Ho­tel, train­ing project on plan

Michelle Swart finds out more about a great in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity in the Cape Winelands

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

RENOWNED for its spec­tac­u­lar beauty, su­perb Cape wines and world­class restau­rants, the Cape Winelands vil­lage of Franschhoek was founded in 1688 by French Huguenots.

To­day the val­ley con­tin­ues its wine-mak­ing tra­di­tion that dates form the 16th cen­tury, so it comes as no sur­prise that some of SA’S old­est and most fa­mous wine es­tates are found in the area and that they still pro­duce some of the coun­try’s top wines.

“Widely con­sid­ered to be the food and wine cap­i­tal of the Cape, Franschhoek is 40 min­utes from Cape Town and is known as a safe and se­cure area with a happy com­mu­nity,” says Peter Hager, bro­ker/owner of RE/MAX Pres­tige Coun­try Prop­er­ties, which op­er­ates in the area.

RE/MAX Pres­tige Coun­try Prop­er­ties has a 137ha wine es­tate on the mar­ket that it says has in­cred­i­ble in­vest­ment po­ten­tial.

The es­tate, sit­u­ated at the en­trance to the mag­nif­i­cent Franschhoek Val­ley, is a work­ing wine es­tate that has five self-cater­ing cot­tages.

The crops planted in­clude a va­ri­ety of wines, many sold to es­tates that pro­duce some of SA’S finest wines.

The 36,99ha of vines in­clude SA ries­ling, semil­lon, sau­vi­gnon blanc, chenin blanc, caber­net sau­vi­gnon, colom­bar, shi­raz, pino­tage and chardon­nay.

The prop­erty is zoned agri­cul­tural with guest house/accommodation rights. How­ever, the cur­rent own­ers have drafted a de­vel­op­ment pro­posal to ex­pand on the cur­rent of­fer­ing.

Hager says that an op­por­tu­nity ex­ists for de­vel­op­ing the es­tate that lends it­self to the cre­ation of a lux­ury ho­tel. This project al­ready has ap­proval in prin­ci­ple from the Stel­len­bosch mu­nic­i­pal­ity due to its di­verse so­cioe­co­nomic and em­ploy­ment po­ten­tial, with a sig­nif­i­cant his­toric and po­lit­i­cal his­tory.

“Den­nis Moss and As­so­ciates, the com­pany which un­der­takes all the plan­ning for Stel­len­bosch and Franschhoek, says in a let­ter to the cur­rent owner that the pro­posed ho­tel de­vel­op­ment stands an ex­cel­lent chance of be­ing ap­proved be­cause the land use is con­sis­tent with pro­vin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal pol­icy and be­cause the im­pact on pro­duc­tive agri­cul­tural land would be neg­li­gi­ble,” says Hager.

The es­tate is within walk­ing dis­tance of the Vic­tor Ver­ster prison, from which for­mer pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela was fa­mously re­leased af­ter many years of in­car­cer­a­tion.

“Many peo­ple in­cor­rectly be­lieve he was re­leased from Robben Is­land, but his final re­lease on Fe­bru­ary 11 1990 was from the gates of the Vic­tor Ver­ster Prison — now called Drak­en­stein Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre.

“This event is com­mem­o­rated with a larger-than-life bronze statue de­pict­ing his fa­mous vic­tory salute,” says Hager.

With the cre­ation of a new lux­ury ho­tel com­plex, guests would be able to en­joy the splen­dour of the Cape Winelands and have the mem­o­rable and emo­tional op­por­tu­nity of vis­it­ing the for­mer prison.

At present the es­tate is planted to no­ble cul­ti­vars and a va­ri­ety of fruit crops.

The po­ten­tial ex­ists to es­tab­lish an agri­cul­tural school train­ing youth in all as­pects of the wine in­dus­try, from plant­ing and main­tain­ing the vine­yards to the end bot­tled prod­uct, and the mar­ket­ing and mer­chan­dis­ing of the es­tate wine both in SA and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

“This is an ex­cep­tional em­ploy­ment and ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­nity that would help to pro­vide a fu­ture for our youth,” says Hager.

He says that in ad­di­tion the ho­tel com­plex would cre­ate many em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing events co-or­di­na­tion, food and bev­er­age man­age­ment, chef train­ing, culi­nary su­per­vi­sion and res­tau­rant man­age­ment, ho­tel man­age­ment from front of house, house­keep­ing and fi­nan­cial man­age­ment — the op­por­tu­ni­ties are end­less.

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of South­ern Africa, says that in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties such as this are few and far be­tween.

“There is no doubt that a shrewd busi­ness in­vestor could make an over­whelm­ing suc­cess of this project, con­sid­er­ing the prime lo­ca­tion and op­por­tu­ni­ties that this prop­erty presents.

“It would be ad­van­ta­geous if an Amer­i­can-based ho­tel group could part­ner a BEE group in SA to make this project a re­al­ity, as the staff could also have the won­der­ful mo­ti­va­tion and op­por­tu­nity to work at such a ho­tel group’s Amer­i­can op­er­a­tion for fur­ther train­ing, a chance of a life­time for many young peo­ple,” says Hager.


About R69m


RE/MAX Pres­tige Coun­try Prop­er­ties Peter Hager 083 261 0747 Of­fice 021 876 3147

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