NIGERIA – The property market in Nigeria will by the turn of this year, when many on-going developments will be completed, take delivery of over 70,000 square metres (sqm) of retail space located in various parts of the country.

This number is expected to come from the 13,000sqm Owerri Mall in Imo State, 11,000sqm Circle Mall in Lekki, Lagos State, 13,000sqm Festival Mall in Festac Town, Lagos; 7,000sqm Maryland Mall, Ikeja, Lagos; and the 26,000sqm Jabi Lake Mall in Abuja.

Developed by Resilient Africa from South Africa, RMB Wesport also from South Africa, AUC Property Development Company (UPDC) Plc, Purple Capital Partners Limited, and Actis in partnership with  Duval Properties respectively, these shopping malls will be bringing new shopping experiences to their respective locations and will create job opportunities for the locals.

Bismarck Rewane, CEO, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, who gave this hint in his monthly economic review in Lagos recently, also disclosed that 2016 and 2017 will together bring about 180,100 sqm space to the market, also from various parts of the country.

The high volume of retail space in the market is a reflection of the level of investment that has gone into this segment of the market, which has in the past five to ten years, seen marginal increase driven by rising demand for more modern, formal and convenient shopping experience.

Though Rewane noted a sharp rise in vacancy rate in commercial real estate to 54 percent in July, up from 48 percent in June, investment in retail will continue to increase, as investors have also seen opportunities in some state capitals as well as areas considered ‘second tier’ cities in the country.

Asaba Mall in Delta State, Onitsha Mall in Anambra State, Benin Mall in Edo State, Abeokuta Mall in Ogun State etc, which hold promise of 13,000sqm, 15,000sqm, 13,000sqm and 15,600sqm retail respectively, are all products of the new investment focus on state capitals and second tier cities.

“We are capitalising on the huge demand for quality retail space from Nigeria’s emerging middle class.

This is fuelled by a fast-growing aspiring population with considerable buying power, rapid urbanisation and improved infrastructure to invest in retail and mixed-use developments with multi-national anchors in state capitals or ‘second-tier’ cities of Nigeria”, Peter Collins, CEO, Grand Towers Property Fund, said in Lagos recently.

Registered in Mauritius, the Grand Towers Group developed the first Shoprite-anchored mall in Abuja and the Grand Towers Abuja Hotel, which was commissioned in March 2013.

According to Collins, the next cities earmarked for the launch of Shoprite-anchored malls – comprising over 24 000sqm—were in the state capitals of Minna in Niger State, Port Harcourt in Rivers State, and Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State.

These, he explained, would be the first Shoprite stores in these cities,  pointing out that in Minna, the new 8,244sqm mall would be located at the centre of town, adding that “in Port Harcourt, a mall of 8,100sqm is well positioned on the airport road, while in Ekiti, a mall comprising 7,700sqm would be situated on the University Road, about 2000m from the centre of town”.

“Wherever we see opportunity, we pursue it. All of us cannot just focus on the big cities. By doing that, we will be over-supplying the market there, but not tapping the opportunities in the rest of Nigeria”, Matthew Chency, Resilient Africa’s project manager explained at the Delta Mall’s Tenants Forum in Lagos.

Delta Mall is one of the many shopping outlets that have come into the Nigerian retail sector to operate outside the traditional buzzing city centres of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt and this development was explained by Matthew Chency, the Project Manager at Resilient Africa at Tenant’s Forum in Lagos.

August 11, 2015;