Governor Babatunde Fashola
By Bennett Oghifo and Gboyega Akinsanya
Shopping and leisure business began yesterday at the Ikeja City Mall, Alausa, Lagos after an impressive inauguration ceremony at which Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola was present.
The Mall, located close to the state secretariat, was designed and built by Actis, a leading private equity investor focused on emerging markets, at a cost of about $100 million (N16 billion).
The world class retail and leisure development was initiated by Actis three years ago and executed in collaboration with project partners like Paragon Holdings, and RMB Investments and Advisory.
Governor Fashola said he led a business delegation to London three years ago where he invited Actis to undertake three projects; an expansion of the Ijora Power project, which they agreed to do with their own funds.
The second and third projects, he said were the Lagos Light Rail Project and the Ikeja City Mall. “The Ijora Power Project did not take off because we could not take possession but in the other two areas where we had control over the land and over the rail, we have delivered.”
The rail project, he said is rapidly on course and that if anyone doubted that the Mall could be built then such doubt would be razed by now.
He described it “a definitive expansion of the frontiers of investment in Lagos State,” adding that more businesses are coming to Lagos
Gov. Fashola said, “This mall restores Ikeja back to its rightful place as the retail hub of Lagos. Actis has shown tremendous leadership and delivered this mall on plan, on time and on budget – following in the footsteps of their other successful real estate projects in West Africa. This development provides an inspiring vision of what can be achieved through collaboration – between the development partners, regulators, government officials and tenants.
“Ikeja City Mall brings world-class retail and leisure facilities to Lagos; I am excited to see my fellow citizens in the mall today, relaxing and having fun.”
The Mall comprise 27,000 square metres of gross built area and 23,000 square meters of lettable area. The space accommodates nearly 100 shops including Shoprite’s latest generation store of over 4,400 square metres, KFC, Mr Price, Twice as Nice, Nike and Aldo. The design of the mall incorporates informal meeting places, a food hall and a fivescreen Silverbird cinema. Bounded by access roads on three sides, the five hectare site is ideally positioned for convenient parking and shopping.
Actis believes that Ikeja City Mall heralds the next step in West Africa’s retail and leisure revolution. There are 3.9 million potential customers living and working within an 8km radius of the site and 900 permanent jobs have been created. Actis played the lead role in the conception and realisation of the Ikeja City Mall project and is the majority (60%) shareholder in Gruppo, the company established to own and manage the mall, while Paragon Holdings and RMBIA each hold 20%.
Actis Real Estate Director, Michael Chu’di Ejekam, said: “Actis is proud to unveil Ikeja City Mall. This is a project that demonstrates Actis’s proven track record of delivering quality real estate for Nigeria.
“We believe that Actis’s real estate developments can have a profoundly positive impact in sub-Saharan Africa. Ikeja City Mall opens up a space for Nigerians to work and relax and follows in the footsteps of Actis’s successful development of The Palms. We believe that Nigeria and Ghana alone have the potential for at least 20 more similar scale malls.”
Ngozi Edozien, Head of West Africa said: “Ikeja City Mall seals Actis’s reputation as the West African investor of choice: our local team in Lagos has unrivalled access to investment opportunities in real estate, financial services, industrials and consumer businesses, and a network that reaches across the region.”
Speaking about the project Afolabi Toyo, Executive Director of Paragon Holdings said: “Ikeja City Mall represents the successful cooperation of a local land owner, such as Paragon, with deep understanding of the local marketplace with an international firm investor, such as Actis, with its track record and financial capability.”
Actis’s Real Estate team in Africa combine private equity real estate, development and financial experience with a strong network, and relationships with leading industry professionals, third party developers and lenders. The team leads developments primarily in A-grade retail and office, focusing on high standards of design, efficiency and green building practices. Their current portfolio includes investments in Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Mauritius and Zambia.