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Jabi Lake Mall seen leveraging $145m annual consumer spend in catchment area

For prospective tenants and investors in the up-coming Jabi Lake Mall in Abuja, there will be no dull moment when the mall  which construction is already 40 percent up opens for business in October next year.

This is because the mall will be leveraging the $145 million annual consumer spend coming from its catchment area which, according to site feasibility audit by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2012,  has about two million people with the highest population growth rate in Nigeria  at 5 to 9.5 percent per annum .

The audit  projected  a population figure in 2015 to hit 2.4 million with $340 million annual consumer spend, adding that the area which has roughly 78,000 households could be classified into AA Category and, in the opinion of industry analysts, this is a very important categorisation for retailers.

Located on the shores of Jabi Lake –a  natural body of water in the Jabi District of Abuja—the Jabi Lake Mall which covers 35,000 square meters of Grade-A shopping space,  is just 10-minute drive away from the Central Business District of Abuja.

With construction work at 40 per cent completion, the mall is being built on five hectares of land, representing part of a larger 35 hectares master-planned Jabi Lake Development comprising hotels, residential apartments, offices, relaxation centres among others.

The development would also feature lakeside restaurant and cafes with outdoor seating; double-height, contemporary tree-shaped sculpture that spans the full height of the mall’s entrance, symbolising a traditional African meeting place.

The $120 million mall  is a joint venture project between Actis, an equity  investment firm with $7 billion under management, and Duval Properties with a  development management  led by Laurus Development Partners, a development  platform established to undertake Actis projects in West Africa.

The mall can be  accessed via the local freeways and ring road system in a westerly direction while an exit from Shehu Yar’Adua Way allows direct access to the mall, just as an easterly direction access is via a link road with Solomon Lar Way.

Two levels of parking in the mall have capacity for 733 cars, in addition to motorcycle and bicycle parking. A vehicle drop off area, proposed bus stop and pedestrian footpaths connecting the mall to the main road make Jabi Lake Mall easily accessible.

The mall is the first step in creating a vibrant new 35-hectare mixed-use development, thus making it Abuja’s number one destination for living, working, shopping and be entertained.

The level of interest in the mall is already high with Shoprite, the South African retail chain taking position along with entertainment centres, Games and SilverBird Cinema as the first tenants.

Michael Chu’di Ejekam, Director, Real Estate at Actis, told BusinessDay that  as investors they believe in full investment cycle, disclosing that they have been able to demonstrate  full investment cycle in their earlier investments in Accra Mall in Ghana, The Palms Shopping Mall in Lagos.

“In terms of the benefit to the economy, we want to show through that cycle that you can actually succeed in this market place in order to bring in additional foreign direct investment”, he said.

Allaying fears that majority of workers at the site are expatriates, Stephen Hynes, Senior Development Manager, Laurus Development Partners, explained that of the 502 workers at the construction site, 97 per cent are Nigerians.

It is also expected to create 1,000 post-construction jobs for Nigerians as well as increase the Internally generated revenue of government through taxes and Value Added Tax (VAT).