May 11, 2015

Analysis of Parking Provision in Lagos’ Office Buildings

Dolapo Omidire

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 nodes like Victoria Island and Ikeja have it relatively tough; this is because 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, it is found that some developers dismiss parking facilities from their development checklist and pushed the burden over to tenants. Leaving them to find empty lots to rent or forcing 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
Sapetro Tower** 190 7,523 2 40
Heritage Place 370 15,600 2 42
Civic Center Tower 180 8,096 2 45
Landmark Tower 150 6,750 2 45
Kanti Tower 75 5,517 1 73
Source: estate intel, Development Brochures

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. According to Castles NG, Lagos’ parking requirement for commercial developments in Victoria Island is 1 Bay for every 90sqm. This is poor, as that would translate to 1 parking space for 4 people. 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
Lagos 1 90
Johannesburg 4 25
Source: Consolidated Johannesburg Town Planning 2011, Castles, Lagos State Government

More developed cities like London generally prefer when their buildings have reduced parking facilities as it encourages the public to utilise robust public transportation systems 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.

Most developers are working hard to ensure their properties have enough parking facilities with just a few anomalies. Over the next 2 years as properties in the development pipeline are delivered and competition to get tenants is fierce, facilities like adequate parking will be deal breakers or sealers for prospective tenants, so its important that developers get it right.

*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.

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