Agricultural land could be blooming good buy
Michelle Funke discovers that a historic Constantia rose garden is about to be sold by tender
THE Old Sillery Rose Garden, a rare and beautiful piece of land with historical and cultural significance in the Constantia valley, is to be sold by tender through Greeff Properties, an exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. Measuring 3.2174ha, the Old Sillery Rose Garden enjoys Grade II heritage status.
As part of one of the few 19th century British era landholdings established in the Constantia Valley, The Old Sillery Rose Garden is significant for its agricultural heritage, as a site for the cultivation of vegetables, herbs and flowers.
On the neighbouring council property, behind Constantia’s well known and loved “local”, Peddlars on the Bend, one can still purchase fresh bunches of the blooms cultivated in this highly fertile corner of the valley.
Accessed by Brounger Lane, an unpaved country road, The Old Sillery Rose Garden is secluded and entirely rural. It is home to two watercourses, vines and various cultivated areas demarcated by tree lines, furrows and gurgling streams. The surrounding mountains can be seen beyond the trees over the layering of farmland.
In terms of the new integrated zoning scheme, the site is zoned as Single Residential 1 with a band of public open space wrapping around the eastern, southern and western boundaries. Development potential is possible within the heritage indicators.
“With its location integral to the greenbelt system, the land would make an ideal equestrian property or a low-impact, limited residential development; however the rich soil and agricultural heritage suggest good potential for an organic produce farm or a farmers’ market,” says Greeff Properties CEO, Mike Greeff.
“We anticipate a good deal of response to the sale by tender of this unique site,” he says.
“The tender process requires that neither the agent, nor the sell- er or the prospective buyers are aware of the amounts of any offers submitted until a specified date,” explains Greeff, adding that the properties may be viewed on advertised show days and by appointment prior to the submission date for offers. On the deadline day, all offers, which will be in sealed envelopes, are to be opened and seen for the first time by the seller and estate agent alike.
“The tender process is best suited to serious sellers who desire a quick sale. It creates a spirit of competition among buyers and encourages them to submit their very best offer at the outset as opposed to their cheekiest.
“Apart from the speed and efficiency a tender can create, sellers usually find the tender process rewarding than the following of traditional avenues to sell a property, and this is not just from a possible financial point of view, it’s also about a perceived sense of fairness,” says Greeff, who notes that since the tender process invariably yields several offers, all of which are presented to the seller, he or she has the opportunity to select the best option.
“The key for the seller is that he or she retains control over the selling process as there’s no obligation to choose one of the tenders if none of them is found to be acceptable. The agent may go back to the buyers and negotiate for a higher price or the seller can ask for a retender at a newly specified date,” explains Greeff.
He says that the advantage for the buyer is that no matter what figure he or she offers, it will be presented to the seller who, in turn, may not accept any offer before the pre-specified deadline has been reached. Buyers may also make conditional offers which will be included in the envelope.
“The secrecy of the process obviously means that the prospective buyers cannot base their offers on those of other interested parties, nor can bids be pushed up as they might be in a public auction,” says Greeff.
“This is a rare opportunity to own an entirely rural piece of the Constantia valley’s heritage and to ensure the continuation of a beautiful and meaningful legacy.”
Tenders close on October 31. Contact: Greeff Properties Arie Kadé 083 448 0488 Cheryl Teubes 082 457 9980 Christiaan Steytler 082 658 0071 Angie Bloom 083 678 7876
Above and below: The historic Old Sillery Rose Garden. Dating back to the 19th century, the farm is a living link to the ‘golden age’ of Cape Town’s original flower sellers.