The transformation and renewal of a troubled edifice that was once a national pride by UACN Property Development Company (UPDC) Plc has not only created a destination for residence, tourism and investment, but also developed a node that provides employment opportunities for thousands of people and reshapes the socio-economic landscape of the community.
The new destination has risen from the ashes of Durbar Hotel located in Festac Town in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, and originally constructed in 1976 by the federal government to serve as legislative quarters during the Second Republic, spanning 1979 to 1983.
The hotel, which was in full operations until early 1982, was however closed down following the relocation of the federal capital to Abuja and, consequently, the entire development became derelict and unusable for almost 20 years before UPDC purchased it.
Through sheer determination, resilience and commitment to deliver on its set objectives, the massive landscape that harboured Dubar Hotel has been changed to a business empire comprising a 4-star hotel, retail mall and a residential facility known as Golden Tulip, Festival Mall and The Residences @ Festac respectively.
“Festac ’77 Hotels (Durbar Hotels) was acquired by the UACN Property Development Company Plc in 2002 under the Federal Government’s privatization programme executed by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE)”, Hakeem Oguniran, UPDC’s managing director, told BusinessDay.
Oguniran explained that “our decision to acquire the property was motivated by the desire to take a troubled edifice that was once a national pride and create out of it a tourist destination that will reshape the entire landscape of Amuwo Odofin and Lagos state in general”.
He revealed that “UACN as an organization has always prided itself on its contributions to different sectors of the national economy and this Node is a testimony of our avowed commitment to empowering the Nigerian people in general and Lagosians in particular”.
The Node was created from the company’s desire to have a truly-mixed real estate development that would offer comfortable and best-in-class residential, commercial and retail accommodation and it is the first of its kind in Lagos.
The entire development sits on 8.7 hectares of land and comprises Block A of 471-room hotel in three wings. There are 357 rooms operational as Golden Tulip Hotel which also has an accompaniment of commercial and recreational facilities.
Standing on eight floors beside the hotel is Block B which has been redeveloped into 196-unit luxury apartments comprising 1 and 2 bedrooms and renamed The Residences. Sitting directly opposite the hotel and The Residences, as though providing the baseline of a triangle, is the Festival Mall and Entertainment Centre with one main anchor tenant (Shoprite), a cinema (Silverbird) and a mix of other retailers.
“The Residences @ Festac is an investment destination; the demography of Festac Town is that of young families who have high spending power; I make bold to say that as an investor, you are sure to get very good rental yield from this project”, Titilayo Gbadamosi, UPDC’s Marketing and Sales Manager, assures prospective buyers who would be buying for investment purposes.
Continuing, the marketing manager says, “this is a good place for long stay visitors to Nigeria. For instance, a company that has expatriate workers can rent this place for them instead of spending much money on hotel rooms”, noting that with the volume of investment on the premises, the value of the apartments would appreciate in good time.