The tallest building in Africa will be completed in December 2019. The building is predicted to tower 320 meters and will surpass the 223 meter Carlton Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. It will be filled with office space and be in close proximity to hotels, specifically the Hilton hotels and luxury apartments. The building is currently under construction in Nairobi’s central business district.
“The striking new-build property…will be well placed to meet this growing demand in one of Nairobi’s most exciting and colorful areas,” stated Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president of development, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide.
The building has also been reported to incorporating commercial amenities for guests such as a “gaming zone” and “infinity room”. The building is being constructed with a $200M budget by Hass Petroleum and White Lotus Group. Hass Petroleum is a private-owned Somali company whose headquarters are based in Nairobi. The building’s structural infrastructure will be handled by Meinhardt Group, while design will be handled by Archgroup Consultants of Dubai. The building low budget is attributed to the lengthy tendering process with the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC).
The chairman of Hass Petroleum, Abdinassir Ali Hassan said, “It has not been an easy road. CSCEC went through a rigorous tender system which they won over 10 international companies including European, Turkish as well as other Chinese competitors.” Despite the lengthy negotiations, the success of the negotiations with CSCEC is a demonstration of the growing economic partnership between the Kenyan government and the Chinese government.
Additionally, this building is predicted to impact Kenya’s economy. As any projects that goes towards thriving the Kenyan property market will grow the nation’s economy. However, there have been signs of an upcoming economic slow down that could affect a luxury development such as the Pinnacle Towers. According to real estate reports from Knight Frank, a real estate firm, prime retail rents have been stagnating since 2016. But, Knight Frank personnel do stress that this slowdown could be attributed to many other factors, including withdrawal of oil companies from Kenya, high interest rates and election uncertainty.
But these concerns have not weakened the optimism for the building’s success. By building the tallest building on the continent, Kenya will raise its profile on the world stage.
“We’re seeing global corporations that traditionally run Sub-Saharan Africa from Johannesburg putting regional headquarters into Nairobi…and that’s a story I expect to hear more and more. An ambitious project like Pinnacle is ideal for maintaining that interest, and by the time the project comes to fruition Nairobi could be a very different place,” explained Ben Woodhams, Knight Frank’s Managing Director in Kenya.