• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Despite economic crunch, developers scramble for Ikoyi skyline with office towers


In spite of investors’ cautious attitude to investing in Nigeria’s struggling economy, high end real estate developers, mostly foreign investors, are showing confidence in the economy as they scramble for the Ikoyi skyline with the development of six new prime grade office towers to be delivered in the next 24 months.

With each standing on a minimum of 13 floors and estimated to cost $50 million, industry analysts say the investment does not only reaffirm the developers confidence on the Nigerian property market in particular and the economy generally, but could also turn out to be rewarding ventures given their delivery time. Analysts have predicted that the country’s present economic woes would be over in the next 18 months with the likely rebound of oil prices which coincides with the delivery of these projects even as market watchers are optimistic that these ‘A’ grade office projects will be crucial in providing office space for returning investors and new entrants alike.

A recent visit to Ikoyi by BusinessDay revealed that this coveted residential neighbourhood known for its serenity and calmness is gradually but steadily giving way to series of commercial activities. Along Alfred Rewane Road (former Kingsway Road) an exclusive and relatively quiet neighbourhood with only a handful of hotels and offices is now seeing a lot of construction activities with cranes rising and falling at a number of project sites. A roll call of expected projects at this corridor in the next 18 months includes 14 floor Heritage Place.

Touted by its developer, Actis, as the first green office building in Nigeria, Heritage Place will, on delivery, berth 15,600 square metres of top class office space at the delivery cost of $65 million. Also taking shape on this stretch is the 15 floor Kingsway Towers by Sky View Towers Limited. The upcoming development is also expected to grow the pipeline of prime grade office space expected on this axis. Other developments include the British American Tobacco’s (BAT) 13-floor Rising Sun. The development which is already nearing completion will serve as the firm’s head office and also provide accommodation for high level managers.

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The 15-floor Sogenal, a mixed use development located beside the Mercedes Place, occupies 7,500 square metres and will also rise 15 floors just like Temple Towers. “There is nothing strange or particularly wonderful about what is happening in Ikoyi; what that simply tells you is that Kingsway Road is today the most desirable, most sought after office space address in Lagos”, Obi Nwogugu, Head, African Capital Alliance Property Investment Company told BusinessDay in an interview.