In most urban centres like Lagos, conversion of Residential structures for pressing commercial needs ‘seems to have become the norm. Residential properties always get built because of the sustained demand which guarantees good return. Once trends begin to suggest that there are higher returns to gain from commercial property they begin to convert existing buildings especially when it is difficult to get suitably located land and the cost of building is high. Given the above scenario it becomes relatively cheaper to convert existing residential structures to other uses, more so since existing residential areas have the added advantage of being in the city center with access to existing services such as electricity, water supply, telephone and transportation. Such locations also offer advantages of proximity to require labour and markets. The market forces when aggressively pursued as a major determinant in property development in the urban centres as a result of either bad planning or weak planning management tend to obviate the ‘public good” that is inherent in good planning. Worse still is a situation where such a force is allowed to invade the “Planned Residential Areas (PRA) which are both symbol and model for urban life and development. The paper tries to turn away from the theoretical background and assumptions, associated with market enforces in real estate to highlight the consequences associated with conversion. It is Pertinent to mention that policy decisions at any level are not to be seen as immutable for flexibility is the keynote of successful property management (Ratcliffe,1978).
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