Bloomberg News

Renaissance Ready to Start Building Kenya’s $5 Billion Tatu City

February 09, 2012

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Renaissance Partners, the investment unit of Moscow-based Renaissance Capital Financial Holdings Ltd., will start building a $5 billion, 2,500-acre residential complex outside the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, this month.

The first stage of the 11-phase project, known as Tatu City, will cost $100 million and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of next year, Arnold Meyer, Renaissance Partners’ managing director for real estate in Africa, said yesterday in an interview in Nairobi.

Renaissance Group, headed by Stephen Jennings, is taking advantage of sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth, an expanding urban middle class and a real estate market where supply lags demand. The economies of the region are projected to grow by 5.5 percent in 2012, the second fastest after Asia, the International Monetary Fund said Jan. 24. The region’s economies grew 4.9 percent last year, it said.

Tatu City, about 9 miles north of Nairobi, will eventually have 62,000 residents, Meyer said. Besides the residential area, phase one, covering 168 acres and involving about 3,000 workers, will include hotels, offices and a shopping mall, Meyer said.

Construction also includes roads, water, electricity, sewerage and probably piped gas, Meyer said. The entire project will be completed in eight to 11 years, depending on demand, he said.

For the past 15 months Renaissance has been involved in a legal dispute with a local partner over the ownership of land north of Tatu, though Meyer said he hoped the Kenyan High Court would deliver a verdict soon.

Breaking Ground

In Ghana, where Renaissance has two projects, in the capital, Accra, and Takoradi, an oil hub 115 miles west of the capital, ground breaking will be done toward the end of the year, he said.

“Instead of outright purchase of the land we have partnered with the local communities and leaders,” Meyer said. “The master plans have been approved by the regional councils.”

Renaissance is finalizing the master plan for a housing project on 6,400 acres in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he said. Feasibility studies are under way in Lagos, the Nigerian commercial capital, and Port Harcourt, an oil hub. The company is also looking at Senegal and Rwanda, Meyer said.

In Zambia, Renaissance did the ground breaking in April last year for Roma Park, a 290-acre project that will have 80 commercial stands and 300 residential units, he said.

--Editors: Hilton Shone, Karl Maier

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net


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