Upper Hill, Nairobi, is located approximately 2KM from the CBD, Upper Hill stretching from Ngong road near Kenyatta Hospital to the Nyayo stadium roundabout. The 700 acres that comprise Upper Hill were previously owned by Kenya Railways and as the Nairobi Central Business District became congested, there was a need to create an alternative business district and Upper Hill became the perfect location. Stretching from Haile Selassie Avenue to Valley Road, Uhuru Highway onto Ngong Road through Kenyatta Hospital, the area is demarcated by feeder roads such as Elgon Road, Hospital Road and Mara Road. Upper Hill has three main entry points; via Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), the Haile Selassie – Ngong road intersection, and through the Nyayo Stadium roundabout. A few years ago, Upper Hill was a predominantly upper-middle class residential area, with many, old colonial houses occupying 1 or 2 acres of land. As the Nairobi Central Business District became congested, there was a need to create an alternative business district and Upper Hill became the perfect location. Land prices have appreciated over the last 15 years with an acre of land, which would fetch Sh 25 million 15 years ago is now selling for approximately Sh 350 million. Office space is currently selling for about Sh13, 000 per square foot and renting from Sh 85 per square foot exclusive of service charge.
Some of the major companies that have over the years moved their offices to Upper Hill include Coca-Cola East & Central Africa, Rahimtulla Trust, British American Insurance, Madison Insurance, Nairobi Club, European Union, Don Bosco Church, Crown Plaza, Kenya Association of Tour Operators (K.A.T.A) and Kenya Union of Savings & Credit Cooperatives Limited (KUSCCO), Equity Bank, Citibank, Commercial Bank of Africa and Kenya Commercial Bank.
Despite its attractiveness as office location, Upper Hill faces some challenges. Congested traffic jams are a horrendous nightmare for residents and employees, and one can take almost two hours on the road for what would be a 15-minutes’ drive on a jam-free day. However the roads are being upgraded under a Sh200 million Phase one project rehabilitation and upgrading of roads along Elgon, Kilimanjaro, parts of Hospital, Mara and Upper Hill roads. Phase two the road rehabilitation will see lower section of the Upper Hill to Mbagathi Road and Langata Road exits being opened up.
Kenya Power is also constructing a new sub-station at Upper-Hill at the cost of Sh650 million with the aim of creating additional capacity in response to growing demand. Athi Water Services Board has also completed laying the fourth Ngethu Gigiri pipeline, which will deliver 70,000 cubic litres per day to Gigiri reservoirs to enable adequate water flow to Hill Tank reservoirs near Department of Defence headquarters for distribution within the Upperhill area and city centre. Upper hill landlords have also convened together to form The Upperhill District Association which aims at advocating for the improvement of their infrastructure needs.