• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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BusinessDay

Festival Town: Scaling up old settlement with new lifestyle community

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By virtue of construction and quality of its residents, the Festival Town, simply called ‘Festac’ in Lagos is a middle class settlement, harbouring predominantly working class citizens who were the main beneficiaries of the sale of the ‘estate’ after it served its purpose as home to visitors and participants in the World Black Festival of Arts and Culture hosted by Nigeria in 1977.

Over time, the town has attracted residents who, by their means and spending power, belong to the upper class in society, making it a new haven for investments that target high income earners.

Gradually but steadily, investors are ‘invading’ this settlement and, in a way that sends a positive signal of more and better things to come, a new lifestyle community is evolving in the Town as UAC Property Development Company (UPDC) Plc is building an integrated and mix-use community comprising residential, commercial and retail developments.

In a way that demonstrates its leadership of the Nigerian real estate market, the company is building a retail facility known as Festival Mall and at the same time creating a residential facility through the renovation and upgrading of Block B of Golden Tulip Hotel.

The Festival Mall and the residential facility known as ‘The Residences’ are meant to complement the Golden Tulip Hotel, creating an integrated and lifestyle community that offers the Festac community and its environs residential, hospitality and retail opportunities not common in sub-urban areas of Nigeria.

The Residences project on which construction work started in August 2014 with planned completion in October 2015 is estimated to cost N2.74 billion and, according to UPDC officials, the facility was created from their desire to have a truly mix-community real estate development that will offer comfortable and best-in-class residential, commercial and retail accommodation.

“The node is the first of its kind in Lagos and consists of Golden Tulip Festac, Festival Mall and The Residences”, Titilayo Gbadamosi, UPDC’s Assistant General Manager, Marketing and Sales, noted during a tour of the facility.

Fabiyi Kehinde, the Project Manager, explained that the one-block facility which stands on eight floors has 192 apartments comprising 144 two-bedroom flats and 48 one-bedroom apartments, adding that each of the eight floors has a central area and three wings each comprising eight apartments.

“There are five elevators for the whole building”, he said, adding that top-of-the-range facilities were being put in place for the comfort of the prospective residents, including borehole and water treatment plant, independent power plant, gas infrastructure, HVAC cooling system, sewage treatment plant, fire fighting system—sprinklers and an estate office.

Gbadamosi disclosed that many of the units of these apartments were already taken up, adding that each of the two-bedroom flats sold for N33 million while the one-bedroom apartments were sold for N23 million.

Frank Fomah, the Project Manager at the Festival Mall disclosed that the mall which was conceived in 2008 would be completed and opened for business in June this year.

The total land area for the combined facility is 8.778 hectares out of which 3.2 hectares, representing 36 percent of the total land area, is where the mall is sitting, adding that the mall’s gross buildable area is about 13,00 square metres while the gross lettable area is 10,000 square metres.

Gbadamosi disclosed that at this construction stage, the mall was already 90 percent let, adding that Shoprite, the South African retail chain, and Silver Bird Cinema had taken position as anchor tenants, occupying the right and left wings of the mall respectively.

The mall, she said, promised uncommon shopping and relaxation experience for the Festac residents and the neighboring communities, pointing out that the Silver Bird Cinema would be coming with four large screens; there will be food court that will be occupying four shops as restaurants; ATM points, play zone for the children and many other facilities.

“The mall is borne out of our desire to create a destination point for Lagos  residents around Festac, Amuwo-Odofin, Mile 2, Ojo, Alaba, Orile and Okota,  providing office, hospitality, recreation and an experience of a formal shopping mall”, Gbadamosi said, disclosing that shops sold for $45 per square metre.

CHUKA UROKO