Have you noticed that many celebrities are fast relocating from the Mainland to the Island to live? Have you also realised that many of them now flaunt Lekki and Ajah addresses as home address?
We can tell you that for free. That is the new fad. Just mention the names of some of the A-Class Actors/Actresses, singers like PSquare, Davido, Wizkid, Funke Akindele, Eniola, Alli Baba, Tuface, AY, Kate Henshaw, Don Jazzy, Liz Anjorin, Bukky Wright, Timaya, Toke Makinwa, Omoni Oboli, Tiwa Savage, Monalisa Chinda, Rita Dominic and Mercy Johnson to mention a few so also Bankers, Corporate executives, top flight businessmen and you will be told they have all moved to Lekki. And with that has come massive real estate development in that axis. With that has also come mega churches, malls, plazas, shops, eateries, event centres.
And because of the attraction Lekki-Epe axis holds, more and more estates are springing up to accommodate the sudden upsurge in the number of people who are moving to Lekki/Epe axis in droves. Many are now investing in land and properties in that axis. Over the last 10 years or so, over 30 estates have come up to accommodate the rising demand for celebs who want to live in gated-estates in that axis.
One of the latest estates is Coastline Estate, which is 1 minute drive from Amen Estate by Lekki Free Trade Zone. Coastline Estate is a unique fantastic estate. It is a 500sqm with global CofO. It is reckoned that the development rate will be faster than that of Lekki because of massive projects like Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lekki Deep Seaport, the Dangote Refinery, Lagos Smart City and a whole lot.
In a recent interview, Nonso, a real estate expert who is the MD/CEO of Assist-2-Sell, a leading real estate company, revealed the attraction, the Lekki axis has for celebrities.
She explained that one of the areas in Lagos that has grown phenomenally is the Lekki axis. What has happened along the Lekki-Epe axis is amazing, so much is happening there. What has helped development in those areas are new infrastructure and new development like building a 2nd Airport along the Lekki axis. An airport is a big puller. Once people heard them mention 2nd Lekki Airport it was enough. Then came the Lekki Free Trade Zone which is the major attraction. By saying they are going to dredge the Lekki Free Trade Zone and they are going to have a deep seaport means that vessesls carrying cargo will berth, it became a pillar of attraction.
One of the reasons Lekki is attractive to many people is because Lekki is a major gateway into Lagos. If you take Lekki you will get into Epe. If you take Epe you will get into Ijebu-Ode, if you make a right you will go to Benin and the East. It is also a thoroughfare into parts of the country. I don’t think I have travelled to the East in the past 7 years through Sagamu any more. Once I come out of my estate, I make a left, I face Epe, then to Ijebu-Ode, then to the East.
That also is a contribution, factor. That is why a lot of the bus terminals are springing up in that route especially those going to the East and the North. Because once those buses get to Ore, they make a left and they start heading to Ilorin, before heading to the North. Access is a major reason why people are moving to Lekki. Access is one. Lekki is easily accessible. It has one major road. It has a major inflow and exit. If you get to the junction of Epe, if you turn right you will start going to Ijebu-Ode, if you make a left you will start going to Ikorodu. It has good connectivity.
What many people fail to realise is that the Ibeju-Lekki axis has fresh new land that is ready to go. By fresh land, I mean you don’t have to demolish, you take it and you start doing your own thing. Once you buy it, free of encumbrance, pay the community or the government, as the case may be. Lekki/Epe axis has new land, virgin land, not contaminated.
Lekki is also about the only part of Lagos besides Badagry, Ikorodu where you can find huge expanse of land. If you want to build a stadium, you will get fresh land in Lekki, very limited demolition.
Along the Lekki axis in 2010, 2 years after we started real estate, we had done a survey, which made us count the number of the estates on the road to Epe from Mobil house to the Murtala Mohammed Botanical Garden and we counted 150. The number has tripled 7 years after.
One of the reasons why people are moving to Lekki and why the prices of Real Estate is going up in this axis is because Lekki boasts of new developments, new infrastructures and amenities. In Lekki now, because land is more available now and bigger, you are seeing bigger houses, you are seeing things like all suites being en-suite, you are seeing ample parking space, plots are measuring 1,200 square metres, 1,500 square metres, 900 square metres, which is not easily obtainable in other parts of Lagos that are fully populated.
Also, Lekki and the Island have better planning, in terms of infrastructure. That is why all the fastfoods, eateries and businesses are moving to Lekki. They all want to set up in the new town. It is in Lekki homes you find fully fitted kitchens, apartments now coming with boy squatters, because there is fresh land, there is more land and more space to do more. There is nothing like a new house. You hear new ideas like laundry room, there is space to play with. Homes are now coming with Gyms, Chafuls, Swinmming Pools more amenities. Before, if you want to swim you will go to one sports club but people swim in their homes now.
Also, along this axis, a major, major reason they are moving is security because most of the estates that are springing up along the Lekki corridor are residential gated estates. What does it mean? What it means is that the first thing to achieve for a gated estate is perimeter fencing. That it is fenced in. That it is not completely open and porons. That it is a gated estate means. Access into it is limited and controlled. They all have gates manned by security. You can then put Visitors Identification and Guests Identification protocols. So when you are coming you need to call to get the approval of the house you are going to. The people in the houses will call to confirm that you be let in that they are expecting you. So people can’t just barge in and press your bell. You don’t just barge into peoples home at Lekki. You have to call to confirm if they will let you in.
That is one of the reasons. And the fact that most infrastructures there are new, things are better. So its better infrastructure, new house, better amenities higher level of security and access to never and better things, more enhanced lifestyle. It is very important. If you go to some of these estates you will find that they have club houses.
They have designated play areas, small corner shops that serve the residents. People can relax, walk and jog at night without the fear of being attacked, or mogged. There is nothing like a brand new house, in a brand new area. There is a feeling that comes over you, when you have a brand new house. You don’t have to deal with the artisans, labourer, carpenter, electrician.
There is also the issue of people wanting to live in better neighbourhood and bring their children up in safer neighbourhoods. So, different things are propelling people to move to Lekki. People move to Lekki because of the abundance of land. That is why developers are developing rapidly. Also, people ascribe to Lekki an upper class status. There is this feeling that if you’ve moved to Lekki, it means you’ve moved up town. So, its also a status thing. Thats why people proudly tell you we are no longer on the mainland, we now live in Lekki, Lekki is viewed as living in upper class.
Some people’s earning power have also increased. And when peoples earning power increases and people want to upgrade, they show it in wanting to relocate. People also relocate to be close to the corporate center which is Lagos Island, VI, and Ikoyi. Most offices are here. So, when people look at the traffic, they have to wade through to get to VI, Lekki from say Festac or Isheri, will make them relocate to Lekki-Epe axis. Someone once told me that the reason he had to relocate to Lekki is because Dawn and Dusk never meet me at home except it is weekend. Before it is dawn, I have left home, by the time I am getting home it is Night. Many struggle to see their kids awake. So the traffic congestion is one of the things that propel people to move to Lekki.
There are good schools on the Lekki axis now. There are good hospitals and markets. There are good amenities, like new Shopping Mall. Corona is on the Lekki axis. Green spring is on the Lekki axis. A lot of educational institutions have opened 2nd campuses. Some good hotels have also opened. A lot of premium businesses are now in Lekki like Coscharis Auto Centre is now in Awoyaya.