Although general residential vacancy rates in Nigerian urban centers are low currently, there seems to be a “ghost building” phenomenon in the highbrow areas- particularly Ikoyi and Victoria Island in Lagos. From conversations, people suggest that these deserted properties exist because of a disconnect between their costs and the value potential buyers or tenants believe is being offered.
The history of a city is important and is essentially what gives it character and a sense of community. One of the many ways to honour this history is to preserve its built architecture by restoring and renovating its old and deserted buildings. This revival has many advantages, but before I tell you about the numerous advantages of reviving ghost buildings, here is a short story of how we rejuvenated our 1st ghost building at Ikoyi called The Lagos Manor and brought it back to life.
Caption: Building condition before we acquired it
Our Managing Director, Olaposi Lawore and a few of our directors, were driving through Ikoyi on this beautiful morning, when they noticed this old building that was once owned by (name withheld). The house was old, but its beauty was undeniable. “The older the berry, the sweeter the juice,” they say. They pulled over to look and discovered that this house was built in the 90s and contained 15 apartments with a collection of one, two and three bedroom units. The interior was worn, and the house almost totally unoccupied with only a few remaining tenants, but something that was undeniable was the solid structure of the building.
At HEREL, we are committed to continually redefining living experiences through spaces, and this building was a perfect opportunity to do that; taking something and making it better than we found it.