Bloom Tower: a bold statement worth over N20 billion – Blessing Obomovo

by Obah Sylva

Standout Property Limited has entrenched itself deeply into the Nigerian Real Estate market. With the launch of its 21-floor Bloom Towers in Victoria Inland, they are making a deeper reach in the industry.

In an interview with our Weekend Editor, Obah Sylva, the CEO/MD, Blessing Obomovo, gave insights on the journey, successes and challenges of the emerging giant – Standout Property.

Q: Who is Blessing Obomovo and what are some of the factors that shaped you to become the man that you are today?

A: Blessing Obomovo is a very quiet and humane personality. I am from Otor-Owhe paternally and Ozoro maternally, both from Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State. I live in Lagos, studied Building Technology, and proceeded for my Master’s in Housing Development and Management at the University of Ibadan. I am married and blessed with kids.

The truth is that we didn’t get here by accident, we got here through hard work, perseverance, and complete faith in God because we believe that God can do all things. I am a construction expert and we share a vision and have worked hard to achieve it. But we still believe that we are at the genesis compared to the vision that we have.

Q: A few days ago, you launched the Bloom Towers in Victoria Island, Lagos. Can you give us the details of the project?

A: Bloom Tower is one very audacious project that we are embarking on. It is audacious because of the size and because of the cost value of the area. Housing a twin tower of 19 and 21 floors is not a joke; you know what that means. It is a project that is worth over 20 Billion Naira.

It is a huge one and it is a bold statement that we want to make. We do not want to limit ourselves, that is why when we started MIJL Residence and Villa it was as if it is not possible, but today you can see MIJL is here, we are wired to do things unusually and we are putting everything in place to achieve our plans. In Bloom Towers, we have offices and luxury shops, we also have residential apartments.

We have the basement for parking, the ground and first floor for both luxury offices and shops, while on the second floor we have Apartments for flats and Maisonette. Because of the nature of our luxury shops, we are not selling less than 20 square meters and a square meter is going for N2 million for the office spaces. For the apartment, we have the one-bedroom flat for N80 million and the one-bedroom Maisonette for N90 million. The two-bedroom flat is N120 million while the two-bedroom Maisonette is N130 million. The three-bedroom apartment is N150 million and the Maisonette with BQ is N180 million and a unit of three-bedroom penthouse for N205 million

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Apart from the office and shops, in all the residential apartments, you pay a minimum of 30 percent deposit and spread your payment up to 30 months.  For the luxury shops and office space, you pay a minimum of 50 percent and spread the balance within 30 months. Bloom Towers is providing high-grade finishing and top-notch kind of development with a gym, lounge, and laundry in the heart of the city of Lagos.

Q: Standout Property has been around for some time now. Can you tell us about when it was birthed and the journey so far?

A: Standout Property was registered in 2010, our mind was built on our goals obviously, and we started like every other small building contractor, like I said I am a Builder. Far back in 2009, we said enough of the small contracts, then we were actually working with developers.

That was how we got into our own development and that was how MIJL came to be. MIJL is a 155 units housing estate, people are already staying in MIJL. We will be done with MIJL in the next two months. From MIJL to Bloom Haven. Bloom Haven is almost 40% now, so much work is currently going on there, it’s a two years project.

Then the Warri project, a lot of materials are already coming in, we currently have one block of three bedrooms ready, then 2 units of two-bedroom have already taken off; we are done with the foundation. We also have the stand-alone 4-bedroom duplex and we are already at the woodwork for the slab. In fact, so much is happening here.

We also have the Cynergy Gardens in Lagos which was launched sometime in February, in a month or two we will start construction work there too. Then the big one, Bloom Towers. We are on the verge of concluding with the contractor we want to use. Hopefully in the next few weeks, we will be done and by August we will commence construction. It is a 4 years project but we want to be done before 4 years.

Q: We noticed that most of your projects and investment are concentrated in Lagos, do you have any plan of expanding to other regions of the country?

A: Obviously Abuja and Port Harcourt are in the pipeline. Some investors are also talking to us in yenagoa. We have the intention of expanding. Standout Property is a growing company and whatever success we have achieved so far is just the starting point. We want to concentrate and consolidate on them. We want to be the leading company when it comes to housing.

Q: What are some of your biggest challenges so far running Standard Property and how have you managed them?

A: Well for anybody who is in an industry like this, funding will always be one major issue, but like I said God has been faithful. MIJL is over N4 billion currently and we didn’t borrow one kobo from the bank, we were able to sort for funding through the market, and because we actually do off-plan investment and that is why we do installment payment, which has worked for us so far.

But funding is a major challenge, in fact, it’s a Nigerian thing. We hope to do bigger projects than MIJL and we know that as we go on investors will come. We have a bit of investors already but we know that as we continue to push ourselves in the market more investors will come in.

However, I must admit that funding is an issue, just imagine taking a loan that you pay 20 to 30% interest. Then you should ask yourself how much am I making? At the end of the day, if you factor in all these costs you won’t be selling at the prices we give our offers.

This is one reason why our prices are lower when you compare with the prevailing market, not because we lower our quality but because we have decided to provide better services and products by using these processes.

Q: So far what will you consider to be your greatest achievement?

A: Delivering MIJL is our biggest one. When we went into that project, there were doubting Thomases everywhere. We used to hear things like it is not possible, you can’t deliver that project and all of that, but as of today, the present cost of that project is over N4 billion, and not 1 kobo was borrowed from the bank.

This is our greatest achievement and that is why we can boldly talk about Standout Property because we were able to deliver MIJL.

Q: What is your vision for Standout Property in the next 10 years?

A:  MIJL is 155 housing units. Bloom Haven is 63unit housing, Warri is about 210 though we are still expanding, Cynergy is 190, and Bloom Towers is about 243 units. So, in a few years, if you add all of these with more that are still coming, we will be well above one thousand.

So in the next 10 years, we must have done over 10 estates in Lagos, we must have finished Warri and we must have done something in Asaba and Ughelli and a minimum of five estates in Delta.

Also, we must have established ourselves in the Abuja and Port Harcourt Markets and in a majority of our state capitals. For us, it’s about providing affordable luxury. So, in the worst-case scenario, we must have established ourselves in a minimum of 50% of our State capitals in the next 10 years.

Q: As an expert in the real estate business in Nigeria, what is the future of the industry in the country?

A:  We have not scratched the surface. If we are talking about having over 70 million housing deficit with an expanding population and you know we cannot do more than 3 or 4 million per year, so there is still a huge gap. We have not started, most of our people are still living in the slum and in shantytowns. The real estate business is a goldmine for this country as far as job creation is concerned.

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