Investors, firm in N3b Royal Exchange mall redevelopment

Proposed Royal Exchange Mall

Tangible dividends accruing to Nigeria for sustaining its democracy appear to have notched higher still, with the renewed confidence of real estate investors in the retail sector.

Edging aside competition from other private developers and investors, Property vault Limited has recently signed an agreement with Royal Exchange Assurance Nigeria Plc to remodel Royal Exchange plaza in Oshodi into a shopping mall with state of the art facilities.

The investors are tapping into the formal retail sector, which has yielded about $1.5 billion in investments over the last three years. Retail trade accounts for about 30 per cent of the world’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product), representing about $22 trillion of retail sales each year.  

Essentially, the project is a joint venture development between the two firms under a Build, Operate and Transfer agreement. It will also be jointly financed. However, Property Vault has attracted BetaPlus finance as one of the funding partners. 

Scheduled for completion by fourth quarter of 2018, on completion, the mall will have a total built up area of 5,000 square metres and lettable space of about 4,000 sqm. Anticipated facilities include, central cooling system, escalators, elevators, multilevel car park, Roof top bar and lounges, cinema (five auditoriums) and electronic bill boards.

The Managing Director, Propertyvault Limited, Mr. Andy Morka told The Guardian, “we have appraised and conducted structural integrity test of the existing building and redesigned the structure to accommodate larger spaces for anchor tenants and couple of other shops. 

He explained that the operating model of PropertyVault is to develop malls with affordable lease rentals. The proposed lease amount is so affordable that 100 per cent occupancy will be achieved even before the launch date. This is based on the off plan market response to the project. 

“The mall is designed to accommodate two major anchor tenants; a retail anchor tenant and a cinema that will be operated by Film House (operators of IMAX), we also have provision for food court, pharmacy, ATM gallery and telecomm service centers. These businesses have compelling tendencies that will guarantee continue footfall in the mall,” Morka said. 

According to him, the project is in tandem with the Lagos State Government development plan for the Oshodi axis. The mall is expected to serve the Oshodi /Isolo/Ajao Estate market and create a shopping environment for the middle class income earners.

Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director, Royal Exchange Assurance Nigeria Plc, Alhaji Auwalu Mukhtari who conducted the handover of the project site, urged the developer to deliver quality and complete the work on schedule.

Morka, who gave assurances of the firm’s determination to transform the shopping complex into a befitting mall, said the proposed project would improve the earning capacity of the existing Royal Exchange plaza.

He stated that there is no current shopping mall with credible anchor retail outlet within any of the locality; street trading is gradually being phased out and people within the area will appreciate a retail outlet within the environment.

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