Nyali: From residential area to Mombasa's business hub

The newly opened Quickmart supermarket on Links Road in Nyali, Mombasa County.

Photo credit: Kevin OditI Nation Media Group

Serene Nyali is turning over a new leaf, and it is all thanks to a property boom in the affluent residential address associated with the well-to-do in Mombasa City.

Nyali, a prime residential area for the rich and powerful in Mombasa County is undergoing a transformation.

The area boasts of mansions and bungalows with unique architectural designs.

But it is changing. The area is gradually transforming into Mombasa's new business hub, with retail supermarkets clamouring for space.

The latest retail giants to set up shop in Nyali are Naivas and Quickmart supermarkets as they step up their expansion drive and battle for market share growth.

Naivas opened its latest store in Bombolulu, the ninth in the coastal region and the 94th in the country. 

Quickmart opened its doors to shoppers on Links Road in Nyali.

Various shopping centres and high-rise buildings are springing up in the area, demonstrating the huge investment potential that can be fully exploited.

A new project, the new Nyali Bazaar Mall, is coming up in the heart of Nyali.

The infrastructure will house several supermarkets including Naivas when completed later this year.

Nyali Bazaar represents an ever-growing asset class and malls are seen as safe and prosperous property investments.

Apart from being a shopping centre, the malls are also an entertainment hub, with gaming arenas, cinemas and other facilities for all ages, creating convenience for shoppers.

The new Naivas Bombolulu in Nyali area of Mombasa City.

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi I Nation Media Group

These developments have been attributed to the construction industry's fast recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, with 2023's strong growth expected to continue for at least the next two years, albeit at a more moderate pace.

The industry's rapid recovery from the pandemic contrasts sharply with the devastating impact of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, when it took almost a decade for the construction sector to fully recover.

According to an economic survey released this month by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the construction sector is expected to grow by 4.1 per cent in 2022, with cement consumption rising from 9.1 million tonnes in 2021 to 9.5 million tonnes in 2022.

Total government-approved spending on housing in 2022/23 is expected to increase to Sh19 billion from Sh14.1 billion in 2021/22, while spending on roads is expected to increase to Sh191.4 billion over the same period.

The rapid recovery has seen the return of renowned property developers such as My Space Properties in various cities where various shopping malls have been constructed including the Nyali Bazaar in Mombasa, Mtwapa Business Park and Festival Mall in Malindi.

Another project that has benefited from the Coast's revival is Mtwapa Business Park, which has been designed for small and medium industrial and commercial enterprises looking for quality warehouses to set up and expand their operations in Mombasa and Kilifi counties.

The project is also suitable for investors as the demand for warehouses in Mtwapa is at an all-time high and with the demand, a number of companies including Umbrella steel, Safepak, Coca Cola, Raisons, Mega Garments, Umoja Africa, Mzuri sweets, Milly Fruit Processors, Pwani oil and Revital Health have already occupied the premises. 

Mtwapa Business Park is located in an area that is popular with manufacturers and distributors due to its proximity to major developments along the Mombasa highway and the Nyali area, Kikambala and surrounding areas.

Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) Coast president Sam Ikwaye said the improvement of the road network in the town and surrounding areas to enable fast and efficient movement of goods and the construction of the Mombasa-Malindi road will greatly improve communication between the two towns.

"The Kenya National Highways Authority has improved the real estate with good infrastructure that will facilitate the movement of people and goods between Mombasa port and the north coast," said Mr Ikwaye.