Best Areas To Live On Lagos Mainland exposed!Honestly, finding a nice place to stay on the mainland in Lagos can sometimes feel like searching for a beach in the forest. This half of Africa’s largest city often makes house-hunting a truly frustrating experience with its impossibly congested neighbourhoods, poorly serviced infrastructure, security problems and all-round chaotic appearance.
However even here on the Mainland, there are some beautiful, well laid-out areas that on their day can compete with any middle to upper class neighbourhood around the world. Here are five of the best hidden gems on Lagos Mainland.
1. Ikeja GRA
Originally constructed as an exclusive colonial residential area in the heart of the administrative district of Ikeja, this area is now a high-end hybrid.
If you have the budget, Ikeja GRA offers you the very best of everything Lagos has to offer, with a mixture of spacious, colonial-style residences and high rise new-builds interspersed with hundreds of trees and assorted greenery. This area is popular with young, upwardly mobile professionals in service industries, expatriates looking for an alternative to the bright lights of the Island, and retirees who want to live close to nature and still be within a stone’s throw of world-class amenities.
Isaac John St is one of the most popular hangout and hospitality destinations in Lagos, with two four star hotels, several restaurants and bars, a popular comedy club and a retail mall. Just a street away from Isaac John is Lagos Country Club, which boasts facilities like an Olympic size swimming pool, tennis courts, squash courts and a gym. Reddington Hospital and Eko Hospital, two of Nigeria’s top rated private medical facilities are also present in and around Ikeja GRA, making it one of the best resourced areas in all of Lagos.
For a little something extra, the beautiful Maryland mall is a hop and a skip away from the GRA, offering several retail stores and a Genesis Deluxe Cinema playing the latest local and international feature releases.The Murtala Mohammed International Airport is also a 5-minute drive away.
All of these do not come cheap. The average annual rental fee for a 2-bedroom apartment here starts from around N1.2m, not including service charges and other fees.
2. Gbagada Phase 1
Occupying a desirable stretch of centrally located land along the Oshodi Expressway, Gbagada Phase 1 is a leafy suburb located about 3 minutes away from Third Mainland Bridge, which is the main artery connecting Island and Mainland Lagos.
This area is favoured by professionals who work on Lagos Island and want more residential space than is offered by notoriously tiny Island apartment sizes. That is not to say that accommodation here is substantially cheaper than on the Island – the average 2-bedroom residence will set you back about N1m, not including sundry charges.
Its central location makes it fantastic for commutes to anywhere in Lagos. The Island lies to its Northwest via Third Mainland Bridge, Ojodu/Berger and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway lie Southeast, and due East are Ilupeju, Ikorodu Road, Anthony, Oshodi and the Festac-Satellite Town corridor terminating all the way in Badagry.
With good traffic conditions, there is nowhere in the central Mainland or Island districts of Lagos that is more than a half hour drive from Gbagada Phase 1, which makes it one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in Lagos.
Added to its favourable location is the building style of the area, which employs minimalist, space-maximising architecture of the 1980s when most of its buildings were constructed. This gives the whole area a green, exclusive feel that most other areas in Lagos lack. In fact, many real estate agents will tell you that the problem with getting a house in Gbagada Phase 1 is that people rarely move out!
Amenities located nearby include Gbagada General Hospital, Maryland Mall, several banks and petrol stations, and the new Oshodi interchange featuring a shopping mall.
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3. Ogudu GRA
This is the most hidden of the hidden gems of Lagos Mainland. Located in a fairly nondescript cul-de-sac between Ojota and Ogudu Ori-Oke, just off the Oworonsoki Expressway, Ogudu GRA is one of the classiest and most exclusive neighbourhoods in the whole of Nigeria. It is mainly populated by retired servicemen of high rank, ex government officials and private businessmen.
You would be hard pressed to find single professionals who live here because most of the properties are family houses and luxury mansions built to cater to the peculiar needs of the older demographic that lives here.
Nevertheless if you have a budget of between N1.5m and N2m, you just might be able to get a 2-bedroom residence to rent. Ogudu GRA has the unique distinction of being the first neighbourhood in Nigeria to connect every house with superfast fibre-optic broadband Internet.
It also takes great pride on being a do-for-self community, with its excellent street lighting, immaculate roads and tight security all paid for by annual OGRA (Ogudu GRA Residents Association) dues.
Located nearby are the Area ‘H’ Police Headquarters, a hospital, several banks, bars and restaurants, and three major supermarkets.
Opebi is known primarily for being a busy commercial district, but you can find some prime residential properties around the Salvation and Awuse Estate areas. You should budget at least N1m for a 2-bedroom apartment at Awuse Estate, and possibly another N1m for the accompanying service charge – serene living in the heart of a business district is certainly not cheap!
The nighttime bright lights of Allen Avenue and Isaac John street are never more than 10 minutes away.
Located close to the border between Lagos and Ogun state, Magodo has a lot in common with Ogudu GRA. It also has a good layout and a fiercely independent spirit, with residents providing most of their services.
A typical 2-bedroom accommodation in Magodo starts from N700,000, and it offers the working professional a very short commute home from the Ikeja/Alausa CBD. It also means that the occasional jaunt to Ikeja City Mall is just a 5 minute drive.
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