The Pearls of Umhlanga
Umhlanga, KwaZulu Natal’s prime coastal business and travel hotspot, will soon see the completion of ‘Pearl Sky’ – the final phase of the luxury ‘Pearls of Umhlanga’ development that has been 11 years in the making.
Anand Joseph, Regional Executive of Nedbank Property Finance, KwaZulu Natal, says the bank has approved funding of R1.3 billion to Pearls of Umhlanga (Pty) Ltd to construct the final phase completing the iconic Pearls of Umhlanga upmarket residential development.
“From a property financier’s perspective and having been involved in this project since its conception, we are pleased to have played a role by helping our clients realise this prime opportunity and in delivering the future,” says Joseph.
Set to be a prime space for the province’s high-end market, and a welcome addition to the city’s travel and tourism industry, Pearl Sky will boast some 414 new residential apartments in addition to the 260 apartments already built and occupied. Pearl Sky will include executive studios, two penthouses, as well as 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom luxury apartments, which are designed with high quality finishes, creating significant value for purchasers.
The apartments, the majority of which are sea-facing, will complement the existing prominent properties in the area. Pearl Sky will include a boutique mall measuring some 12 600m² that features retail, business and wellness facilities. Construction will commence in July, with the retail centre set to open for business by November 2016. The first residential apartments are due for completion by November 2017, with the entire development scheduled for completion in 2018.
This property development in Umhlanga began as far back as 2004 when the Videovision Group’s Anant Singh and Sudhir Pragjee and Nico van Rooyen of Global Property Investments independently approached Nedbank Property Finance to assist with the acquisition of the old Umhlanga Rocks Hotel and Umhlanga Mews.
Nedbank Property Finance played a key role in facilitating this partnership and provided the initial R150 million facility to complete the acquisition, which led to the development of Pearl Reef, the beginning of the landmark Pearls of Umhlanga development. The Pearl Breeze, Pearl Dawn and Pearl Tides residential developments soon followed. Nedbank Property Finance has funded all developments to date, the total of which stands at approximately R1.1 bn.
According to the visionary development team, represented by celebrated film producer, Anant Singh, “The Pearls of Umhlanga has become the flagship luxury residential development in South Africa. The launch of the final phase, Pearl Sky generated an unprecedented R1.2 billion in advance sales in one day, a remarkable achievement which indicates a huge demand in this high end sector of the property market and which further entrenches The Pearls as a trend-setting, sought after luxury development. We are grateful to Nedbank for their continued support of the project as the primary funder from the beginning, which ensured that the development transcended the conceptual stage and ultimately became a tangible reality.”
“It is evident that Durban, with all its potential and investment in infrastructure in recent years, is ready to compete with South Africa’s other major metropoles. As the market-leading commercial property financier, we welcome the opportunity to continue highlighting the city’s appeal as a great place to work and play as we finance developments that will bring sustainable returns for residents and investors alike,” adds Joseph.
The “Pearls precinct” as it has become known in the South African market, has escalated in value since launch in 2005, which has enhanced property values in the surrounding area. Selling prices achieved in Pearls Sky are now competing with prices being achieved in Cape Town and Johannesburg, confirming the value in this investment. Given its sought-after location, and solid reputation as a prestigious place in which to live, play, and invest, it is anticipated that this trend will continue into the future. “Nedbank Property Finance is proud to be involved in this partnership, providing agile financial solutions to ensure that the future of quality commercial property developments is delivered,” concludes Joseph.