Preliminary works are underway in Meru town for the construction of a 30-storey building that is expected to be the tallest man-made structure in the Mount Kenya region.
Known as Praise Mall, the Sh4.5 billion tower is the brainchild of Bishop Kiogora Magambo of Jesus House of Praise – who is undertaking the project through Praise Mall Limited.
The developer had indicated in regulatory filings that the twin towers will include a church auditorium, offices, restaurants, retail spaces, conference facilities, and serviced apartments.
Two basement floors will include parking lots for 200 vehicles while the ground floor will host a reception leading to 14 shops, a hotel reception, and a reception for the apartments.
Mezzanine floor 1 and 2 will host two supermarkets and 17 shops respectively with Mezzanine floor 5 hosting four food courts and two kitchens.
Mezzanine floor 6 will host a church hall and a restaurant opening out to four lobbies while Mezzanine floor 7 will host another church hall and four ballrooms and three lobbies.
Praise Mall’s typical first to the 28th floor will host 784 serviced rooms while the 29th floor will include two restaurants, with the 30th floor accommodating five conference halls.
A massive tent that hosted the church has already been removed from the site to allow the contractor, Jiangxi Jingtai Water Conservancy Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd., to begin construction works.
“It is a signature building which will define Meru and the entire Mt Kenya region,” Bishop Magambo said.
Praise Mall will sit on a 0.4 hectare plot near River Kathita, about 1.6km from the town centre. Its neighbours include Towngate Centre, Gitimbine Market, and Solid Rock Church.
In 2018, Bishop Magambo – who also runs Destiny TV – refuted claims of being sponsored by Deputy President William Ruto, disclosing that he was being helped by his close friends.
“Ruto is a friend and I’ve been praying for him even at the time of his ICC case but he didn’t even know about my project until it was published (in newspapers),” he said in an interview.
Praise Mall is expected to raise the profile of Meru town while boosting hospitality, retail, and other economic activities. It will also create direct and indirect jobs for many people.