Betting on the Beach

Artist's Rendering of La Beach Towers

Artist’s Rendering of La Beach Towers

“Location, location, location.”

This basic tenet of real estate emphasizes the importance of location as a driver of value.  Location determines foot traffic, visibility, rental rates, crime, vulnerability to natural disasters.

For most cities, the most desirable areas are near waterways, e.g. rivers, beaches, lakes; offer views, e.g. cliff-sides; near transportation hubs, e.g. subway stops; or the central business district (CBD).  Furthermore, areas prone to noise are less desirable, e.g. flight paths, immediately beside a railway, garbage dump.

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In Accra, the rules seem to be reversed.  The most expensive areas — Cantonments (flights take off above it), East Legon (flights are coming down), Airport Residential (parallel to the flight path) — are those that surround Kotoka International Airport and one of the least desirable areas is the beachfront areas called Labadi (or La).

La is a strange neighborhood because it houses two extremes — one the most expensive hotels in Accra, the Labadi Beach Hotel (doubles start at $450/night), is no more than 2km from a large working class neighborhood called Labadi. (Notice how the slum across the street is not present in the artist’s rendering above.)

(One friend explained that the sea has traditionally been seen as a dangerous and uncontrollable force.  Hurricanes can destroy crops and homes.)

Given this odd juxtaposition, I find it intriguing that Cypress Investments is building 198 condo units down the road from the Labadi Beach Hotel and across the street from Labadi, the neighborhood.  Most of the properties being developed are closer to the CBD or in the aforementioned, expensive neighborhoods.

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La Beach Towers

Developer: Cypress Investments

Type: Condominiums comprising of three, 17-story towers;  each tower consists of 60 3BR units each with an outhouse; two 4BR penthouses; and two 4BR sky villas.

Price: 3BR start at US$595,000 — payable in cash

According to their website, the first residents will begin moving in October 2013.  The total project is expected to be completed by 2015.

La Beach Towers (Facing West)

La Beach Towers (Facing West)

La Beach Towers (Facing East)

La Beach Towers (Facing East)

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