Renovation permit delaying 21-floor Unity House redevelopment
Two years after it launched a major renovation of the Unity House, a legacy of the Odu’a Investment Company in the boisterous Lagos Island, the edifice has remained undeveloped due to failure of authorities to get the necessary renovation approval/permit for the project.
Expectations were high in March 2017 among the business community, when the process began towards the refurbishment of the building, which used to be the toast in town, and home for prospering lawyers, accountants and other professionals.
The Unity house is a 21-floor edifice owned and managed by Wemabod Estates Limited. Built about 52 years ago, the high-rise structure is located side by side with Union House and other commercial buildings in the hub of Marina Central Business District, Lagos Island.
The building became a shadow of itself due to neglect and poor maintenance which affected its finishing and the vital components of the structures causing some tenants to take a flight.
The edifice is a 21-storey office complex sitting on approximately 635.47 square metres of land with a total lettable space of 5430sqm and a three-floor parking space .Messrs Springfield Development Company Limited was selected to pioneer the redevelopment then, to keep up with the Lagos State government development agenda for the Marina corridor.
The redevelopment initiative was to make provisions for modern office finishing and technologies that are not in existence in its location like restaurant in the last floor, first class offices, new lifts, and turning the edifice into a green building.At the hand over ceremony of the project for redevelopment, the then Chairman, Wemabod, Estates Limited, Kayode Alufa had said the partnership was a collaborative decision by the board and management of the company based on a stringent process and competency to refurbish the property to meet up with a 21st century property in the heart of Lagos.
“We have seen that the property is going obsolete in terms of; physical, economy, and technology.” According to him, the redevelopment of the building, which was estimated at about N3 billion, with an arranged sharing formula for the equity, will take three years for completion and readiness for allocation.
However, the initiative, which was to turn the building into an ultra-modern structure that is responsive to the users and without people stressing themselves, has remained a dream pipe. Speaking with The Guardian, in Lagos, a senior official, Wemabod, Basiru Oladunni explained that there was delay in processing the renovation permit from the Lagos state government, which has hindered the take off. According to him, the delay has nothing to do with paucity of fund for the renovation.He said, “As a corporate entity, you can’t do anything without due diligence. A lot of things come with that but now we have secured the renovation permit, work will start anytime soon. We took our to ensure that necessary things are done in the right way.”
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