Shopping Mall projects in Kenya have been on the increase for the last 15 years.
In Nairobi, we have The Junction Mall, Galleria mall, Westgate Mall, Thika road Mall among others.
In Mombasa, we have Nakumatt and Naivas in Nyali.
Design of shopping malls.
The design has to be such that the anchor tenant, usually a supermarket, gets to enjoy maximum visibility and ease of operation. The location of the car parking should be convenient to the supermarket users.
L and U shapes are the best plan layouts since they give the widest angle of view hence ease of advertising to most tenants. They also ensure that terrorist attacks and sieges are not easy to succeed, compared to the recent situation at Westgate mall which is designed to be enclosed.
Careful presentation to the anchor tenants of the design before final local authority approval is necessary. The main anchor tenant, usually a supermarket, should have their input considered in terms of entry point, advertising visibility , access to parking etc.
Other smaller anchor tenants such as Banks, ATMs, shoe companies, hospitals and mobile telephony operators can have their input also before final architectural building plan approvals.
Once these anchor tenants sign agreement to tenancy, then the land owner can proceed to obtain a bank loan to finance the construction.
Architectural design for future expansion.
Since constructing the space for supermarket anchor tenants is not expensive, since its kind of a large hall type building, the land owner should work carefully with their architect to designate space for other new tenants who will be attracted by the anchor tenant.
The anchor tenant’s rental rates can be reduced such that the difference is offset by the new smaller tenants who will be located around the main tenant.
Francis Gichuhi Kamau,Architect.