GC Retail, owner of Garden City is the latest landlord to ask high court to allow it to repossess the space Nakumatt occupies over unpaid rent, service charges and utilities amounting to sh48.1 million.
The tenant Nakumatt, a privately held company has occupied the space since May 2015 and has been in default since June 1 2016. Being Garden City’s anchor tenant, Nakumatt was excused to have an administrator run the retailer until it is financially upright.
The court application to have the retail shop put under the administration was after the land lord issued a 30-day notice to leave the mall on October 6. This has been hard for the landlord to forfeit the premises even after Nakumatt’s breach of tenant-landlord contract.
According to the manager Edward Mugambi, default of its obligations to pay rent, service charges and utilities has been a point of discussion amongst concerned parties. However, it seemed that remedying the situation has become impossible with arrears now a breath away from 50 million.
GC Retail has also blamed Nakumatt’s decline for slow business in the mall since most customers visit Garden City mostly to shop in the supermarket as they double up shopping in other shops as well as food stores.
“The development directly and indirectly employs 2,000 people. GC Retail has received complaints from virtually all other tenants in relation to significant losses suffered as a result of reduced footfall caused by Nakumatt’s insolvency. Nakumatt is effectively a failed anchor tenant,” Mr Mugambi says.
According to the management, pedestrian traffic has dropped to below 10 per cent from 22 percent monthly when Nakumatt was still afloat.