Odu’a Group Limited, an off-shoot of the Western Nigerian Development Company (WNDC) is building a massive mall in the central business district (CBD) of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to be known as Heritage Mall.
Estimated to cost N2 billion, the mall, with 18,640 square metres of lettable space, will debut on May 29 and South African retail chain, Shoprite, is the anchor tenant, occupying 4,750 square metres.
Adebayo Jimoh, managing director of Odu’a Group said the development of the mall was a response to perceived demand by high net-worth individuals in Ibadan who spend time and money travelling to Lagos at weekends to shop.
Jimoh was speaking at the BusinessDay In-house Briefing head at the newspaper’s head office in Lagos.
He said the mall has 370 underground parking spaces, where shoppers will park and pay, pointing out that the Oyo State government has improved on the Central Business District environment by dualising most of the roads.
He added that the company was out to change the shopping culture in Ibadan and meet the demand for a new shopping experience by the residents of the city.
“Ibadan has a large expatriate community; these people travel all the way to Lagos from Ibadan with police escort for their weekend shopping. We saw untapped opportunity in this and so, the development of the mall was borne out of perceived need for same,” he said.
Jimoh disclosed that the Odu’a Group is now focussed on three businesses, hotels, real estate and financial services.
In real estate, he revealed that the company has strategically located properties, and has established the Property Redevelopment Programme (PRP).
“Under this programme, we have upgraded some of our properties in prime locations. One of such properties in Ikoyi has been redeveloped into high rise buildings where some of the apartments were sold and others let out to tenants,” he said.
He further disclosed that the company has now moved to Ibadan where it is developing gated estates and has joined the state government in its urban renewable drive.
Wemabod Estates, the group’s property development and investment subsidiary, he informed, is currently selling its 300-unit estate, comprising of two and three-bedroom apartments along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“In Lagos, we are also in Apapa, where we are building a mall at Park Lane. The mall will be built on 22,000 square metres of land and Shoprite has already signed on as our anchor tenant”.
Besides the mall, he said, the company is building four and five bedroom apartments that will be selling for between N50 million and N70 million per unit.