Iconic view of Table Mountain from an apartment at the V&A Waterfront.
Across the globe, in many port and river cities, successful waterfront projects have re-established the rich cultural and historic links between land and water.
Over the past 30 years, some of the world’s most innovative real estate developments have taken place at waterfronts. From Boston, Baltimore, Vancouver and Toronto in North America to London, Cardiff, Rotterdam and Barcelona in Europe and Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Osaka in the Pacific Rim, waterfronts worldwide have become the new retail, leisure and entertainment destinations in port cities.
Says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group: “The port of Cape Town, with its internationally renowned V&A Waterfront on the shores of Table Bay, juxtaposed between two of the world’s greatest urban icons – Table Mountain and Robben Island, holds its head high among the best of the best, not only as a prime tourist attraction, but also as a sought after residential location. Constantly evolving – and apart from the recent announcement of development of a cruise terminal which will endorse the V&A as a pre-eminent cruise gateway to Africa, further development at the waterfront is now focused around the vicinity of the working harbour and Silo district.”
“With easy access to the central city, Cape Town’s two major freeway access routes to the rest of the Metropole and the Atlantic Seaboard, the V&A Waterfront is favourably located both for successful businesses and convenience for residential and recreational purposes. Furthermore, it’s only 20 minutes from Cape Town International Airport.”
With construction having commenced at the beginning of 2000, today the V&A Marina luxury housing project comprises some 550 apartments and 150 moorings for yachts and other recreational craft in the heart of the waterfront. Notes Pam Golding Properties agents Lynn Pinn, Paul Levy and Mariël Burger, this has become some of the most prized new residential accommodation in Cape Town, with the first phase virtually sold out off-plan within less than seven months and the first residents taking occupation during mid-2001.
Sector One of the V&A Marina, comprising 10 construction phases with a total of 273 apartments, was completed in 2004, while completion of the entire Marina project and the One&Only Hotel occurred towards the end of 2006. Today, in less than 15 years, the V&A has become the biggest individual ratepayer in the City of Cape Town.
Says Pinn: “This entire precinct now offers buyers the advantage of living in a secure estate with exceptional communal facilities and all the benefits of a diverse shopping district literally on their doorsteps, in easy walking distance. Infrastructure, including roads, water, sanitation and electrical infrastructure is maintained to a high standard, while the V&A is also on a drive to embrace alternative energy supplies”.
“For local residents, the V&A Waterfront is increasingly appealing and over the years we’ve seen a marked shift towards purchasers acquiring accommodation for permanent residence, coupled with sound investment potential over the medium to longer term. Previously, the area was regarded more as a vehicle for pure investment rather than as a permanently occupied, primary residential destination. Underscoring its high appeal and demand, according to Lightstone statistics, the average selling price of V&A Waterfront apartments has increased from R7.459 million in 2014 to R10.496 million in 2015 for transfers registered in the first six months of 2015.”
“Apart from easy access, there’s less traffic congestion for commuters, for if you are working elsewhere and drive home to the Waterfront, you do so against the main traffic flow. Parking is also not an issue as most one bedroom apartments come with one parking as do two bedroom units – with two parking bays in the basement and direct access to boot,” says Pinn.
Currently activity and development is focused on the V&A Waterfront’s Silo district, which is on track for early-2017 completion at a substantial investment of R1.5 billion. This district is already home to multiple award-winning Number 1 and Number 2 Silo developments as well as the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, which is presently being developed in the Grain Silo complex.
Levy says four new developments in the Silo district will introduce over 35 000sqm of mixed-use sustainable developments, including new corporate offices, a residential development, gym and a mid-range internationally branded hotel, plus over 1 050 additional parking bays. “When completed, approximately 2 500 people will work in the Silo district daily. In a 2012 economic impact study that is currently being updated, the expected nominal contribution to GDP from new developments in the new Silo district is R28 billion by the year 2023.
“Further enhancing the residential component and due for completion in late 2016, Number 3 Silo will provide some 10 000sqm of accommodation comprising approximately 75 luxury one to four bedroom apartments, all offering the same environmentally sustainable benefits as Number 2 Silo. In addition to receiving a 4 Star Green rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) in 2013, Number 2 Silo has just been ranked as the Best Residential Development in the country by the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA). The new Number 3 Silo has similar aims and will seek to redefine luxury.”
Comments Burger: “In a first for the V&A Waterfront and the Western Cape, Number 4 Silo will offer a state of the art 4000sqm Virgin Active Health Club which is due for completion in 2016. Scheduled for completion in mid-2016, Number 5 Silo will provide 13 500sqm of multi-tenanted office space which, like all the Silo developments, aims to achieve a Green Star rating from the GBCSA. SAPOA recently named Number 1 Silo, corporate head office of Allan Gray, as the overall winner at the SAPOA’s Overall Green and best Corporate Office Development Awards. Number 1 Silo also ranks as the only South African building to receive a 6 Star ‘As Built’ GBCSA rating which signifies ‘World Leadership’ in sustainable development.”
Set to open in early 2017, a 220-room, 8 000sqm international, mid-market hotel will be housed in Number 6 Silo, with the operator expected to be announced in the coming months.
To accommodate the anticipated increased traffic into the Silo district enabling works are underway to widen South Arm Road, while an extension of the basement parking area will add an additional 1 050 new bays to the super basement, bringing the total number of bays to 2 750. The basement extension is schedule to be complete by late 2015. The Silo bus stop, which connects with the MyCiti service, is already operational.
Burger says over and above this development Cape Town’s Foreshore is receiving a grand upgrade in the new Yacht Club precinct – once again opening up the Table Bay harbour area and linking the city with the V&A Waterfront. Situated at the water’s edge with picturesque mountain, bay and city views, this mixed-use development aims to become the hub of a vibrant community, with an exciting blend of beautiful urban spaces and restaurants.
The 300 high-specification Yacht Club apartments will cater for the needs of residents, commercial visitors and investors, with accommodation incorporating a roof garden and pool and modern design making full use of abundant natural light. Including VAT, prices of apartments range from R1.995 million for one bedroom and from R2.8 million for two bedrooms.
Pam Golding Properties says these will appeal to a range of buyers including the buy-to-rent market, short and long term investors as well as the aspirant Waterfront buyer who wants to be close to enjoy the V&A lifestyle while being in proximity to the financial district and Foreshore precinct. For the buy to let investor potential tenants will include medical personnel and family of patients admitted to the new Chris Barnard Hospital about one kilometre away and visitors to the Cape Town Convention Centre, and longer term tenants who seek the convenience and lifestyle benefits of the location.