Gar­den Route draws World Cup teams

Golf cour­ses on coun­try es­tates high­light the re­gion’s sta­tus as a prime des­ti­na­tion, writes AnnaMarie Smith

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

THE Gar­den Route has been se­lected as the base for three teams par­tic­i­pat­ing in the 2010 Soc­cer World Cup and they will stay at top ho­tels in the area.

The French team has se­lected Pezula Re­sort Ho­tel and Spa in Knysna, Den­mark chose Si­mola Golf and Coun­try Es­tate in Knysna and Ja­pan chose Fan­court Ho­tel and Golf Es­tate in Ge­orge.

Th­ese es­tates have in com­mon a tran­quil, nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, close prox­im­ity to prac­tice fa­cil­i­ties at sea level and a wide va­ri­ety of en­ter­tain­ment venues and pub­lic ameni­ties.

In­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als say the re­gion’s ap­peal to for­eign vis­i­tors and in­vestors lies in its moderate Mediter­ranean cli­mate and ex­traor­di­nary out­door life­style.

Heavy in­vest­ment in up­mar­ket prop­er­ties in the re­gion has seen Ge­orge and Knysna show­ing steady growth de­spite the global re­ces­sion and a se­vere drought.

Fan­court Golf Es­tate, close to Ge­orge Air­port, fea­tures three Gary Player sig­na­ture golf cour­ses on a se­cure es­tate.

Chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Neil O’Ha­gan says that while they are pleased to host the French team in June and July, the es­tate is equally proud to be host­ing the first-ever Euro­pean PGA Se­niors Tour tour­na­ment in SA, in March.

O'Ha­gan says that last year was un­pro­duc­tive in terms of prop­erty sales, but that the mar­ket is now stir­ring, with sev­eral prospec­tive high-end deals on the cards.

He says by at­tract­ing non­tra­di­tional vis­i­tors to the re­gion, the Soc­cer World Cup spin-off may well be­come vis­i­ble in the longer term.

Fan­court re­cently launched Mon­tagu Ridge Vil­las, a frac­tional ti­tle prod­uct of two-and three­week stays upgrad­able to four and six weeks re­spec­tively and avail­able in two-and four-bed­room units priced from R320 000.

Other de­vel­op­ments on the es­tate in­clude the Colo­nial Lodges, Oak­lands, Cape Dutch, Links Ridge and the Gen­tle­man’s Es­tate.

The 1 000ha Pezula Pri­vate Es­tate, with a cham­pi­onship golf course, re­cently launched the Coun­try Es­tate, also the venue of The Field of Dreams, where the French soc­cer team will dur­ing prac­tise dur­ing their stay. The de­vel­op­ment will fea­ture 30 north­fac­ing plots av­er­ag­ing 4 800m² and will be on sale at about R1,5m. Each has spec­tac­u­lar views of in­dige­nous forests, sweep­ing fyn­bos land­scapes and the Outeni­qua moun­tain range. Lo­cated close to Pezula’s fa­cil­i­ties that have won in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion, th­ese plots rep­re­sent coun­try liv­ing at its best.

Ling Dob­son, prin­ci­pal at Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties Knysna, and agent for Pezula and Si­mola, says the pris­tine area, in­clud­ing pri­vacy and top med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties, makes it most suit­able for host­ing the for­eign soc­cer teams.

Dob­son says Pam Gold­ing’s prop­erty sales in the area have in­creased by about 40% from last year. One of Si­mola’s prime homes was sold for R14m, the high­est price fetched at this es­tate to date.

How­ever, Dob­son ap­pealed to sell­ers to re­main con­ser­va­tive in pric­ing prop­er­ties and rentals in the area, thereby cul­ti­vat­ing SA’s ap­peal as a healthy in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity rather than a hugely over­priced des­ti­na­tion.

Si­mola Golf and Coun­try Es­tate, a low-den­sity de­vel­op­ment on 325ha of prime land over­look­ing the spec­tac­u­lar Knysna la­goon and heads, a pop­u­lar choice with sev­eral teams knocked out of the Soc­cer World Cup, will host the Dan­ish soc­cer team.

Derek Carol, sales and mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor at Si­mola, says: “Af­ter a very tough 18-month pe­riod, and with a mar­ket not quite show­ing fire­works yet, the year to date has shown marked im­prove­ment of 100% turn­around in prop­erty sales.”

He says this is il­lus­trated by the sale of two sec­tional ti­tle ho­tel suites at R3,13 and R3,65m, four lux­ury apart­ments av­er­ag­ing R4,5m, as well as some free­hold sales where plots mea­sure from 12 000m² to 16 000m².

Carol says buy­ers at Si­mola are up­coun­try lo­cals from Pre­to­ria and Gaut­eng who in­vest in the es­tate’s se­cure, out­door life­style.


RIVER RUN: Mon­tagu Ridge Vil­las fea­tures prop­er­ties for sale at Fan­court Ho­tel and Golf Es­tate in Ge­orge through frac­tional ti­tle.

PEACE­FUL PLACE: Pezula Re­sort Ho­tel and Spa in Knysna pro­vides a tran­quil, nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment at sea level close to soc­cer prac­tice fa­cil­i­ties.

A lux­ury home for sale at Si­mola Golf and Coun­try Es­tate, set on 29 000m and val­ued at about R30m.

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