Areas and Places

Franschhoek meets growing demand with apartment development

Franschoek apartments, Lew Geffen Sotheby's
These elegant two bedroom apartments set in a secure complex within walking distance of Franschhoek village offer a great opportunity to enter the market in this historical Winelands town. Priced at R2 352 081 including VAT, each beautifully finished unit in La Bourgette offers mountain views and includes a covered carport.

The lush Franschhoek valley is widely regarded as the culinary epicenter of South Africa, home of many of the country’s best vineyards and an exclusive enclave where property ownership is a privilege only to be enjoyed by the affluent.

Property in this little slice of French-inspired rural heaven in the heart of South Africa’s Winelands has frequently been perceived to be above all but a few budgets. A new sectional title development that is breaking ground in March 2017, however, is further helping to dispel that myth.

For sale off plan, La Bourgette is secure, walled complex of elegant contemporary Cape Georgian design comprising 34 accessibly priced two bedroom, two bathroom units of 104m², each with its own patio or balcony and dedicated covered carport.

Bev Malan, principal of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Franschhoek, says: “In a town where apartments account for less than five percent of all properties with the most recent development being 12 years old, these exceptional units present a rare investment opportunity”.

“La Bourgette is also conveniently situated only a stone’s throw from the village and its skillful positioning affords all the units views of the majestic mountains against which the historical town is nestled”.

“And, priced competitively at R2 352 081 including VAT, these apartments offer exceptional value as apartments of this standard usually range between R2.5m and R4.5m depending on size and location.”

Malan adds:“Franschhoek is renowned for being home to many well-known personalities and captains of industry as well as a plethora of internationally acclaimed attractions including restaurants, galleries, markets and hotels, but what people forget is that behind each of these thriving concerns is a considerable number of employees who also need accommodation.”

It is with this niche market in mind that developers, Lewis Manhattan, conceptualised La Bourgette, however, CEO Richard Lewis admits that they have been taken aback by overwhelming response they have seen since the project’s launch.

“Our extensive research confirmed our belief that there is a strong need for accessibly priced upmarket accommodation in the village and we anticipated that the development would receive considerable interest but, with confirmed 12 sales during the first month alone, it has definitely exceeded our expectations”.

On the back end of numerous successful developments in the area, including the award-winning Pearl Valley Golf Estate and Val de Vie, Lewis Manhattan are making considerable further investments both in land and construction over the next five years.

Lewis adds: “We are delighted at the great relationship that we have developed with Sotheby’ International Realty in Franschhoek and look forward to working together on our future projects.”

James Penlington, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International, says that there are few comparable sectional title properties in Franschhoek and these apartments very rarely come onto the market.

“The extent of the demand for secure, affordable property in close proximity to the village has been clearly evidenced by the steady stream of enquiries our office continues to field as well as the fact that we were able to conclude 10 of the initial 12 sales within a month.”

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty: “Franschhoek has always been a popular lifestyle destination with viniculture and tourism as its main economic drivers and the town boasts a full festival calendar dominated by popular wine and food-related events. It also hosts the acclaimed Franschhoek Literary Festival which also positions it as an intellectual hub”.

“While these events have always attracted much interest, the bulk of the attendees have been from out of town and the permanent population has remained stable. This has started to change in recent years as more and more city-dwellers are opting for a slower-paced country lifestyle.”

Franschhoek has become a magnet for lovers of culture and outdoor enthusiasts who are seeking the peace and quiet of a small town, but with access to top class amenities of which Franschhoek has an abundance including a recently opened Woolworths store down the road from La Bourgette.

A major drawcard attracting families to the area is the progressive independent school Bridge House, which was established on land donated by several prominent families and caters for students through to Grade 12.

The historical Winelands town may easily be able to rest on its own numerous laurels, but it recently received an esteemed thumbs-up and stamp of approval when Richard Branson bought Mont Rochelle to add to Virgin Limited Edition, his collection of unique retreats and hotels.