Hilton Hotel
Caption for the landscape image:

Iconic Hilton Hotel could convert to stalls and student hostels

The iconic Hilton Hotel in Nairobi in this picture taken on December 31, 2022.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

The up-for-sale iconic Hilton Hotel within the Nairobi central business district could be repurposed for retail shops and student accommodation facilities, its present owners have suggested.

The State and Hilton International Limited, who have a joint stake in the iconic facility, said the building could be used for other activities in response to changing market conditions and occupational demand.

“The key investment characteristics that highlight the capital value of the property and the asset management opportunity presented by the former Hilton Hotel are the opportunity to configure the retail space to provide more floor area for additional retailers,” the pair jointly stated.

Currently, the retail section of the hotel measures 28,458 square feet and has an 82 per cent occupancy rate with tenants including the Cooperative Bank of Kenya, Bata Shoe Company, Lintons Place Limited, City Walk Limited, G4S Limited, Healthy U, Baus Optical and Goodlife Pharmacy Limited.

“The current passing rents for the retail leases are paid quarterly in advance and currently generates approximately Sh91,980,914 per annum. Most leases are in the second year of their lease term with a provision for rent review in the second and the fourth year of the leases,” the teaser document added.

Other alternatives for the use of the hotel space that anchor the sales pitch include an opportunity to asset manage the former hotel areas into alternative uses such as student, affordable living, or flexible offices.

Moreover, owners of the hotel state that a potential investor could still choose to operate the entire hotel component as a three-star hotel based on the anticipation that demand for hotel accommodation will continue as Nairobi’s CND sees steady trade.

The landmark property comprises 333,839 square feet of built-up area in totality and comprises 40 basement parking spaces, retail shops on the ground floor and mezzanine level, meeting/banquet facilities, and a 20-storey hotel tower that makes up 287 hotel rooms.

The property’s hotel section, which had been operated under a lease agreement by a joint venture company has been shut since December 31, 2022.

Owners of the hotel, however, state that the property is still well equipped with hotel-related amenities including food and beverage facilities, housekeeping sections, a kitchen, and a bar/restaurant all remaining on site.

Last week, the government and Hilton International Limited, who are joint shareholders of the property with stakes of 40.58 per cent and 59.42 per cent respectively put the hotel on the market as they sought to chart a new path for the historical establishment.