The city of Warri long associated with oil and gas businesses is fast changing that toga into a sprawling real estate destination with the coming of a stream of a 120 hectare-mixed development poised to accommodate over 8,000 residents.
The city once famous forthe notorious activities of militants and kidnappers which forced most of theoil and gas establishments and their workers out of the town, is fast assumingreal estate status of cities like Lagos, PortHarCourt and the Federal CapitalTerritory FCT, Abuja, with the construction of the ongoing multi-billion Nairahousing project in the riverine city.
Known as ‘The Plantation City’, the sprawling city sitting 120 hectares of land, located on Otokutu DSC Expressway, Warri, which is presently 40 percent completed, will comprise 1,700 housing units of various housing types with eight thousand residents expected to live in the city when completed in the next five years.
A mixed development project comprising site and serviced scheme, build and sell housing units of various types, apartments for rent, hotel, school, mall, community park, and artificial lake being proposed for a fishing festival, which construction commenced in 2019, is being developed and promoted by Delta Mega-Trend Nigeria Limited.
The tour of the expansive city by property journalists at the weekend showed that the city was full of life with about 80 percent of the completed housing types occupied, and residents were seen going out and coming in, while construction activities were going on at various sites.
It was also discovered that buildings at the site and service area of the city where freestyles are allowed in the construction of buildings never went outside the scope of the concept and specification agreed with the developers and promoters of the city for uniformity in terms of the number of floors allowed for storey buildings.
It was also discovered that to ensure standard in the construction of structures within the estate, Delta Mega-Trend Nigeria Limited has a block making site within the city which makes blocks and other construction materials that the company uses in its construction activities on-site and are recommended for use by everybody constructing in the estate.
Though project owners can bring in materials from outside, such materials must meet the required standard by the developers. It was equally discovered that the city has its own independent power project IPP, which supplies electricity to residents and business concerns within the city 24/7, which is another unique feature of the city.
Speaking on the project, Mr. Sam Ogrih, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Delta Mega-Trend Nigeria Limited, said “The dream city takes its inspiration from nature by providing excellent indoor and outdoor living experience for those who truly desire it.
“The Plantation City as it is fondly called is strategically located on a large expanse of land, a natural and serene environment where children are free to play in a safe, secured enclosed community, ride their bicycles, where parents and residents stroll around on extremely beautiful and peaceful, fully landscaped green, clean and brightly lit area”
Explaining that the idea behind the project is to deliver a housing estate that will make people feel at home, Ogrih who attended Harvard School of Design, specialising in smart city and intelligence, noted that to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the city, his company has invested in IPP, pointing out that when the city relied on electricity from the national grid, the estate could experience blackout for three days, four days.
According to him, butwith IPP, electricity supply in the city is 24/7, which has eliminated the useof generating sets in the highbrow community.
On facilities provided in the estate, he said they include a good digital security system, well-paved road network, drainage system, communication network, perimeter fencing with secured gates.
Others are fully landscaped environments, recreational community parks, schools, worship centres, shopping malls, Police Post, and clinic.
Disclosing that price in the estate is driven by infrastructure and facilities in it, Delta Mega-Trend boss who stated that the project is 40 percent completed and will be fully completed in five years’ time, said the project is creating jobs for 650 people on site on daily basis, pointing out that without the project, unemployment in Warri would have been unprecedented.
On funding of the project, Ogrih said the project is being funded through mixed funding such as loans, sale of plots, and housing units, arguing, however, that one does not really need much money to start real estate business.
He said, “What you really need is the land and integrity. Once the land is there, with your integrity, you can start real estate business”. Advising that any government that wants to do well should focus on real estate. The CEO of Delta Mega-Trend Nigeria Limited who revealed that he faced challenges such as getting subscribers to believe in the project, the problem of insecurity in Warri and its environs, and raising funds for the project at the commencement of the estate, said his company has commenced another housing project known as Southbrook Gardens in Warri while another one is being proposed for Asaba, Delta state capital