.

Tilisi is a 400-acre mixed-use urban development, zoned into residential, commercial and logistics precincts. he development is owned and managed by a consortium of long-standing and experienced Nairobi-based developers.

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