• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Construction begins on UPDC’s N5bn Festival Mall

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Nigeria’s foremost real estate investor and developer, UACN Property Development Company (UPDC) plc, at the weekend, turned the sod signalling the beginning of construction on its ambitious N5 billion Festival Mall project.

Sitting on expansive parcel of land measuring 3.2 hectares, the mall is located within the precinct of Golden Tulip Hotel in Festac Town, the headquarters of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.

Close watchers of UPDC say that its market leadership does not consist in just being able to muster the financial muscles to put high-end properties in the marketplace, but also in its timely delivery of projects.

It is in line with this that Hakeem Oguniran, the company’s managing director, assured that the mall would open for business in the next 18 months, precisely in December 2014, pointing out that funding wouldn’t cause delay in the delivery of the project.

“Because we are UPDC, we have enough financial capacity to see this project through, but that does not mean there won’t be any debt; normally, in this kind of project, it is debt plus equity in 50:50 ratio.”

Earlier in his speech at the event, Larry Ettah, UPDC chairman, had recalled that when UPDC acquired Durbar Hotel in 2002 under the privatisation programme of the Federal Government, their goal was to take over an edifice that was once a national pride and re-create it as a tourist destination that would reshape the entire landscape of Amuwo Odofin and, indeed, Lagos State.

“In July 2011, we achieved a part of that dream with the formal commissioning of Block A of the facility as Golden Tulip Hotel and Conference Centre with 349 rooms. An additional 120 rooms will be added to the hotel in due course,” he said.

According to him, the mall’s ground breaking ceremony represented another significant stride in the journey they embarked upon in 2002, as they are committed to creating a best-in-class mixed development on this site, comprising offices, residences, shopping and complementary recreational facilities.

In line with UPDC’s mission of creating comfortable living and business environments for their customers, he assured the Festival Mall would provide delightful shopping and entertainment experiences to the teeming populace of Lagos, especially the residents of Festac Town, Amuwo Odofin, Mile 2, Okota, Isolo, etc.

“The complex, when completed, will also generate further employment opportunities for thousands of people, besides reshaping the socio-economic landscape of this area,” he hoped.

The mall already has Shoprite and Silverbird Cinemas as anchor tenants. Its main features include 12,722sqm gross buildable area; 10,071sqm of leasable space comprising 508sqm of retail line shops, and 1,035 of food and beverage shops. It promises a cinema of five viewing screens, 3,320sqm of anchor space, and ample parking space.

Ettah assured that “we are building facilities that will complement one another; we have built a hotel, we are now building this mall and we will go over to the renovation of block B. Here, there are 212 apartments comprising two, three and four-bedroom apartments. Our desire is to create a one-stop shop for entertainment, shopping and recreation in this environment.”

 

CHUKA UROKO