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Lekki – New attraction for Retail Real Estate Investment

With The Palms and the upcoming  Circle Mall, demand for retail shopping centres in Lekki seems to have just been scratched as a recent independent demographic study has revealed that there are still opportunities for investment in retail development in that axis.

Lekki is one of the upscale neighbourhoods in Lagos  that has seen mass movement of people and businesses such that the axis is today adjudged the fastest growing and developing residential and commercial  real estate destination in Nigeria.

RMB Westport, a South Africa real estate investment and development firm, which conducted the study, explained to BusinessDay that  within the catchment area of its proposed Royal Gardens Mall on which construction will start in September this year, to be completed in 24 months, there is a 114,002 shopping population which has annual shopping spend of USD$241.0 million.

The company is excited about the progressive growth in this area which the report has shown and  pointed out that in 2011, the shopping population in this area was 95,240  with an annual spend of USD$179.7 million; in 2013, it was 101,525 people with USD$200.6 million;  in 2016 the population will be 114.002 with USD$241.0 million while in 2019, the population of this area will jump to 127,017 with annual shopping spend estimated at  USD$281.7 million.

“The  forecast  retail  market  demand  in Royal  Gardens’ catchment area  for 2016 indicates a sustainable gross lettable area (GLA) of 36,438 square metres for a shopping  mall that would function as a regional center”,  Roy Hamlyn, RMB Westport’s Development Manager told BusinessDay, adding that  the  Royal Gardens development was 30,124 square metres and would be completed in December 2017 which indicates the sizable market potential of the development.

Hamlyn noted that the Lekki-Epe Expressway was a corridor of development and urban expansion of Lagos where properties suitable for large scale commercial development were scarce along the parts of this expressway that have in-place catchment populations.

The mall is aimed to be an accompaniment of the Royal Gardens Estate which is located in an area of development along the expressway and is being established as a housing estate for middle and upper middle income residents. The estate, as a whole, occupies approximately 150 hectares of land.

The Mall will be sitting on 9 hectares of land,  facing the Expressway and, according to Hamlyn, “the project site is a long rectangular property that faces onto the expressway and is at the entrance to the Royal Garden Estate”.

RMB Westport is also the developer of the Circle Mall located strategically along the Lekki-Epe Expressway with an eye-view distance from the Jakande Roundabout. It is the first of its kind in Lagos with retail component which is the mall, and commercial component, which is an office space adjacent the mall. It is a unique concept in Nigeria, especially in Lagos and as the project manager put it,  “it is not something that has been done before because, with this, you can have a commercial experience within an office environment”.

“Circle Mall is approximately seven kilometers from Royal Gardens. This places the project just inside our designed secondary catchment area for a mall located at Royal Gardens. The center has a GLA of approximately 20,000m2, making it about two thirds the size of Royal Gardens Mall”, Hamlyn said.

Source: BusinessDay – Chuka Uroko

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