Areas and Places

Long waiting lists for quality retirement homes in Johannesburg

An artist’s impression of simplex units at Heritage Estate in Modderfontein, Johannesburg. Heritage Estate is a substantial new estate aimed at the more mature market and properties are being marketed by Pam Golding Properties.

“Within the middle- to higher- income brackets people are tending to retire earlier. This trend, along with increased life expectancies, and an increasingly aging population within these income groups, is contributing to a shortage of quality retirement accommodation in Johannesburg, for which there is high demand and long waiting lists.”

This is according to Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Properties group. He says that the nature of retirement property is also changing; more people want a property within a secure estate, which confers on them an outstanding lifestyle as well as maximum independence. “In addition, many of these individuals are also seeking properties that provide them and their families with meaningful investments,” he adds.

Catering for such requirements are the developers of a substantial new estate aimed at the more mature market that is well positioned in a prime location in Modderfontein, Johannesburg. Heritage Estate is situated nearby the tranquil Modderfontein Nature Reserve in eastern Johannesburg, and has recently been launched to market by Pam Golding Properties.

The Estate, which is being developed by Norym Properties, consists of no fewer than 162 sectional title units, of which 28 are simplex units and are being sold in phases for delivery from mid-2016.

“This multi-million rand project, which involves the redevelopment of a charming historic site, brings on line a range of different kinds of retirement accommodation,” says Dr Golding. “These include penthouses, simplex units and a variety of different sized apartments, enabling buyers the opportunity to purchase a property that is most appropriate to their life circumstance. Private doctors’ rooms and assisted home based care will also be available to residents who may require these services.”

Designed in an appealing style reminiscent of a bygone era, the simplexes are fitted with all the latest mod cons, including fully imported kitchens. The 28 simplexes represent the first phase of construction and are to be ready for occupation by June 2016. They are available in 140sqm and 180sqm sizes. Two show units, a standard unit and an up-spec’d unit, can be viewed onsite.

“The estate moves away from the traditional Life Rights retirement model to sectional title ownership. Many retirees today recognise the long-term value of such homes and prefer being able to own their retirement property within a sectional title arrangement. They like the idea that they are not only investing in a lifestyle, but also feel assured that their properties will enjoy significant capital growth over time. Interestingly, some investors are purchasing properties within Heritage Estate with a view to renting them out until they themselves are ready to take occupation at a later date.”

Heritage House was developed by the Chamber of Mines’ as a sanatorium and was opened in 1911. A billiard room and bowling green were later added for the entertainment of recovering patients. The Pavilion was added as a concert hall in 1925 and this is now being refurbished so that it can be used as a clubhouse for residents. In July 1980, Heritage House was put to use as a rehabilitation centre by the Chamber of Mines and was then sold to be developed as an educational facility. Parts of the movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’ were filmed on location in 2004.

David Coutinho of Pam Golding Properties, Johannesburg East, says that the Modderfontein area is undergoing such rapid commercial and residential development that it is becoming an important new growth hub within the greater Johannesburg area. A massive R84 billion ‘New York of Africa’ development, which includes a financial hub, education centre, hospital and medical centre as well as sports stadium, has recently been mooted for the area.

“Heritage Estate is not only situated in a booming area, which augers well for the future of the residential property market in the area, but it also so centrally situated that it offers residents a high degree of convenience. The development is strategically located on the main routes to OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg city centre, Sandton and Pretoria and has easy access to the Gautrain. In addition, the impressive Greenstone Mall, which offers outstanding shopping and entertainment, is just minutes away.”

The development of Heritage Estate is well underway, with the FIRS, which consists of the 26 simplex units and two cottages that are heritage buildings, currently under construction. Residents will be able to take occupation by June 2016. Heritage House, the charming old sanatorium, is currently being refurbished and renovated to its original condition, in accordance and under the guidance of the Provincial Heritage Resources Authority Gauteng.

“The developers are committed to restoring and refurbishing Heritage House and surrounding historic buildings to their original glory. Guided by the Heritage Association, the architects have aimed to restore the character of Heritage Estate, while opening up the development to light and creating attractive living spaces for residents.”

The Government donated a nine-hectare piece of land near the Modderfontein Dynamite Factory, and the Chamber of Mines erected the sanatorium. The Certificate of Incorporation was signed by the Colonial Secretary of the time, Jan Smuts, who later became Prime minister of South Africa.

Some interesting individuals were treated at the sanatorium including the Austrian artist Hans (Jean) Max Friedrich Welz. Welz was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1939, and admitted to the facility. During his time at the facility, Welz began a number of sketches of the surrounding Highveld.

According to Coutinho, residents at the estate will be encouraged to plant indigenous plants that will fit in with the communal gardens, as well as with the heritage trees, the Wild Olives, and indigenous flowers and grasses existing on the property.

“Designed to have a serene old world charm in which residents will be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement in beautiful landscaped surrounds, Heritage Estate is designed to enable residents to age gracefully and with minimal concerns. It is a new concept in retirement living and it is not surprising that it is generating considerable excitement in the marketplace,” concludes Dr Golding.