By Yinka Kolawole
ConstructionÂ work is set to commence in the Eko Atlantic City project in the first quarter of next year, with about one million square metres of land already reclaimed at the site, with the reclamation job still ongoing.
A total of nine million square metres of land is to be retrieved from the sea to provide some of the finest development properties in West Africa when completed.
In a media chat during a function to market the project to prospective investors in Lagos, last week, Bernard Bridi, Marketing and Communications Director, South Energyx Nigeria, the project developers, said that between 6 to 8 percent of the entire project has already been sold to some individual as well as corporate investors, at a cost ranging from $850 to $1,600 per square metre depending on location within the city project.
The city is expected to set a new standard for living and working in West Africa, rising up from freshly reclaimed land that stretches from the part of the ocean next to Victoria Island to Lekki peninsular. The emergence of the city is expected to relieve the pressure on the increasing population of the state and further confirm Lagos as the fastest growing mega city in the world.
On completion, Eko Atlantic city will be similar to that of the skyscraper district of Manhattan Island, New York. It is expected that 250,000 people will live in the city, with 150,000 more commuting to work there on daily basis.Â Investment in homes, businesses and tourism will flourish in the safe, clean and sustainable environment.
The city will take six years to complete with three distinct building phases. Work on the first phase, to reclaim the building land from the Atlantic began in 2008.
On the possible impact of the development on the social activities of Lagosian, especially with regards to the possible restoration of Bar Beach, the South Energyx official remarked that â€œBar Beach is gone for good. Itâ€™s already been gone since 2005,â€ noting however, that the Eko Atlantic city project will more than make up for the loss with various tourist attractions such as marinas, waterfronts, among others.
â€œWith 9 kilometres of waterfront along the Atlantic Ocean and harbour channel, 6 kilometres of coastal highway and 20 kilometres of internal waterway, Eko Atlantic offers attractive investment options for waterfront development.â€
Some of the highlights of the Eko Atlantic City are an environmentally conscious development; compliance with international standards for city developments; multi channel transportation based on road, tram, and waterways; and an ability to protect Victoria Island and Lagos from ocean surge.
According to Bridi, large scale marine works are ongoing, depositing the sand that is needed to create Eko Atlantic City behind a giant sea wall. The sea wall, christened: â€œGreat Wall of Lagosâ€, is a masterpiece of engineering designed to meet the highest international specifications and to withstand the worst imaginable Atlantic storm. It is seven kilometres long and 60 metres wide at base level, where the force of the ocean is greatest. Towering nine metres above sea level, the wall will also be a stunning landmark in the new city.
Bridi further stated that the emerging city is already helping to reverse the environmental damage on Victoria Island caused by a century of coastal erosion and the imposing new sea wall to be erected expected to shield the city of Lagos as well as the Eko Atlantic City, thus converting an impending disaster into valuable asset for the future.
Traffic gridlock will be unheard of in the city due to well planned public transport network, water transportation and energy efficient trams will run on the Eko Tramway network.The project is a wholly private sector funded development conceived and facilitated by the Lagos State government.