Last Thursday, September 26, as business began to pick up in the city of Ibadan in the aftermath of the state’s weekday sanitation exercise, an event took place at a location off New Ife Road, at Alakia. It was a gathering of secretaries to the State governments of Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Lagos States; members of the board, management and staff of Odu’a Investment Company Ltd, the who-is-who in real estate management firms, media men and guests at the ground breaking ceremony of Westlink Iconic Villa, by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.
Westlink Iconic Villa, the new luxury residential estate valued at over N4 billion, will consist of 104 mixed luxury residential buildings and 21 units of commercial outlets. It is being delivered by Odu’a Investment Company Ltd, in partnership with UK based Iconic City/ Chapter Four Estates Management Limited on 3.8 hectares of land in Alakia, opposite the Nigerian Breweries Plc, New Ife Road, Ibadan.
The estate, according to the Group Managing Director of Odu’a, Mr Adewale Raji and the Chief Executive Officer of Iconic City UK, Mr Shams Ogunmuyiwa, will be delivered within 30 months.
Odu’a Investment’s re-entry into property development
Two years ago, in September 2017, Odu’a Investment Company announced its re-entry into property development with the commissioning of a 7-duplex ACE Estate at No 1 Akinola Maja Street, Jericho, Ibadan, based on consumer demand and insights. This estate consists of luxury units of three 5-bedroom duplexes and four 4-bedroom duplexes.
That occasion, according to the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Odu’a Investment Company, Mr Raji, marked the beginning of brand building with all the attributes that excite the customer to splash the cash,” adding that “the economics behind this thought and the courageous execution is to add quality investment into the real estate portfolio that was bequeathed to us by our forebears.”
Adding quality investment into real estate indeed seems to be the knack of the current management of Odu’a Investment since the re-entry began.
The ACE Estate sprouted from 4,400 square meters of land, hitherto occupied by a derelict colonial building before the development began in 2016. Construction was done at a cost of N500 million.
Mr Raji stated “with respect to ACE Estate, It has been designed with communal living in mind and we expect that it will meet the expectation of the middle class.”
Similarly, the 3.8 hectares of land on which the Westlink Iconic Villa buildings will sit, according to the chairman, Board of Directors of Odu’a, Mr Olusola Akinwumi, was acquired from the Oyo State government 40 years ago.
“Our view is to make a statement of what we believe in, which is to meet the expectations of customers. We are starting with this and will make sure that we cater to the needs of people of all cadres.
Mr Raji explained that Odu’a Investment Company Ltd and Iconic City (UK) Ltd as joint venture partners created a special purpose vehicle (SPV) called Westlink Iconic Estates Limited, wherein Iconic City (UK) Ltd is represented by its locally registered company, Chapter 4 Estates Ltd.
What to expect in Westlink Icon Villa
Iconic City (UK) Ltd’s Chief Executive, Mr Ogunmuyiwa said the project is scheduled to be delivered by March 2022.
The estate has eight 5-bedroom fully detached duplexes, 10 5-bedroom semi-detached duplexes, six 4-bedroom semi-detached duplexes, 40 four-bedroom terraced duplexes, 60 three-bedroom apartments, 21 units of commercial outlets, a multi-purpose community centre and a utility centre that will provide 24 hours electricity and centralised treated water.
Giving more details, the GMD explained that all the rooms are aesthetically designed and will be well finished with spacious living rooms, en suite bedrooms, family lounges, and external balconies.
“All housing units within this secured estate offer luxury and convenience without compromise of personal space and safety.
“The estate is provisioned with children playground, sporting facilities, a three-level community centre with indoor swimming pool, well-equipped gym, multi-purpose events hall, creche and multi-faith prayer halls for the comfort of residents,” Mr Raji said.
Residents’ convenience is complimented with a modern commercial centre that will host a clinic, pharmacy, supermarket, bank, business centre, restaurant/eatery, beauty salon.
“We therefore invite the general public including Nigerians in diaspora to subscribe to this unique real estate investment,” the GMD said.
Speaking further, he said that part of the mandate of Odu’a Investment was to ensure that the assets inherited can be used for the benefit of generality of shareholders and stakeholders.
“We have gone into a strategic partnership with Iconic City (UK) Ltd which is owned by Nigerians of British nationality who have looked to invest in Nigeria. Westlink Iconic Villa is a mix of luxury apartments of terrace houses and duplexes, providing a wide choice for the middle class. It is an attempt to bring Lagos to Ibadan, but at a cost that is affordable.
“We have done a very solid valuation of the land, the design and all the costings. We put all these costs together to determine the shareholding of each party. Putting all the costs together, it is in excess of N4 billion to make this project a reality. This includes the valued cost of the land.”
GMD’s response to the ‘meet too’ call
The ownership of Odu’a Investment Company Ltd cuts across the six states which include Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Lagos states.
Responding to calls that this kind of project is carried out in all other states, the GMD said that the mandate given by the board and shareholders is for the company to be the engine room for the economic development of Western Nigeria. “Even though we are six states, each state has its own comparative and competitive advantages. The view of the board supported by the shareholders is that we must attend to the needs of the states based on their comparative advantages.
“Typically, and we have to be truthful to ourselves, where land access is easy the element of real estate development for commercial sale is weak. You will find out that in some states clamouring for this, it will not make the same money even though the cost of development is the same.
“We will focus on those states by ensuring that the areas they have comparative advantage is where we have presence in.
“We are taking measures with the respective shareholders in those states to make sure that things that are beneficial to them and are beneficial to Odu’a shareholders is what we do.”