While COVID-19 continues to disrupt the commercial real estate industry and its occupancy across the globe, the demand for office space has seen some tremendous improvements in the capital city of Accra, Ghana.
Commercial real estate has seen a significant rebound in the utility of physical work space since in-person offices are operationally vital to businesses long-term growth and future success. This necessitated the actions of Some commercial investors to convert serviced apartments to offices in the country.
The concept, designed by Meridian Group, one of the leading commercial real estate developers in the country, and intended to supplement and ease the work of visitors and short-term staff who arrive in Accra to provide services to multinational corporations, was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as some employees were forced to work from home and expatriates resorted to working and doing business through virtual platforms.
According to Radwan Dakmak, Chief Executive Officer for Meridian Group, this led to a sharp decline in the demand for service apartments attached to commercial buildings, adding that his outfit was forced to put the service apartments on hold and convert them into offices in 2020. He spoke to Marcopolis
“A lot of companies now have employees working from home, even in Ghana, and the number of expatriates who fly into the country has been drastically reduced so the demand for service apartments attached to a commercial building has also dropped. That is why we decided to convert the serviced apartment building into a commercial building.
“The other thing that pushed us to do it is that Atlantic Tower is fully occupied and because there is a need for office space, we thought we might as well add more commercial offices. The general market trend is still slow but there are some companies in Atlantic Tower that want to expand so that also prompted us to convert the serviced apartment building into a commercial building,” Radwan Dakmak said.
Mr. Dakmak believes the current trend for commercial real estate is uncertain due to the new COVID-19. Variant cautioning other commercial real estate providers to be circumspect in making real estate-related business decisions considering its cost-intense nature.
Source: Abdul-Razak Mohammed (Real Estate Times Africa)