Gracefield Island evolving rapidly as good destination for investors, home buyers

On incremental basis, Gracefield Island, a city being developed by Gravitas Investment Limited in partnership with the Lagos State government, is evolving as a good destination for investors and home buyers on account of its modern infrastructure.

Smart cities and great locations, the world over, are defined by superior infrastructure which encourages investment and supports quality living. This, according to its promoters, is the hallmark of Gracefield Island as a major development in the evolution of new urban communities in Nigeria.
The city sits on approximately 100 hectares of land reclaimed from the Lagos Lagoon, but the developer has got approval from the state government to increase this land size.

Besides its attractive location at the end of Chevron Drive in Lekki Phase 1, off Lekki-Epe Expressway, this emerging city has the added advantage of closeness to the Lekki Regional Road being constructed by the state government which will make for flexibility of movement in and out of the city.

Leveraging technology, innovation and creativity, the developer is creating a city where environment will not only be green and sustainable, but also enabling in terms of living and lifestyle, commerce, leisure, training and learning.

“We have done four kilometers of paved walkways, and cycle lanes, because we are very keen on getting people on bicycles. Underground drainage has been constructed across the island and sleeves for fibre optics are also in place,” Peter Stephenson, Executive Director, Innovation and Sustainability at Gravitas Investments, told BusinessDay in an interview.

Continuing, Stephenson revealed that all the cables would be going underground as nothing is going to be over ground, meaning that nobody is going to see any cables on poles or anything like that. “A leading telecom operator is set to install fibre optic as well,” he said.

To understand their commitment, the level of investment made so far and the quality of work being done on the city, Stephenson said, “we have invested over N20 billion on developing the infrastructure alone and we expect to spend more in terms of getting this completed as we move forward.”

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Though the developer has chosen not to flaunt this iconic project, investment and buyer-interest is already high, according to Stephenson who said that they have had a lot of interest from developers and other investors.

He disclosed that Gravitas Investments has had good interface with the British Deputy High Commission in areas of services and procurement and the developing interests from investors in the gulf area.

Beyond building this city, Gravitas Investments is also, by reason of this development, creating jobs for young Nigerians who have a unique opportunity to deploy their skills and unleash their talent on different aspects of the project. “It’s very important that we are up-skilling them and getting them more opportunities as this project and the economy move forward,” he assured.

Oluwadamilola Soji Oyawoye of the Sustainability and Innovation Unit of the company, noted however that, by reason of the nature of the city they are building, they are not confined to any particular region in terms of retaining development partners.

“We engage foreign developers but we are not doing that because we don’t believe in indigenous developers. We are just very particular about standards. For instance, our main project consultant is Aurecon from South Africa.

Our hospitality consultants are Aecom (Britain) and Ward Hospitality (Nigeria); our main reclamation contractors were Van Oord and later, Boskalis, both of Holland and Terraview (Adebisi Ogunlewe) from here in Nigeria in Urban Planning. So, we have them across the spectrum,” he said.

It is expected that most of what is being done in this city will interest people who will be living there. The infrastructure being provided will give residents value for their money. Stephenson believes that Nigeria is a big market; wondering why the citizens should be denied the opportunities that are prevalent in other parts of the world.

He stressed that Nigerians shouldn’t be denied such opportunities which is why the emerging city is a visionary project and a really super environment. “We expect a vibrant community here by 2024,” he assured.

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