“… some developers dismiss parking facilities from their development checklist and push the burden over to tenants.”
Lagosians have become accustomed to the inherent problems that come with inadequate parking facilities and with the lack of adequate public transport, is the future looking bleak?
by Dolapo Omidire & Olamide Udoma
While global trends speak of less cars to move to more sustainable forms of mobility, in Lagos the population face a car epidemic. In 2012, 1,048,808 was the number of registered vehicles on the Lagos roads and from the amount of traffic faced daily I am sure this has more than doubled. The number of registered vehicles plus the unregistered and uncaptured cars clog up the roads daily causing, congestions, pollution and lengthy car journeys, sometimes three times the travel journey. The more cars on the roads the more environmental damage, more traffic, more infrastructure degradation, bad health and ultimately unhappy people. Despite this, with long distances and no alternate transport modes,we find more cars on Lagos roads, which has led to a car parking nightmare. Lagos is a car dependent city.
Over the past decade, workers and commuters in Lagos have generally become accustomed to the inherent problems that come with inadequate parking facilities. Double parking and extortion-like car parking fees are just a few of many routine practices for car owners across the city. However with over 100,000sqm of prime purpose built office space expected in the next 12 months, things may begin to change.
Key regions like Victoria Island and Ikeja have it relatively tough as a lot of the current office stock is made up of residential to office conversions. Consequently, parking for large amounts of people was not thoroughly considered. Even with the growing supply of purpose built office space, especially in Victoria Island, some developers still dismiss parking facilities from their development checklist and push the burden over to tenants, leaving them to find empty lots to rent or force them to make other costly provisions for their staff.
However, with so much office space under construction in Victoria Island, are better parking days ahead? The table below shows what the parking facilities* are for some of properties in the development pipeline. One development provides up to 700 bays (parking spaces) with a building size of 27,000sqm creating a parking ratio of 1 parking space for every 39sqm. To provide some context, the average space per employee can range between 10sqm to 25sqm based on the industry.
|Building||Bays||Total Leasable Space||Bays Per 100 Square Meters||1 Bay for x Square Meters. Where x is|
|The Wings Towers||700||27,000||2||39|
|Civic Center Tower||180||8,096||2||45|
The above data shows that the new Wings Towers development offers the best parking facilities at 1 bay for every 39sqm, while Kanti’s facilities are considerably less at 1 for every 73sqm. The Wings Tower, pictured below is being developed by RMB Westport, Oando and recent investors Pivotal and should be completed over the course of Q2 2016.
Others including Heritage Place and Landmark Tower also provide good parking ratios at 1 parking pay for every 42sqm and 1 parking pay for every 45sqm respectively.
With the increasing competition, most prime office developers are working hard to ensure their properties have enough parking facilities, while others are going an extra mile by including mixed use facilities such as ground floor retail, restaurants and residential elements as well. Over the next 2 years as properties in the development pipeline are delivered and competition to secure tenants rises, such facilities, especially adequate parking will be deal breakers or sealers for prospective tenants.
Kingsway Road in Ikoyi alone currently has 5 office towers under construction while 2 are in planning stages. Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue in Victoria Island also has 4 prime office developments in the pipeline, including one which was recently completed. While the increasing supply is leading to the provision of better facilities like parking, according to Broll Nigeria’s Q2 2015 office report, it has led to a dip in rentals especially in Victoria Island where rents in Victoria Island have fallen 9% from $850/sqm/annum in Q4 2014 to $790/sqm/annum.
The Lagos State Government recommends a parking ratio of 1 Bay for every 60sqm for commercial developments in Victoria Island and Ikoyi. However, this is poor, as that could translate to as much as 1 parking space for every 6 people depending on the industry. Moreover, when compared with Johannesburg, we are still miles behind, as they require 1 Parking Bay for every 25sqm.
|Requirements||Parking Bays Per 100 Square Meters||1 Bay for x Square Meters. Where x is|
More developed cities like London generally prefer when their buildings have reduced parking facilities as it encourages the public to utilise public transportation infrastructure and informally speaking to ‘be green’. However, until our transport systems are just as robust, the provision of adequate parking requirements should still be mandatory.
Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) is playing it’s part in developing public transport networks – bus networks, train networks, water transport network and linking informal already existing public transport networks.However building mass infrastructure that leads to a sufficient and functioning public transport network can not be done in one day and as a government parastatal they must also deal with politics and bureaucracy, leading to lengthy time lines that are unable to keep up with the needs of the population.Therefore developers building new commercial or residential building could play a part.
LAMATA and the Lagos State government need to do more than at present, infrastructure is not enough, LAMATA needs to invest in behavioral change and education as well developing innovative solutions to encourage the move away from cars to alternative modes of transport.
With high construction and financing costs often making it difficult for developers to provide parking facilities that meet or are in excess of the stipulated requirements, developers should find alternatives to help balance the necessary parking spaces. Like the mobile phone has allowed Nigeria to leap frog telecommunication, why not transport? Developers should adhere to the parking regulations, but in addition build bicycle bays or if near the water, water transport stops to encourage users to utilise the infrastructure presented and the networks already in place.
To ensure synergy, support also needs to come from the government, for examples if a developer has developed a concept that links with the current or/and future transport plans for Lagos they receive tax breaks or their land documents are processed quicker. This will encourage more participation in moving towards a healthier, safer, and more human centred city that uses sustainable modes of transport.
*Please note this refers to parking facilities in the building and does not account for separate lots paid for by the building.
**Sapetro Tower is an existing development.
- Image 1: Timothy Oyeola
- Image 2: www.skyscrapercity.com
- Image 3: Heritage Place Ikoyi
- Image 4: www.nairaland.com
- Image 5: www.londoncyclist.co.uk
- Table 1: Estate Intel, Development Brochures
- Table 2: Consolidated Johannesburg Town Planning 2011, Castles, Lagos State Government
This article first appeared on estateintel.com on 11 May 2015.
Dolapo Omidire is a Lagos-based real estate research analyst and editor at estateintel.com. Follow him @DolapoOmidire