By Jude Njoku
Two and half years after it flagged off the construction of Festival Mall located within the expansive premises of Golden Tulip Hotels, (former Durbar Hotels) in Festac Town, Messrs UACN Development & Property Company, UPDC PLC last week, formally commissioned the imposing N5 billion mall which has redefined shopping in the entire Amuwo-Odofin Council Area.
Actual construction works commenced on the mall on Friday 17th May 2013 and was concluded in November 2015.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, UPDC’s Managing Director, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran disclosed that the mall was developed by UPDC through the vehicle of First Festival Mall Limited, a – joint venture between UPDC Plc, Africa Capital Alliance and UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust REIT.
“Festival Mall project was conceptualised in 2011, generally due to absence of modern formal retail channels in Festac and its environ. The mall was born out of UPDC‘s desire to create a destination point for Lagos State residents around Festac, Amuwo-Odofin, Mile 2, Ojo, Alaba, Orile and Okota to have an experience of a formal shopping mall. The mall is located in a commercial/entertainment node that includes the newly built Golden Tulip Hotel & Conference Centre and The Residences, a block comprising of 195 Condominiums,” he explained.
Continuing, Ogunniran said; “Festival Mall prides itself on such facilities as 500 car parking bays, sewage treatment plant, water treatment plant, fire alarm and fire fighting system, 24/7 CCTV surveillance system, armed police patrol and independent power plant, IPP”.
Located on 3.2 hectares of prime land, other prominent features of Festival Mall include gross buildable area of 12,722sqm, 10,071m2 of leasable space, comprising 4,508sqm of retail line shops, 1,035 of F&B shops, Cinema of five viewing screens and 3,320sqm of anchor space.
The mall comprises 47 retails shops, including two anchor tenants (Shoprite and Silverbird Cinemas) and 45 other retailers offering diverse products and services ranging from the Food Court to Line Shops Also speaking at the ceremony, the Deputy Managing Director of Stanbic IBTC, Dr. Demola Shogunle said the bank “provided a $9 million Bridge Facility as part funding to commence the development phase and subsequently refinanced the amount with the provision of a seven-year $25 million medium term loan facility representing 50 percent of the total project cost”.
“Despite the difficult operating year in 2015, debt funding was secured for the project. In addition, the bank provided additional support via transactional banking and hedging products to further enhance project feasibility. The transaction structure which allows quarterly rental payments and a bullet repayment at maturity, eases the cash burden on tenants and supports new businesses that may otherwise struggle with lump sum upfront rental payments,” he said.
Flaunting the advantages of the Mall, the Stanbic IBTC deputy MD pledged his bank’s readiness to support landmark real estate projects in Nigeria which contribute to economic growth, improve infrastructural development and ultimately create jobs for Nigerians.
“It is our belief that the mall which is strategically located within the Amuwo-Odofin and Festac community and in close proximity to the Badagry expressway which is currently undergoing expansion works and include a rail line by the Lagos State Government would provide a cultural hub and diversity for the surrounding area and would be the first modern retail facility within the location,” he said.