“The plan is to have us build a hotel and have Hilton to manage it, and this stems from the long relationship we’ve had with Hilton in Abuja,” Transcorp Hotel CEO Valentine Ozigbo told CNBC Africa.
“For 26 years, Hilton has been the operator and over the time we’ve grown loyalty for the Hilton group, such that it is actually the number one brand as far as the hotel business is concerned. We’ve often been asked ‘when are you coming to Lagos?’ so it’s overdue.”
The proposed development will be the Hilton group’s second hotel in Nigeria by Transcorp, following the Transcorp Hilton hotel Abuja.
While only the management agreement has been signed, Ozigbo expects that design and operation plans will be finalised to begin construction as soon as possible.
“Hopefully by December all of the designs are over, secured approvals, begin construction. We look at two and a half years to come fully operational in Lagos,” Ozigbo added.
Ikoyi is home to prime real estate property in Lagos, and Transcrop will have a number of competitors in the same area.
“How many hotels do we have in Ikoyi? The penetration is still low. Most of the other hotels are in Victoria Island. Compare Ikoyi with Sandton [in Johannesburg] or anywhere else. You find the distance from one hotel to another – even if I add another 1000-room hotel here – you will certainly need some more,” said Ozigbo.
“We’ve identified key locations and we go through this very diligently in terms of the economics, the potential, the growth that we see, the demographics. That is what is informing the locations that we want to go, from one city to another. We’ve identified Lagos as an important home for our business and Ikoyi is only one of such locations.”