By Emma Ujah,
Abuja Bureau Chief
The World Trade Centre, WTC, Abuja, is the first complex in Nigeria to have seven towers made up of a 38-storey hotel building and six 24-storey commercial offices and residential towers. Located at the Central Business Area, the towers promise dwarf all other structures Abuja. In this interview, Senior Property Consultant, Mr. Olumide Adekanmi , explains the concept of the WTC and what the nation’s economy stands to gain from it. Excerpts:
What is the idea behind the Abuja World Trade Centre?
The concept behind the World Trade Centre, as the name indicates, is a brand, a worldwide brand. Churchgate won the franchise to build the Abuja World Trade Centre and that we are doing right now. Many developed countries of the world have World Trade Centres and we are convinced that the World Trade Centre in Abuja will change the face of businesses in Nigeria. The concept is that it is a modern market; a trade zone where you have everything that you can actually think of in business in one strategic location. So we are looking at a multi-tower collection of both Commercial Office Towers and Residential Towers.
The Commercial Towers consist of AAA offices each uniquely designed to appeal to global businesses requiring premier services including formal meeting spaces, state-of-the-art security and the highest standard of interior finishes.
Flexible spaces that can be purchased in configurations of 100 square meters, 200 square meters , 300 square meters and up to 1, 200 square meters on one level to cater for the needs of a wide-range of users are now available for purchase or lease. Those looking for a world class business environment will find the World Trade Centre irresistible. It will therefore host banking halls, oil and gas corporate offices, headquarters of conglomerates and an address for international organizations. Section two is the Residential Towers.
The towers in that section will have one-bedroom to six-bedroom apartments, as well as duplexes. The offers at the residential towers are flexible. While we are furnishing the apartments with world class finishes, those who desire to furnish their apartments will be sold the apartments, less the cost of furnishing. In-between the Commercial and Residential Towers, will build a 38-storey 5-star hotel that will spell ultimate leisure not only in Abuja but the entire country. It is a comfort zone. That hotel will be managed by Grand Hyat.
What is the idea behind having residential apartments in a work environment?
When you have a residential area, which we call the serviced apartments adjacent the commercial towers, it gives you straight access. You don’t have to look for a car or taxi to take you to your office.
You can just walk from home to your office, as well as, walk to the shopping malls where you can buy whatever you need. It takes away from you all the stress of traffic. It you have visitors or conferences to attend in the commercial towers you can simply walk from the residence to the venue and it is very comfortable. What we are looking at is quality comfortability and worldwide class. Living where you are working is what the complex provides. It is the first time we are having such a product in our country. The apartments are so unique because they are built with special wall glasses that are heat-resistant, sound-proof and act as fire-extinguishers.
What is special about corporate organizations taking up offices in the WTC?
The World Trade Centre operates like a club of a high network of businesses. When you are doing business at the WTC, it is totally different from having an office in any other part of the city. What you have in the WTC is a high network of people not just of Nigerians or Africans but global players in one complex. Global businesses thrive on networking, connections. At the WTC, you don’t need to go out to look for the connections. All the connections you need are in there. You have it at your finger tips. Don’t forget, it’s a world class brand. When you are asked, ‘where is your office?’ and you say ‘at the World Trade Centre’, it means so much to businessmen.
What security measures are in place to ensure the safety of those who work or live at the WTC?
The security there is world-class. We are going to have seven towers and that means that we are going to have a mega security station in that complex. It is an international brand and that means there is a standard that must be maintained. We are putting all necessary measures in place to ensure that individuals and their properties are safe. Every individual that works there will have an access card so no stranger can walk into that complex without an access card. Everybody will have his own record. It is all computerised. The cards of those in the Residential Towers are designed in such a way that the card can only open the access door to the floor in which one resides. Even the Lifts are computerised in such a way that you need the access card to open the door of the lift. If you are in the lift, you cannot stop and come out of it on another floor other than yours. For a resident who has a visitor, all he needs do is to contact the security unit and direct that the visitor be giving a visitor-access card. That card will be configured in such a way that it will allow the visitor to gain access to only the floor and the apartment of the host. Such a card can only be valid for that single that day. High networth individuals care very much about their privacy and security. We have factored this in our design and we can assure those coming to either purchase offices and residential apartments at the WTC that they can sleep with their two eyes closed. Besides, the general complex will be covered with 24/7 CCTV by the best service providers.
You said there will be a shopping mall. How will customers enter to make purchases if those going into the complex must have individual access cards?
For the shopping, will have its own access which will be open to the public. There is a different route into the mall. But you can’t access the main complex from the mall if you don’t have any business with the offices and the residential apartments. The railway that is being constructed by the federal government passes by the mall so one can actually get to the mall by rail or by road because there will be a rail station by the complex. If you come out of the metro, you head straight into the mall where the security is five-star. Those in the commercial towers can access the mall because there is a connection but those who just come to the mall for purchases cannot get to the commercial towers from there.
When will it be completed?
The first phase will be completed in the middle of 2016 and this consists of two 24-floor towers . one of the is Commercial tower while the second is the Residential tower. As you drive through the Constitution Roads and virtually throughout the city the towers are very visible.
How many offices are there in the commercial tower?
We have 24 floors of the commercial tower and 24 floors of the serviced-apartments. The provisions in the product we offer are such that a wide range of subscribers can take advantage of them. Some may want to take the duplexes, others who want the 5-bedroom , 4-bedroom , 3-bedroom of 1-bedroom have opportunities to key into the Abuja WTC.
Ancillary services include concierge services, fitness centre, swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, underground parking lots, alluring penthouses and breathtaking views.