On all of the five Rawson Developers’ developments launched in the last four years in the central Cape Peninsula suburb of Rondebosch, a complete sell-out was achieved before the developments were complete – and it is now clear, says Carl Nortje, Managing Director of Rawson Developers, that this will happen again at “The Beaumont” (in Claremont), “The Acorns” (in Stellenbosch) and “Three Fountains” (in Kenilworth).
“The Beaumont”, Nortje says, consists of two blocks on the edge of the Claremont CBD, right next to the St Saviour’s Church grounds and the site is bounded by Grove and Brooke Streets. The development is made up of a five storey block on Grove Street and a 12 storey block fronting onto Brooke Street. It will have 179 apartments in all, 77% of which have now been sold.
The most expensive of these apartments are the five penthouses with floor areas of 88 m2 to 249 m2. These are on the top floor of the 12 storey Brooke Street building and have now all been sold at prices from R2,5 million to R4,8 million. The standard units, said Nortje, are bachelor, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments, varying in size from 35 m2 to 92 m2. These are now selling in a price range of R1 million to R2,7 million, the average price here still being below R2 million.
“The really big demand,” said Nortje, “has been for the smaller bachelor and one bedroom units, which are now selling from R1 million to R1,2 million”
Nortje emphasised, as Rawson Developers’ spokespeople have always done, that the finishes and features will be superior to those usually offered in this price range. This is always a Rawson Developers’ goal and achieving it has given them a good name. The communal areas will be tiled in 600 mm x 600 mm ceramic tiles, the kitchens will have granite countertops, one bathroom floor in each unit will have under tile heating, the windows on the northern side will have heat resistant glass and will be framed in pale grey aluminium. The sanitary ware has been upgraded to meet “very demanding standards” and all hot water will be supplied through heat pumps and not through geysers, an innovation that, said Nortje, is in keeping with the company’s declared policy of “going green as far as we can without overspending” and will save occupants 50% each month on their hot water bills.
Additional attractions of the development, said Nortje, are the stunning views of Devils Peak and the Constantiaberg range (apartments will have balconies from which these can be enjoyed), a very sophisticated foyer with a concierge on duty at all times, day and night, and both a restaurant and a bistro on the ground floor of the block facing Brooke Street.
Subject to weather conditions being “reasonable” over the next year, handover of the development will take place in November/December 2014, with the remainder of the units being transferred in the first months of 2015. Right now, the Rawson Developers construction team have just topped out on the five storey block and on the first floor of the 12 storey building.
“The fact that our construction team has kept on schedule thus far reflects very well on their determination and ability,” said Nortje, “because they were faced with a major challenge in constructing the double level basement which will hold 225 vehicles in all. This basement had to be taken down some seven metres below the surface level and have lateral piling. Claremont is in one of the wettest subterranean precincts in the entire Cape Peninsula — it does not offer the best conditions for basement work and for almost the entire basement construction period, we were pumping intensively round-the-clock.”
Nortje pointed out that as slight price rises take place throughout Rawson Developers’ contract periods, the “early bird” buyers at “The Beaumont” will have seen the resale values of their units already increase by 15% and on completion, he predicts, many of these and other buyers will find that their units are 30% more valuable than when they purchased them.
Nortje then painted a similarly bullish picture of progress on the Rawson Developers’ 42 unit, three storey apartment development “The Acorns” which recently topped out in Dennesig Street, Stellenbosch, “just a hop, skip and a jump away” from the university campus.
“The Acorns” will consist entirely of one bedroom units, 45 m2 in size and all once again will have balconies as well as access to covered braai areas on one side of all three floors.”
The units here have been selling from R950,000 to R1,095,000 and in early December there were only 18 left still to be signed for.
“Here, too, our sales are ahead of schedule and we are confident that once again, on handover in April, they will have appreciated in value by some 10%.”
On Rawson Developers’ latest and recently launched central Cape Peninsula suburb project, “Three Fountains”, it is still too early to say how quickly sales will be completed. Already 50 units were sold in the first four weeks and, said Nortje, this has “astounded” him.
“It is way ahead of our expectations and very gratifying,” he said. “There will be 119 units in a long five storey block (with a parking basement) and we have never before had such a quick initial uptake and what is especially surprising is that a very high percentage of the buyers intend to live in the apartments themselves.”
Apart from such typical draw cards as position and closeness to good facilities, to UCT and the suburban railway line, said Nortje, perhaps the big draw card on this project is the price range, which is from R755,000 for a one bedroom unit to R1,490,000 for a two bedroom unit. Also surprising, he said, is that on this project, unlike many of its predecessors, the smaller units have not sold nearly as fast as the larger units, the two bedroom apartments being the most popular.
Summing up, therefore, Nortje said that in a day and age when so many asset classes are proving volatile, it pleases him that every one of Rawson Developers’ latest projects have proved to be very sound investments and it appears that this trend will now continue.