$100m shopping mall in Ikeja

Actis was the financier of The Palms, another shopping mall in the Lekki area of Lagos. David Morley, head of real estate at Actis said the company will replicate the kind of success that has made The Palms a benchmark for retail developments in West Africa. The mall will house cinema, restaurants and retail outlets. “It has been designed to service the Lagos Mainland and return Ikeja to its status as the traditional retail hub of the city. The project will initially develop 28,500 square metres of leisure and retail shopping space; anchor tenants already secured, including Shoprite and Silverbird Cinemas,” Actis noted in a statement.

Stakeholders in real estate industry who spoke to BusinessDay hailed the new mall project. Meckson Innocent Okoro, an estate surveyor and corporate estate agent, described it as an ambitious project that is highly welcome especially now that no effort is being spared to decongest the island. According to him, Lagos needs such a development not only in Ikeja, but also in other places like Surulere and Apapa, so as to reduce the pressure on the already congested island roads and also to save precious time spent rushing to the island.

Anthony Owuye, a banker and estate developer, agrees, describing it as a good development, especially in the leisure and retail shopping industry.

“It is a very important real estate development because it is bringing us in line with modern world with all the modern facilities it brings”, he said, adding that “such a development is needed here because there is market for it”.

According to Owuye, apart from the interesting shopping experience that goes with malls, it is also a source of revenue to both government and individuals. Actis and local partner, Paragon Holdings, which first sourced the development site, have been working for two years to make this idea a reality.

Actis will become the 60 percent majority owner; Paragon Holdings and Rand Merchant Bank Investments & Advisory (RMBIA) will each take 20 percent equity stakes in the project. The Ikeja shopping mall when completed will add to Actis’ successful investments in The Palms, as well as Junction Mall in Nairobi, and Accra Mall in Ghana.

Commenting on the project, Actis West Africa managing director, Ngozi Edozien, said: “By providing world class retail and commercial space in the area we hope to help revitalise the mainland of Lagos as we seek to grow our real estate portfolio across West Africa.”

Afolabi Toyo of Paragon Holdings said: “The mall will bring social and economic development to the Ikeja area. There will be significant employment opportunities during the construction and operation phases, and we look forward to bringing this world class real estate project to fruition.”

The project will be financed by a mixture of debt and equity, with a debt facility of US$48.6 million secured from Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and Standard Bank of South Africa Limited.

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