Rawson Developers launch student accommodation development in Observatory

An artist’s impression of Rawson Developer’s upcoming sectional title scheme, “The Paragon”, in Observatory.

Having only a short while ago launched the R150 million “The Premier” apartment development which will be built on the Main Road, Rondebosch (opposite Westerford High School), Rawson Developers this have week announced that they will be going ahead with a larger follow-up development worth R270 million.

This will be known as “The Paragon” and will be sited at 423 Main Road, Observatory on the corner of Bowden Road. The project, says Rawson Developer’s Managing Director, Carl Nortje, introduces to the Cape Town residential property sector a unique new apartment concept which will make it ideally suited to students – and to investors. “The Paragon” will also introduce to Cape Town new standards in security.

As is customary for a Rawson Developers launch, “The Paragon” sales will start off with ‘early bird’ discounted prices, until a threshold is reached, after which the prices will revert to higher levels.

The new accommodation concept is a “double bedsitter”. There will be 124 of these and they will consist of two large bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and sharing a small kitchen. Each bedroom will also have room for a sofa and a desk.

Nortje says that the rental returns on these double bedsitter units will, when they are delivered towards the end of 2016, be superior to anything that Rawson Developers have been able to offer the investing public so far. The rental, it is predicted, will by handover stage be a market related R12,000 per month – making this project particularly suitable to investors. Rawson Developers, in fact, expect 70% of their buyers to be buying for renting out purposes – an estimate based on their previous experience in dealing with developments in the UCT catchment area. The rental yields will be further increased due to the fact that “The Paragon” is situated in the Urban Development Zone, which provides generous tax benefits on the income.

“Our confidence in the double bedsitter concept,” says Trevor Weston-Green, Rawson Developers’ Property Development Analyst, “stems from the fact that this particular design has proved successful on certain other student orientated developments that have been built on a smaller scale. In addition, we commissioned a study to analyse students’ requirements and desires. This research is, in fact, on-going with more students being interviewed each week.”

The new building will be on a 2,808 m2 site and will have nine levels and 188 apartments altogether. The ground floor level will be given over to parking for 235 vehicles in all. This means that it complies with the City Council’s requirement that each unit must have one parking bay and a further 0,25 parking bays to accommodate visitors’ cars.

The building will be in an L-shape and every unit will have a full balcony or a Juliet balcony, many of which will have panoramic views of Devils Peak.

Along with the 124 double bedsitter units, the building will also have studio flats with 27 m2 to 32 m2 of floor area, one bedroom 43 m2 units and two bedroom, two bathroom units.

The prices, as mentioned earlier, will reflect the fact that the project comes on stream in November/December 2016 and will initially be pitched from R800,000 to R1,950,000.

All the apartments, says Nortje, will be fitted out to a high standard and will, for example, have granite countertops in all the kitchens. Recognising that the majority of occupants will be students, Rawson Developers have included in the building a communal TV lounge, an open air rooftop braai and swimming pool area as well as a fully equipped gymnasium. The building will also have integrated wi-fi throughout.

The ever growing demand for good security, he says, will be met by encircling the site in electrified fencing and by monitoring all areas with CCTV. In addition, gate and other guards will be on duty round-the-clock – and access will be by means of biometric fingerprint recognition.

Observatory, says Nortje, has for many years had a reputation for being the ideal student precinct and is therefore particularly well suited to a development of this kind. “The Paragon” will be only 600 metres from the Observatory railway station, 220 metres from the UCT Medical School, across the road from the Groote Schuur Hospital and 2 km from the UCT campuses. In addition it will also be close to the Hartleyvale Soccer Stadium and its nearby astroturf hockey pitch, the River Club Golf Course and Driving Range and the South African Observatory. The evening entertainment scene in Observatory is also particularly well suited to students.