Spar snaps up space in N1.1b Abuja Mountview shopping complex

Illustration of the proposed Mountview shopping mall in Lifecamp, Abuja

Illustration of the proposed Mountview shopping mall in Lifecamp, Abuja

HOPES of increasing the nation’s retail space with over 70,000 square metres (sqm) by the end of this year may have brightened, following a lease agreement between Topwide Ventures Limited and Artee group, the operators of Spar supermarket for 3,000sqm space in the ongoing Mountview shopping centre in Lifecamp area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Spar is coming as the anchor tenant in the 10,000sqm shopping mall, jointly developed by Topwide Ventures and Richards Infrastructures Limited, and would take the ground floors for its shopping outlet. The mall would be concluded by the end of the first quarter of 2016.

Nigeria’s retail space has spiked new interests in recent time with South African owned Shoprite, Park and Shop, Spar, Game, Mr. Price, Wrangler, Etam, Lacoste and Cold Stone showing huge commitment to further spread their footprints having occupied nearly all of the country’s retail space estimated to be a little above 100,000 square metres. Reports say, the huge demand in retail space 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 and major cities in the country.

The Guardian gathered that Mountview mall is being leased under the platform of PropertyBank, managed by Propertyvault Limited (a subsidiary of Richards Infrastructures) and designed to attract shoppers from Gwarimpa, Jabi, Life Camp, Mabushi, Utako and other parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The project under construction by SSL Project Limited as main contractor is a one-stop shop for several necessities such as electronics, ICT appliances and consumables, building materials, retail super mart and banking halls. Amenities consist of large paved and adequate parking space, CCTV on perimeter fence and inside the mall, highly skilled man guards and Police presence, restaurants and lounges. Other provisions are maintenance office and ready artisans. Specifically, Danie Grove, Project Manager, Artee group, Managing Director, Richards Infrastructures Limited, Andy Morkah and Harris Okonkwo, a Director of Topwide Ventures signed the lease agreement in Lagos.

Morkah said: “This development has come timely to alleviate the shopping stress of the residents of the communities such as Godab, Brains and hammers, Monarch Garden, Canaan, and Palm city, who currently have to go to the central area to shop.”

The chairman of Topwide Ventures and chief promoter of the project, Senator Annie Okonkwo has pledged to display corporate social responsibility by constructing a two- kilometre access road to link the shopping mall to existing community road. This is deemed a great gesture in the development of community infrastructure by the private sector.

According to the Corporate Communication Manager of the group, Okuma Bridget, lease discussions have gone far with several national and international brands for shopping spaces in the mall such as Smartmark, Lego, Time Keepers International, Samsung, Double Four Restaurant, PEP, Mr. Price, and Polo.

Morkah disclosed that the complex will be properly managed to avoid value erosion and disorganised setting.

The management cost will be mutually determined between the occupants and the management company. The maintenance services include general cleaning of the car parks, walk ways and internal common areas within the complex as well as maintenance of the lighting system around the perimeter fence, within the compound and all security lights. He also revealed that a two-year mortgage facility for the acquisition of the shops have been arranged with Fidelity Bank, Diamond Bank, United Mortgage and Stanbic IBTC. “The mall was conceptualized to empower young and growing business owners acquire shops contrary to the current trend of renting shops at very expensive rate within the Abuja metropolis. This will avail them the opportunity of pledging same shops as collateral for business loans,” Morkah said.

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