The height of luxury by the sea
Michelle Swart looks at a newly completed development in Claremont, Cape Town
THE modern-day Cape Town suburbs of Claremont and Newlands cover what used to be four farms — Questenberg, Veldhuyzen, Stellenberg and Weltevreden — that were established in 1657 by the Dutch on the southern border of the colony.
The British took over the colony in 1814 and in 1822 a portion of Weltevreden was renamed Claremont. From 1834 to 1838, Sir John Herschel lived at Veldhuyzen and the village developed from this settlement. The well known girls school Herschel, founded in 1922, was named after him.
From the 1840s, public transport in the form of horse drawn carriages was used along this route until the opening of the railway to Wynberg in 1864. This made Claremont property in the area more accessible. After the Boer war there was a housing boom that resulted in sub-division of the estates.
Today, Claremont has a wide selection of residential property ranging from larger family homes in Upper Claremont and smaller erven in the Grove area to townhouse complexes or gated complexes that offer ideal lock-up-andgo homes. Claremont also has a large selection of apartments, and, over the past couple of years, three commercial buildings in the heart of Claremont have been converted into up-market apartments.
Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Properties, says that Claremont is in the throes of a sizeable upgrade that will see it benefit from more than R1bn worth of property development that is new, planned or already under way.
“Traditionally perceived as a suburb of contradictions, linking the well-heeled side of the southern suburbs to the more affordable east, and possessing a central business district where worldclass buildings stand side by side with derelict eyesores, Claremont has long been both the anomaly and the dominant upmarket retail destination of the southern suburbs. It is now increasing and extending its profile by drawing together all the stakeholders in the area. The Claremont Improvement District Company has been fundamental in what is termed the ‘Claremont Renaissance’.
“With extensive studies and proposals (formulated in partnership with the City of Cape Town) achieving realisation, the area is transforming itself into a vibrant commercial and high-density residential node,” Greeff says.
He says that Claremont accommodation offers good returns that translate into growing property values. He says that an apartment complex, Intaba, which is located on Protea Street, is the perfect example. Since its inception in 2003, investors have seen returns from 22% to 35%, and rental income on a two-bedroom unit is anything from R10 000 a month to R13 000 a month, depending on the position.
“Similar units at Montclare, positioned above Pick n Pay and Virgin Active on Main Road, enjoy rental returns of about R10 000 a month to R12 000 a month.”
Greeff Properties is mandated to sell the sectional-title units at The Herschel, Claremont’s newest residential block. Construction by WBHO of The Herschel is finally complete and units are now ready for occupation.
Located across the road from the private school, Herschel, and just a block away from Cavendish and Main Road’s pulsing nightlife and within walking distance of the Jammie Shuttle, The Herschel is particularly well placed for UCT students and young professionals. Greeff says that a significant amount of interest in the block has been from parents seeking accommodation for children who are studying, as well as from investors hoping to rent the units out.
“The Herschel is equipped with 24-hour security with CCTV, a concierge, intercoms and remote-control access, which, along with underground parking facilities, make this block particularly suitable for the student and offers parents peace of mind,” says Greeff, who says rental incomes for the block will easily match currently achieved in Claremont’s existing residential blocks.
Designed by Peerutin Architects and developed by Berman Brothers Group in association with Sandak-Lewin, The Herschel consists of 66 one-, two- and threebedroom apartments, including garden apartments and exclusive penthouses. The luxury bathrooms are exceptionally spacious as the Herschel was originally intended as a retirement complex, so additional space was designated to allow for wheelchair access.
Other features include underfloor heating and heated towel rails, Caesar stone and white granite tops, stainless steel Bosch/Defy appliances and Nouwens carpets.
Solar-heated water is intended to reduce electricity bills and floorto-ceiling glass windows allow natural light to flood the supermodern luxury flats with commanding views of Devil’s Peak and Constantia Nek, False Bay and the Southern Peninsula. Uninterrupted, panoramic vistas can be enjoyed by all residents from the expansive, roof pool deck.
The units are priced from R1,1m, excluding VAT for a bachelor unit, to R4m excluding VAT for a north-west- facing threebedroom penthouse. For more info, contact Lyndi du Plessis of Greeff Properties on 082 494 7965 or 021 763 4120.
An artist’s impression of The Herschel in Claremont, above. The Herschel enjoys commanding views of Devil’s Peak and Constantia Nek, False Bay and the Southern Peninsula. Uninterrupted, panoramic vistas can be enjoyed by all residents from the...