By Jude Njoku
Hotel Presidential, Enugu, was one of the first post-independence iconic buildings built as part of the Late Dr. Michael Okpara’s industrialisation plan for the defunct Eastern region. Now, the hotel has been concessioned to Messrs E-Hospitality Services Limited, EHSL, with a mandate to bring the hotel back to life and upgrade it to world class standards.
The proposed redevelopment concept which involves reconfiguring and modernising the existing hotel facilities, is expected to cost N4 billion on completion in 2017. EHSL will undertake redevelopment of the hotel through a special purpose company – Primeview Hotels Limited. EHSL will also engage a suitable international hotel management company to operate the hotel after renovation.
Vanguard Homes & Property learnt that Primeview has already taken possession of the facility and concluded preliminary surveys and assessments including a structural integrity test carried out by Sanni Ojo and Partners, a leading firm of structural engineers. The results of the tests have been positive. The concessionaire has also assembled a team of design and engineering consultants and produced a redevelopment concept.
A contractor has also been mobilised to the site and has commenced stripping of the hotel in preparation for the redevelopment works. The proposed redevelopment concept involves reconfiguring and modernising the existing hotel facilities such as restaurants, conferencing facility, outdoor swimming pool, four tennis courts and increasing the stock of rooms from 100 to 150 rooms. In additio, a family leisure centre will be incorporated and the number of restaurants and other elements increased in line with the requirements of the preferred hotel manager.
It is expected that the main contract for the redevelopment will be awarded in the last quarter of this year (2015) and the hotel ready to be opened by the second quarter of 2017. Hotel Presidential sits on prime land within the Independence Layout in Enugu and is approximately 15 minutes by car from the Enugu International airport.
At the time it was open to the public, the hotel offered 100 rooms on four floors with recreational facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and a night club. These memories however quickly fade once the reality of the hotel’s current state of disrepair is revealed. Many years of poor management, particularly during the years of military rule, culminated in a complete rundown of the hotel and its subsequent closure;
In a bid to remedy the situation, the current Enugu State. Government, sought proposals from private sector investors willing to invest in the redevelopment of the Hotel as well as manage it under an international hotel brand name. After due consideration of a number of proposals from private sector investors, the concession was granted to EHSL.
EHSL which claimed to have done extensive research, noted the lack of international standard hospitality services in the South-East. “Given the strong demand for quality hotel, leisure and conferencing facilities in the region, EHSL aims to breach this supply gap by providing what would be undoubtedly the premier business and leisure facility in the South-East zone when completed.
EHSL also expects that with the growing foreign direct investments, FDI flowing into the zone and the commencement of direct international flights into Enugu airport and significant foreign traveller traffic, the Hotel would become the destination of choice,” the company said in a press statement.