First residential development in Alaro City raises hope for 576 families

Alaro City, a mixed-income, city-scale development in the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) in Lagos has recorded its first residential development launched by Universal One—a residential community developer with British, American and New Zealand investors.

The residential development, known as Universal Homes, is a 576-unit apartment complex, holding out hope and opportunity for 576 families. Given an average of five persons per family, comprising father, mother and three children, it means that about 2,880 persons will have shelter over their head in this complex.

This development is a major boost to the Lagos housing market where an estimated three million residents are in need of homes. It is also a huge step towards closing the state’s housing deficit.

Universal Homes is just a new addition to many other developments in Alaro City. Over 35 other companies are operational, designing or building their facilities in the City which was launched in 2019 as a joint venture project between the Lagos State government and Rendeavour— Africa’s largest new city builder.

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Among the pioneering companies in the City is Starium FZE, a subsidiary of BUA Group. Others include Mantrac Caterpillar, Ariel Foods FZE, the largest and most technically advanced ready-to-eat therapeutic foods producer in Africa, and HMD.

Universal One has developed 1,500 homes in Kenya at Tatu City. Its homes which it is doing with Alaro City include open-plan living rooms with expansive balconies, contemporary kitchens with polished granite worktops, wooden teak textured ceramic tiles, 100L solar water heating, smoke detectors and white UV wardrobes.

John Latham, the firm’s executive director, explained that they chose Alaro City for this development because of its experience with Rendeavour, the developers of Alaro City. Rendeavour is also the owner and developer of Tatu City in Kenya.

“Universal Homes is bringing its high-quality, accessibly-priced apartments to Nigeria, in partnership with Alaro City. We are pleased to play a role in advancing the housing agenda of Lagos State and to be a pioneer residential development in the Lekki Free Zone, surrounded by amenities like shops, schools and healthcare,” Latham said.

Alaro City is a 2,000-hectare mixed-income, city-scale development with industrial and logistics locations, complemented by offices, homes, schools, healthcare facilities, hotels, entertainment and 150 hectares (370 acres) of parks and open spaces. It is a partnership between Rendeavour and Lagos State, the economic and financial nerve centre of Nigeria.

Odunayo Ojo, CEO of Alaro City, noted at the weekend that Universal One serves as a model for inclusive urban development in Nigeria, a representation of the kind of forward-thinking initiatives usually associated with Alaro City, which in itself is a demonstration of the Lagos State government’s successful partnerships with private sector investors to address critical public infrastructural needs.

“Going by the success of Universal Homes at Alaro City’s sister development, Tatu City, Universal One will serve as a model for international quality and accessibly priced homes in Lagos,” Ojo said.

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