Fred Aminga @faminga
On a normal day some 1,500 people would be holed up at Nairobi’s upmarket 14 Riverside drive, cutting deals, doing business or for leisure until the Tuesday terrorist attack came calling.
Set in a contemporary, colourful and refreshingly chic aura, the park leverages anchor tenant DusitD2 which attackers desecrated, at the prime city retreat where who-is-who converge for style and entertainment.
All this will now take a break for a while as management and staff of Dusit Hotels & Resorts and other businesses close shop until investigators complete combing the complex for clues that will lead them to the identification of the terror group.
Millions of shillings will be lost in expected earnings, and much more as the tenants and the owners of the park come to terms with repairing effects of gunshots when security agencies declare the complex free of grenades planted around the compound by the suspected terrorists.
Going by a similar attack at Westgate in 2013, this could take a couple of weeks, probably months, depending on the level of damages to buildings and furniture.
“Our guests and upcoming reservations are being relocated to other hotels in the city, and the hotel is closed until further notice,” said the hotel on its official website.
“We are extremely saddened by this act of violence and would like to extend our deepest sympathies to all those affected. Our highest concern is the safety and well-being of our guests and employees, and we are providing every support we can,” it said.
The multimillion office park, which belongs to owners of Tile and Carpet Centre, and tries to balance a modern yet timeless setting in an intimate boutique around dusitD2 hotel also has six buildings with several blocks. Each block has seven floors which house several multinationals and local companies.
According to a Public Relations practitioner at Redhouse Group, who was among the last to be rescued from their offices within the office park, it is difficult to tell when they are going to resume work at the office given the damages to some of the buildings. “Most offices did not have doors. The last building, Cavendish building for example, had the most damage,” said Henry Githaiga.
Cavendish building houses Dow Chemical East Africa Ltd, Adam Smith International Africa Ltd, Kenya Gatsby Trust, Sandalwoods Ltd, Delors Ltd, LJA Associates Advocates, SAP East Africa, Landmark Virtual Offices Ltd and Cellulant Kenya Ltd.
Word on the ground is that the target could have been any of the international multinationals given the kind of dividends the attackers would reap from such an attack.