Taj Mall loses Sh1.5b as tenants vacate en masse
The owner of shopping mall in Nairobi’s Embakasi is counting huge loses after tenants deserted his premises following news that the building would be brought down.
Taj Mall owner Ramesh Gorasia says he has accrued Sh1.5 billion in losses from the mass exodus of tenants. Equity Bank was the first to leave followed by Uchumi Supermarkets.
On Friday, though, Mr Gorasia got a reprieve after National Land Commission chairman Mohammed Swazuri said the government had temporarily stopped demolition of the mall since it doesn’t stand on land needed in the expansion of the Outer Ring road.
The government is upgrading the 13km road into a superhighway at a cost of Sh14 billion. Mr Swazuri, however, has stopped further construction and expansion on the land, maintaining that NLC will not annul the revocation of the title deed as it lies on a public land.
Taj Mall sits on a 3.57-acre piece of land of which two acres is public land. Mr Gorasia said he would ask the government to buy the mall since the investment was making loses.
On Friday, Mr Gorasia begged Mr Swazuri to declare that the mall would not be demolished, a request that the lands boss turned down.
Mr Swazuri said that the decision on whether to demolish the building or not lies with the Kenya Urban Roads Authority.