World class po­ten­tial

Gor­don’s Bay, known for its Blue Flag sta­tus, is at­tract­ing both lo­cal and for­eign in­vest­ment, writes Anna-Marie Smit

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THIS quaint False Bay fish­ing vil­lage, lo­cated be­low Sir Lowry’s pass and over­look­ing the Cape Penin­sula, of­fers res­i­dents and in­vestors an un­beat­able life­style. Gor­don’s Bay reg­u­larly at­tracts wealthy buy­ers, who af­ter de­vel­op­ing an affin­ity for its Mediter­ranean life­style, see its po­ten­tial of be­ing de­vel­oped into a so­phis­ti­cated world-class lo­ca­tion.

Jaco Roets, of Peter Ven­ter Prop­er­ties, says the vil­lage is see­ing im­proved prop­erty move­ment that con­tin­ues to at­tract a mix of for­eign­ers and Gaut­eng buy­ers, who mostly in­vest in the town’s prime ar­eas such as the Vil­lage and Suiker­bossie, all over­look­ing ei­ther Bikini, Main or Sun­set beaches.

Roets says buy­ers are lured by the north-fac­ing lo­ca­tion backed by a moun­tain and har­bour views.

He says it com­pares favourably with Cape Town’s At­lantic seaboard, both with moun­tains and a spec­tac­u­lar coast­line, but with False Bay’s waters sev­eral de­grees warmer than the icy At­lantic.

Roets says en­ter­prises that at­tract tourism in­clude the water­front ma­rina called Har­bour Is­land, a de­vel­op­ment built on re­claimed land, with canals, a ho­tel, sea-side shops and restau­rants.

How­ever, for new in­vestors who see the po­ten­tial of Gor­don’s Bay’s world class life­style and de­cide to cre­ate hol­i­day homes, or even re­lo­cate there, it is not al­ways plain sail­ing.

Own­ers of new de­vel­op­ments and build­ings here reg­u­larly ex­pe­ri­ence op­po­si­tion from long-time res­i­dents, some of whom are less en­thu­si­as­tic about their vil­lage be­ing de­vel­oped into a pop­u­lar sea­side ma­rina, and oth­ers who have a vested in­ter­est in sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. Yet such long-time res­i­dents have over time con­trib­uted enor­mously to the well­be­ing of their town by pro­tect­ing their en­vi­ron­ment and adding value to prop­er­ties.

For this rea­son, town coun­cils and res­i­den­tial watch­dogs play a piv­otal role in main­tain­ing the bal­ance be­tween sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and cap­i­tal in­vest­ment. How­ever, de­vel­op­ers and ar­chi­tects say le­git­i­mate ob­jec­tions from dif­fer­ent par­ties cre­ate ex­tra­or­di­nary lengthy and costly de­lays, re­sult­ing from a coun­cil’s slow ad­min­is­tra­tion process.

To avoid huge costs, in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als have re­peat­edly ap­pealed to the Helder­berg coun­cil for stream­lined pro­ce­dures, as they reg­u­larly re­ceived ap­provals af­ter ob­jec­tions are lodged.

The re­cent de­vel­op­ment by Nex­prop Prop­erty De­vel­op­ers, who built Bikini Suites, a lux­ury beach­front guest house lo­cated in a prime north fac­ing po­si­tion on Beach Road over­look­ing Bikini Beach, is an il­lus­tra­tion of good­will by up­coun­try in­vestors.

The com­pleted guest house con­sists of three storeys with an owner’s pent­house of four en suite bed­rooms, plus four two bed­room guest suites, all with magnificent views over the Old Har­bour, Som­er­set West and the Helder­berg.

Nex­prop is of­fer­ing the pent­house and two bed­room suites to in­vestors through a share­block scheme, as well as fi­nanc­ing of up to 80%.

A rental pool agree­ment will make it pos­si­ble for the in­vestors to earn a re­turn on their suite when not us­ing it. The suites are cur­rently on the mar­ket from R2,5m (ex­clud­ing vat) and the pent­house from R5,9m (ex­clud­ing vat).

Frank Peter, of Nex­prop, says al­though due process was fol­lowed through­out the ap­pli­ca­tions and guest house rights were granted on a tem­po­rary de­par­ture, fi­nal ap­proval has been de­layed as a re­sult of an ex­tra-legal lobby group, the Gor­dons Bay Vill­gage Ac­tion Group, who had ap­pealed the grant­ing of the guest house con­sent

The build­ing site has re­ceived ap­proval from the lo­cal coun­cil, with the Helder­berg Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s build­ing depart­ment con­firm­ing that it is cor­rect in terms of ar­chi­tec­tural plans sub­mit­ted.

Peter says: “The pro­vin­cial authorities should im­ple­ment mea­sures in stream­lin­ing the process of ap­peals that come at high cost to de­vel­op­ers and in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als.”

Last year Mar­cus Smith Ar­chi­tec­tural firm in Gor­don’s Bay also ex­pressed frus­tra­tion about lengthy de­lays by the authorities in pro­cess­ing ob­jec­tions.

At the time Bennu Smit, from the firm, sug­gested the city should al­low its re­gional of­fices, who are equipped to deal with ob­jec­tions, to stream­line the ex­tremely costly ob­jec­tion pro­cesses in­stead of sub­mit­ting it to the heav­ily loaded City of Cape Town mu­nic­i­pal of­fices.

Com­ment­ing on the de­vel­op­ment process in Gor­don’s Bay, Rowan Dent of the Gor­don’s Bay Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion (GBRA), says: “While the as­so­ci­a­tion sup­ports all de­vel­op­ment that com­plies with en­vi­ron­men­tal and spa­tial de­vel­op­ment frame­works, it has op­posed some un­law­ful de­vel­op­ments in the area.

“How­ever, the GBRA would like to see de­vel­op­ers in­vest­ing in Gor­don’s Bay, while at the same time main­tain­ing the unique char­ac­ter of the old vil­lage.”

He says it is pleas­ing to see mod­ern ar­chi­tec­tural styles in the lat­est hous­ing de­vel­op­ments that com­ple­ment the nat­u­ral beauty of the area, a wel­come con­trast to some of the older parts of the vil­lage.

Roets says that while there is a valid place for le­git­i­mate ob­jec­tions, it can be costly to ratepay­ers, and by avoid­ing de­lays the authorities can ap­ply much­needed funds and valu­able time to town de­vel­op­ment.

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