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Why Surulere, Ijegun are attractive locations in Lagos

Most people who live in Lagos and are conversant with the metropolis must know or have heard of Surulere, which is also called Small Lagos by reason of its nearness to Lagos Island, the heartbeat of the city of Lagos.

Though Ijegun, a northern suburban community in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos, may not be as popular as Surulere, it also has strong reasons for being a good location for living and business.

Surulere is, arguably, a middle-class settlement that is both residential and commercial and passes easily as one of the most exclusive areas on Mainland Lagos. Besides being a sports city that houses two sport venues, it also harbours some of the most famous streets in Lagos such as Adeniran Ogunsanya, Adelabu, Ogunlana Drive, Bode Thomas, and Eric Moore.

In real estate, location is everything. It determines how much an area could be sought after and also how much home-seekers and business owners have to pay for available property. Surulere enjoys a good location, being central or a mid-point between Lagos Island and the Mainland.

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Surulere is a key transport node in Lagos, connecting the city’s mainland with Lagos Island and Victoria Island. Since it serves as a mid-point between the island and mainland, people who live there have quick and easy access to both areas. It allows residents flexibility of movement.

For this reason, many home-seekers flock to Surulere and that has made properties in the area hot and pricey. Rents are on the high side, making landlords kings who decide the fate of tenants with a wave of the hand. Rents rise with the speed of light.

A three-bedroom flat in Surulere, depending on the location, attracts as high as N750,000 per annum while a two-bedroom flat could be up for between N400,000 and N500,000 per annum.

The high demand for property has not only pushed up rents, but also provided opportunity for fresh investment in both residential and commercial property. Apart from investing in new property development, investors are also buying off old properties from their owners for either remodelling or reconstruction into mostly two-bedroom apartments which are hot cakes in the area.

People also like to live or do business in Surulere because it accommodates all kinds of people including young families, the low- and mid-income class, grandparents, politicians, successful and struggling artists, students, etc. It is very easy to fit into the different neighbourhoods within the location without fear of segregation or any form of culture-shock.

It is still a matter of argument that the best of Lagos street food can be found in Surulere and at the best rates too. People who want the best Shawarma or Suya travel from as far as the Lekki Peninsula to Surulere for a palatable and affordable taste. Surulere also has more local independent restaurants and bukkas than it is possible to choose from.

This location is also full of independent businesses as could be found in commercially viable streets like Bode Thomas and Adeniran Ogunsanya, and to a little extent, Babs Animasaun.

Apart from restaurants and bars, there are also many businesses in Surulere. It is easy to find clothing stores, interior design boutique, car dealers who congregate around the National Stadium and its environs. There are other businesses in this location too and they are such that a shopper will get spoilt for choice when it comes to buying locally. These businesses create many opportunities for jobs too.

The most popular street in Surulere that harbours some of the independent businesses is Adeniran Ogunsanya, where a big mall, named after the street, with Shoprite as the biggest retailer is located. There is literally nothing that cannot be found on the street and many of them are of good quality too.

For socialites, especially night crawlers, Surulere is unrivalled in its active night life. Perhaps, before gridlock overtook Apapa, both locations were at par in night-life activity. In Surulere, in spite of the economic downturn, Fridays are like Christmas Eve in the area and Ogunlana Drive is a place to be.

This offers investment opportunities for night club operators, big restaurants, moderate-sized hotels, wine-sellers, suya sport and bar operators.

Living in Surulere, one can never be bored at night because there is a load of great bars, lounges, and pubs. Added to these, there is relative good security in most of the areas. There are bars that open from 10am to 4am every single day including Sundays.

Similarly, for its good location in a sleepy corner of Alimosho where it sits in close proximity with Ikotun and Igando, Ijegun has been able to attract people of diverse cultures. Investors, especially those in the hospitality business, are today offering affordable luxury in the many hotels that dot the town.

Though houses are not as pricey and rents are not high, estate developers are building good apartment houses there. When BusinessDay visited that area recently, it was discovered that new buildings are mostly blocks of flats in two-storeys. These are taken up by young traders in Ikotun, Ladipo, and Trade Fair markets. A three-bedroom flat goes for between N250,000 and N400,000, while a two-bedroom flat can still be rented at between N150,000 and N250,000.

By the last count, there are about 30 hotels in that neighbourhood and that has really made nightlife there also very active. However, Ijegun differs from Surulere by the number of hours people are out in the night.

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