The much-awaited Okaale Lifestyle Centre in Omuthiya, which will serve as a one-stop shopping centre has sprung to life.
Its first retail store, Spar opened doors to the public last week.
Hordes of enthusiastic customers patiently waited as doors opened and have a first-time shopping experience. In as much as residents expressed excitement, they are still expecting more, saying it has been many years of a struggle, doing major shopping at other towns, which also cost them money in transport and fuel.
“We are very happy, at least we now have options on where to do our grocery shopping, as opposed to before when we are restricted to few shops. We are requesting that more shops such as clothing and eateries are included in this mall to our relief. Omuthiya is quite behind hence such a venture will definitely bring life to this valley town,” said one of the customers, Ngonyofi Helao.
Morin Mckay said she was impressed with the setup of the shop, although the prices are not too different from the rest. “I hope the owners will maintain the standard of cleanness and good customer services. We really welcome this new development. We would like to see shops like Edgars, Hungry Lion, KFC coming down here, because we have been left out for far too long,” she said.
Situated in the heart of Omuthiya near Ha-NA-HE service station, the two-layer mixed-use development is known as Okaale Lifestyle Mall.
The mall makes provision for offices, restaurants, shops and leisure establishments as well as plenty of parking and ablution facilities.
This new venture is anticipated to create about 400 jobs for residents in the area once fully occupied.
“Today was just the opening of Spar, to begin with, considering that our people have been waiting and longing for this. We will have our official launch on 18 November, because by then, other tenants have occupied and filled the shops. For now, trading goes on, as other businesses continue setting up,” said Herman Nekomba, owner of the mall.
Construction of the mall started in January 2020, to which Nekomba said he was motivated by the growing population of the town, which also serves as an economic growth point.