Shortage of storage space has become a reality for Paul and many small entrepreneurs, especially with the work-from-home revolution now accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The corona period has pushed me to work from home and I needed somewhere I could store my honey produce and access it easily for sale whenever I needed it,” he told Home & Away
Paul was able to find a storage space (Mini-Stores) in Ruiru for as little as Sh10,000 per month without having to sign a long-term contract. He said, “The monthly option gave me the flexibility to rent safely in these uncertain times and not be tied to expensive long-term leases. The size is also affordable and will slowly help me expand my business,”
BPL has various storage spaces where tenants can choose between a 10-feet or 20-feet container, with prices ranging between Sh10,000 and Sh18,000 respectively. The Mini-Stores are located within a walled compound with 24-hour CCTV surveillance, security guards and controlled access located in Ruiru Town.
BPL Managing Director Nimeet Dodhia said there is a gap for professionally built and managed self-storage facilities. This prompted his firm to develop the storage spaces, dubbed mini-stores, with space as low as 100 square feet where no long-term commitment is required. He said demand for the storage spaces has risen due to Covid-19. “Tenants have their own lock and key and can access the storage units any time during business hours. It’s storage on demand, rent it only when you need it,” Mr Dodhia told Home & Away.
Typical tenants include entrepreneurs running their businesses, individuals using it to store their home goods, people who are moving away temporarily and even corporates looking to store important documents. “If you are moving, relocating or just want to declutter your home this is the perfect solution for your needs. Store your valuable furniture and home items and keep them from being stolen or broken,” said Dodhia. The temporary storage can also help manage seasonal requirements by renting the space only when you need it,” said Dodhia
Butterfly Properties Ltd (BPL), a real estate development and project management company that manages 500,000 square feet of space to tenants from several countries including Kenya, USA, India, UAE and Australia , located at New Horizons Industrial Park (The Facility). The facility is located within a walled compound with 24-hour CCTV surveillance, security guards and controlled access located in Ruiru Town.
BPL has a variety of modern warehouse spaces ranging from 1,000SF to 50,000 SF at affordable rates, which can be modified to meet the clients requirements. The facility is easily accessible, 25 minutes from Nairobi CBD, 30 minutes from the Airport and Industrial area and 5 minutes from major highways including the Thika Highway, Eastern and Northern bypass.
Global property manager Knight Frank notes that activity is set to shift from Nairobi’s Industrial Area to emerging hubs such as Ruiru. Poor infrastructure and land costs have also pushed out warehouses to outside the city.
Ruiru, as an industrial hub, has become the darling of investors and hosts numerous factories, including steel mills and textile makers. This has led to individuals moving to Ruiru thus creating readily available labour. Plans are underway to designate it into a city status and refurbishment of the Nairobi-Nanyuki railway is set to boost the town.
Retailers have also upped the demand for storage spaces. According to Knight Frank, the retail sector is a key source of warehousing demand. “At present, many retailers import goods and make use of small storage facilities at their stores, but as retailers gain critical mass within Kenya, they are increasingly requiring large centralised warehouse,” says the Africa Horizons report. It notes that retailers prefer to lease warehouses whereas food and beverage companies build their own facilities.