- It recently had more customers streaming in due to the newly opened Chinese outlet in the mall named China Square.
- Business owners within the mall said the mall for a long time had not been receiving many customers because it lacked an anchor tenant.
Seven years after Unicity Mall was officially opened to the public, the shopping centre could finally be gaining traction.
The mall was the first University-owned shopping mall under Kenyatta University along Thika road.
It recently had more customers streaming in due to the newly opened Chinese outlet in the mall named China Square.
Business owners within the mall said the mall for a long time had not been receiving many customers because it lacked an anchor tenant.
"Like any other mall, China Square came on board as an anchor tenant. Without an anchor tenant, the business is always slow to other tenants," businessman John Maina who owns a food outlet at Unicity Mall said.
He said when China Square came into the mall, other businesses in the environment started experiencing an upward trajectory in sales as the square attracted many customers.
The former Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta Olive Mugenda, who commissioned the mall said it was meant to bring in more revenue for the institution and gearing away from dependency on government funding and fees paid to the institution.
Ruiru resident Matthew Macheti said he noted that China Square brought life to the mall.
He said even the bus stop outside the mall which had been dull suddenly became active.
"The bus stop here did not have people before. When people started flooding to the mall, suddenly, the bus stage was full of vehicles dropping and picking people," he said in an interview with the Star.
When the Star took a tour of the mall on Tuesday, there were countable customers walking into the mall.
Many shops within the mall were however unoccupied. The restaurant seats were bare, and the silence within the mall was too loud.
This is after China Square was closed indefinitely.
The former VC during the commissioning of the mall in February 2016, said from the research they undertook before the construction of the mall, they "realised that statistically, Thika Superhighway has an approximate traffic load of 70,000 vehicles daily."
The former VC said the traffic load along the highway was increasing at a rate of about 1,000 cars every month.
She had expected customers would be streaming into the mall which she termed as a business hub for income generation.
"The huge human settlement of approximately 2 million that dwell along the highway, within and around the main campus makes the Unicity a business hub for income generation to the University," she said.
Mugenda had expected that the university with over 70,000 students and over 5,000 members of staff would offer a ready market for entrepreneurs who will invest at the mall.
Unicity Mall was to provide a wide range of social and commercial amenities such as a departmental store, retail shops, banks, food courts, National Oil Petrol Station and a spacious car park.
It was also to comprise conference facilities, a 5-star hotel and a recreational park.
"I assure our partners that this was a wise decision," she said then.