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LSDPC, Afriland resurrect Ikoyi commercial hub, plan Falomo Towers

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
20 June 2022   |   2:38 am
After an initial effort that eventually turned out to be a ‘false start,’ a fresh move to resurrect the commercial hub of Ikoyi is in the offing. It will rejuvenate

Managing Director/Chief Executive, Afriland Properties Plc, Mrs. Uzo Oshogwe (left); Group Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Vice-Chairperson, Transcorp Plc, Mrs. Foluke Abdulrasaq and Managing Director, Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, Ayodeji Joseph during the Sod Turning Ceremony of Falomo Towers at Ikoyi in Lagos at the weekend.<br /> <br />

After an initial effort that eventually turned out to be a ‘false start,’ a fresh move to resurrect the commercial hub of Ikoyi is in the offing. It will rejuvenate the former Falomo Shopping Complex into a mixed-use development.

Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) in partnership with Afriland Properties Plc, are promoting the joint redevelopment project that will change the Lagos skyline, and increase economic and social wealth. Afriland Properties Plc is a subsidiary of Heir Holdings.

The development, which sits on 11,950 square metres of land, will focus on sustainability to ensure a cleaner and greener environment as well as a blend of amenities and promote quality living. The project would be completed in 30 months.

Falomo Towers is situated within the prime location, an upscale residential and commercial neigbourhood. The promoters anticipate a timeless architectural design and use of the project to reinvigorate public-private partnerships as a development model for sustainable real estate development.

Speaking at the sod-turning ceremony held at the project site, Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the flag-off ended a decade-long discussion with the developer to revive the project and build iconic towers that would turn around the fallow land for the benefit of the public.

The governor said the project was another milestone achieved by his administration to renew urban amenities, stressing that the strategic implementation of the Lagos master plan had been dependent on the government’s ability to forge a workable partnership between the public and private sectors.

He said: “This is a phenomenal project that will bring back the lost ambience of Ikoyi. When this partnership was initiated 10 years ago, I was the Managing Director of LSDPC. It is interesting to note that we’ve all gone through arbitration but we didn’t throw a wrong punch. We agreed this project must not be thrown away. Today, we are making a transaction that is bigger and better than what was initially proposed 10 years ago.

“This testifies to the uniqueness of public and private sectors in ensuring things can be made a lot better when we sit and agree. This is a clear example of what the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model is out to achieve when partnerships and collaborations are pursued and implemented with seriousness. When we put our minds of possibilities to ideas, great things happen. This aptly describes the story of today’s flag-off of the construction of Falomo Towers.”

Sanwo-Olu described Afriland Properties as a tested, trusted and reliable developer, saying the corporation had found the right partner for the redevelopment project.

He reiterated that government would remain committed to ensuring that investors get full value for their investments while promising to continue to pursue business environment reforms, including automation of land and property records to scale up transparency and efficiency.

Chairman, Heirs Holding group, Mr. Tony Elemelu, said the partnership was another testimony to the Lagos State government’s belief in the private sector as a key development driver in the state, praising the Lagos political leadership for setting the pace of private sector inclusion in governance.

For surmounting obstacles that delayed the take-off of the partnership, he said Lagos remained the most hospitable environment to investors seeking profitable return on their investments.

He said: “I commend the governor and political leaders of the state for believing in the private sector. What we are witnessing today attests to their beliefs in the private sector as a driver of development in the state.

“For the private sector to do well, the political leadership must create the right environment. Lagos has set the pace in this direction. This partnership is a celebration of dialogue and this makes Lagos remain the most hospitable environment for investors.”

LSDPC Chief Executive Officer, Ayodeji Joseph, said the project site evoked memories of a glorious past for Island dwellers in the 1970s, noting that the corporation took an informed decision to build residential apartments to provide additional accommodation to the growing middle class, business professionals and the swelling rank of young citizens.

He said: “Over 40 years down the line, the corporation in its decision to renew some of its facilities has deemed it fit to redevelop the site of the shopping complex, taking into consideration the realities of today’s needs as well as the environmental impact implications.

“To achieve this purpose, we decided to mobilise finance from the private sector. This decision will free resources that could otherwise be tied down to this project, for other pressing needs. In addition, it will allow the project to benefit from the competitive efficiencies for which the private sector is better known.”

Chief Executive Officer, Afriland Properties, Mrs. Uzo Oshogwe, noted that the redevelopment project was a revival of a landmark, saying: “With the project, we tend to give Ikoyi back its aesthetic landmark.

She said the iconic project would enhance and beautify Ikoyi skyline, adding that the partnership would be creating economic opportunities and social wealth that would transform the state and the country.