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Actis woos Nigerian buyers for $150 million Douala Grand Mall project

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Douala Grand Mall Grand

Energized by the positive outlook in the retail sector, Actis Africa Real Estate, one of the leading growth markets investor has opened a new vista of opportunities for Nigerians to expand their businesses in Cameroon capital, Douala.

The firm has increased the stocks of retail malls with the commencement of Douala Grand Mall in partnership with Craft Development Group, which consists of an 18,000 square metres retail and leisure centre as well as Business Park in the Phase II.

The park includes office buildings across a 12-acre site. The development area includes 54,474m² of land located in the airport area.

The project includes an 18,000m2 retail and leisure centre, residential, and will include basement parking, including a supermarket anchor.

The vertical mechanized circulation includes eight escalators, two travellators and five elevators as well as conveniences.

Project Managers are Profica International with Architect of record and lead designer, Benoy, while the civil and structural are handled by MEP Designer: CIA.

Actis announced the project along with another mixed-use development named the Renaissance Place in Abidjan. Both are Actis’ first real estate investments in Ivory Coast and Cameroon.

Senior officials of Actis said that their confidence in Douala market flowed from Cameroon’s stable Gross Domestic Product growth at five per cent over the last five years with limited inflation and reduced foreign exchange exposure.

There is also expected high growth in the coming years based on more business-friendly policies and increased infrastructure spend.

Estimated to cost $150 million, Actis said, Nigerians could tap in from the opportunity provided by the project billed to be open for business before the end of 2018.

Located strategically within Bonapriso, the wealthiest residential catchment in Douala with population of 350,000 residents, tenants are poised to recoup their investments in good time.

The chief Executive Officer, Craft Group, Mathurin Kamdem, said in a presentation to retailers in Lagos, that the mall has advantage in the first retail-led mixed use development in Douala.

According to him, retailing in Douala is expected to grow in the next five -ten years with increased urbanization, intense competitive activities and a growing middle class are some of the key factors driving the growth.

“There are no formal retail centres of scale to serve the population of three million in Douala, which presents an opportunity to introduce a destination offering to the market even as Project expected to attract shoppers from Central Africa”, he said.

Kamdem, stressed that the first- mover advantage in a fragmented market, where commercial real estate sector is in its infancy, similar to Accra 10 years ago, is that only two smaller retail centres of 5,000 sqm and 7,000 sqm have recently opened in 2015 in Douala.

He also adduced benefit from Actis’ institutional knowledge and experience in developing eight destination retail centers across Africa.

High visibility and close proximity to the airport (1.5 million passengers per year, which attracts commuters to and from the city everyday.

According to him, there are growing efforts by the government to modernize and formalize retail, which has attracted new entrants such as SPAR, FNAC, DIA Carrefour.


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