Mike Babatunde is a serial entrepreneur and real estate executive who is the founder and CEO of Kinsleaf Limited, a global investment company located across South-Western Nigeria, with a mission to empower people via strategic opportunities in real estate and agriculture. They recently announced a one-of-a-kind resort in Ibadan, Nigeria and told ROTIMI IGE, in a recent interaction, their motives behind it and how it will become one of the most environment-friendly leisure-livable estates in Africa.
You recently announced a resort like none other in Nigeria, to be sited along Moniya-Iseyin road in Ibadan. What is this project about and why Ibadan?
I would first answer the question, “Why Ibadan”?. Ibadan has experienced a massive upward economic and infrastructural development over the past few years, which has attracted a vast range of opportunities and possibilities.
The growth has become so evident that just a few months ago, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) ranked the city of Ibadan as the second fastest-growing city in Africa, just behind Accra and ahead of the city of Lagos, which came in third.
As of today, Ibadan is one of the best cities in Nigeria to do business in, not just because of the favourable business atmosphere but also because the economic activities in the city are expanding at an exponential phase. The city is indeed the future!
This project, the Millennial City Project, is our attempt as a company to add to the great things already unfolding in the city. The project is going to be one of the most advanced resort-style residential estates in Africa. It mixes residential living with lifestyle and adventure. It is a city emerging inside Ibadan, along the Moniya-
There have been all sorts of raves about this particular location where the resort is being constructed, I mean the Moniya-
Iseyin axis of Ibadan, can you tell us what this rave is all about?
The Moniya-Iseyin axis is where we have the Lagos-Ibadan train terminal, the most-talked-about Federal Inland Dry Port, the humongous Ilu Titun Business District, and then Millennial Park and Gardens.
That area is hosting one of the biggest economic booms to happen in West Africa since the year 2000. Just like the Lekki-Epe corridor, it is a one-stop shop for high-yield real estate investments. Imagine the kind of drastic appreciations in property value that happened along the Lekki-Epe corridor, repeating itself right before your eyes, won’t you want to get in at the very beginning of it?
This is the simple reason everyone is crazy about that axis, and enthusiastically investing there. It represents to most people what Lekki represented in the early 2000s; a potential real estate goldmine.
Are there any government or private partnerships?
We started the project on our own, with our funds, but since we started we have received numerous proposals for partnership both from private sector players and from individual bodies in the public sector. Hence, we encourage anyone who wants to partner with us to reach out to us at our company headquarters, via our official email: email@example.com, or via any of our telephone lines
Based on your experience in the real estate space, what is your prediction about the rise in value of real estate in millennial park over the next few years?
Millennial Park and Gardens stands as a prominent eco-resort estate, distinguished by its eco-friendly approach and world-class amenities. The unique combination of preservation, luxury, and sustainable living sets this project apart in the real estate market.
The resort (Millennial Park) serves as a catalyst, having a big impact on the increase in Millennial Gardens’ land value. The resort’s attraction draws in a wide variety of people as residents and visitors, driving up demand for real estate in the vicinity.
As a result of the increased demand, new businesses and services are created to meet the requirements of residents and tourists, which boosts economic activity. The development of commercial hubs and other land uses raises the area’s general appeal and further drives property values.
Infrastructure like good road networks, utilities, and transportation links not only improves accessibility but also contributes to the appreciation of property values.
Looking ahead, the trajectory of Millennial Gardens land value is undeniably promising. A plot of land in Millennial Park and Gardens is currently selling for N1.5m and it is projected to rise to N25m within the next five years.
It’s no doubt that this project strategic positioning, coupled with the allure of the resort, is poised to make it a hotspot for real estate investment, promising substantial value appreciation in the near future.
Touted to be the most environmentally friendly hub in Nigeria, what measures are you putting in place to achieve this project?
Positioned as Nigeria’s foremost environmentally friendly hub, Millennial Park and Gardens is committed to creating a haven that not only offers tranquility but also champions sustainable practices.
Our project takes pride in its precise design that integrates seamlessly with the surrounding environment. Every detail is carefully crafted to have the least possible negative ecological impact, from the design of structures to the selection of building materials. We promote the use of environmentally-friendly, low-carbon-footprint building products to ensure that the building process itself supports our eco-aware mindset.
We place a high emphasis on energy conservation while also appreciate the need of protecting the surrounding flora and animals. The estate’s buildings will have cutting-edge designs that maximise natural lighting, eliminate the need for artificial heating and cooling, and reduce overall energy usage. The project includes vast green spaces that support biodiversity.
Our dedication to being an environmentally friendly hub extends beyond the project’s completion. We have long-term plans in place to uphold and continuously improve our environmentally friendly features, ensuring a beneficial effect that endures.
Your team had been involved in real estate before now. What prompted this idea of a resort at this time?
Yes, Kinsleaf Group has developed other estates before now, however this project came out of a lingering concern; the need to be totally different from the hundreds of other real estate projects in and around the city of Ibadan. This called for an innovative approach like never before,
We have created our own ‘unbloodied blue ocean’ with the resort elements of Millennial Park and Gardens, so much that though there are lots of external triggers of development already, we’d be trapping a massive traffic in millions to the avenue yearly, and we can already establish the significance of this for the overall value appreciation of land and properties in and around the avenue.
How can government policies encourage the ease of doing business in your industry?
I believe the Oyo state government has been encouraging real estate development in the state, particularly with the recent innovations that have been put in place to make our processes easier. A big thumbs up.
If there is one thing I think can be done better right now, I feel Nigeria is due for a more friendly and people centered Land Use Act.