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Africa's Tallest Building Planned for TBS
allafrica.comA 65-storey mixed-use edifice touted to be the tallest building on the African continent is set to grace the beleaguered Lagos skyline.
Tagged the "World Trade Tower", the multi-level structure is one of the numerous facilities earmarked for the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos by new owners, Messrs. BHS International Limited, under a seemingly ambitious redevelopment scheme.
Africa's tallest building is the 36-year-old, 50-storey "Carlton Centre" in Johannesburg, South Africa, that stands at 223 metres tall. Though having four floors more than Carlton Centre, the "Ponte City Apartments" also in Johannesburg in South Africa was displaced to second place as it stands 173m.
A couple of years ago, Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi and former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, laid the foundation stone of the $250 million tower block in Dakar, Senegal, to be called "Gaddafi Tower".
Featuring 60 storeys and standing at about 250m, will be taller than Carlton Centre, which is located in central Johannesburg.
Entirely funded by a Libyan investment fund, Gaddafi Tower would, upon completion, stretch over 48,000 square metres with a five-star hotel, a conference centre, offices and shops.
But the proposed World Trade Tower, which will house a Lagos World Trade Centre, looks likely to be tops in the race to emerge the continent's loftiest structure, if its promoters' dream becomes a reality
While the first to fourth floors will accommodate the convention, exhibition and conference halls, floors five to 10 will be shopping centres while 11 to 35 will house a five-star hotel. The ground floor will be a double-voided large reception.
Furthermore, While 36th to 40th floors are for offices, 41 to 63 will be for condominium of luxury apartments and floors 64 and 65 will feature special restaurants and helipad with bars.
The project is coming as part of a wider range of initiatives involving the construction of other structures like a 29-floor, 1,000-slot shopping mall designed as a local calabash, a 15-floor customised cold cast bronze African mask at the entrance of the complex's five-star hotel, a 15-floor monumental Eyo masquerade and a 20-floor twin-tower high-rise complex comprising luxurious apartments.
Indeed, the TBS will metamorphose into "TBS City Centre," similar to world's attractive destinations such as Dubai, Paris and Cape Town.
BHS Managing Director, Mr. Martin Baines, told a gathering of media executives last week in Lagos that the firm was projecting a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week and 12-month influx of international visitors within five years after completion.
He said, "We remain consistent in our basic goal of turning the complex into a city centre providing top class hotel, business and leisure facilities and encapsulating the spirit and tradition of Lagos and Nigeria.
"The proposed city centre will have regular art activities with the atmosphere of Hollywood and little Las Vegas, with artists and movie stars working on a regular visit. With assorted restaurants, nightclubs, a huge shopping arena with about 2,000 shops, a modern world trade centre for the first time in Africa is here in Nigeria."
According to him, work would begin on the projects this year. He added that it will be executed in phases and bankrolled by local and international financial institutions.
Baines noted that the execution would entail a range of international experts working with local contractors. "The aim is to stimulate employment as well as acquisition of skill by the Lagos labour force."