Posh and Pet-friendly Liv­ing

SLOW Magazine - - Contents - Text & Image © Gareth Grif­fiths

South Africans are a na­tion of pet lovers. That’s of­fi­cial. For ex­am­ple, a sur­vey done in 2017 sug­gests that there are 9.2 mil­lion dogs liv­ing in South African house­holds, rank­ing the coun­try ninth in the world by size of dog pet pop­u­la­tion (In­sight Sur­vey 2017).

South Africa’s pets are in­creas­ingly be­ing seen as part of the fam­ily. But the keep­ing of pets in apart­ment blocks has been con­tro­ver­sial, driven of­ten by mis­con­cep­tions on the part of body cor­po­rates. There are un­for­tu­nate and un­in­tended con­se­quences to this. For ex­am­ple, it of­ten has the un­for­tu­nate ef­fect of forc­ing el­derly peo­ple to give up their pets once they down­size to smaller prop­er­ties.

How­ever, due to the in­crease in ur­ban mi­gra­tion world­wide and an in­crease in apart­ment com­plex liv­ing, there has been a no­tice­able trend to­wards al­low­ing peo­ple to keep pets in rented prop­er­ties. In 2016, the state of New South Wales, Aus­tralia, en­acted more favourable reg­u­la­tions that make it eas­ier for body cor­po­rates to al­low pet own­er­ship, while en­cour­ag­ing building de­signs to be more pet-friendly.

Ac­cord­ing to Emma Power, a Se­nior Re­searcher in Ge­og­ra­phy and Ur­ban Stud­ies at the Western Syd­ney Univer­sity, keep­ing pets in apart­ment com­mu­ni­ties is a good thing. It ben­e­fits the whole community, sup­port­ing the over­all health of their own­ers, pro­tect­ing against lone­li­ness, and has a rip­ple ef­fect in cre­at­ing a sense of community.

In the State of Cal­i­for­nia in the USA up to 50 % of res­i­dents in apart­ments have pets, and there is even a North-hol­ly­wood land­lord who in­sists that all ten­ants come with a pet. In South Africa, typ­i­cal mu­nic­i­pal reg­u­la­tions per­mit keep­ing two dogs or cats in an apart­ment, un­less ap­pli­ca­tion has been made and ap­proved for more.

Lo­cally, the avail­abil­ity of dog- or cat­friendly apart­ment ac­com­mo­da­tion is much sought-af­ter and vi­sion­ary de­vel­op­ers are meet­ing the need.

We spoke to Craig Gil­fil­lian, a real es­tate agent liv­ing in a re­cently com­pleted apart­ment com­plex in New­lands, Cape Town, called The Premier. Craig and his part­ner live with a French bull­dog, Bent­ley, in a glam twobed­room apart­ment on the top floor with stun­ning views of the back of Table Moun­tain. Whilst he stresses that the ul­ti­mate de­ci­sion to per­mit res­i­dents to keep pets rests with the body cor­po­rate and trus­tees of the building, he also men­tions the im­por­tance of the pet-friendly na­ture of the building. In his in­stance, pet-friendly fac­tors in­clude a large wrap­around bal­cony, shared ar­eas and easy ac­cess to a pub­lic green trail along the banks of the Lies­beek River, right up to the fa­mous SAB New­lands Brew­ery.

Craig’s apart­ment at The Premier is spa­cious and well ap­pointed. Fin­ishes are of a high stan­dard and wor­thy of a pedi­gree ca­nine. Craig says that Bent­ley en­joys apart­ment life and gets on well with the neigh­bours. Bent­ley spends his days at a dog day­care cen­tre close to where Craig is work­ing.

The Premier’s de­vel­op­ers, Raw­son De­vel­op­ers, are well es­tab­lished in Cape Town’s South­ern Suburbs for projects that meet the needs of clients. These in­clude qual­ity-as­sured, multi-unit res­i­den­tial com­plexes in strate­gi­cally lo­cated spots in the suburbs that of­fer great in­vest­ment po­ten­tial. In the case of The Premier, the building is close to the fa­mous New­lands cricket and rugby grounds, restau­rants, night spots, and also the Univer­sity of Cape Town.

Very pop­u­lar with in­vestors seek­ing rental stock, Raw­son De­vel­op­ers’ apart­ments are aimed at stu­dents in the rental mar­ket, young pro­fes­sion­als, and at the re­tire­ment mar­ket. The com­pany is ac­knowl­edged for its wide and gen­er­ous build­ings that of­fer plenty of recre­ational space for res­i­dents, in­clud­ing gyms, ground floor atria with plant life, rooftop swim­ming pools, and braai ar­eas. Building de­sign is in line with green building stan­dards that in­clude low-en­ergy light fit­tings and low wa­ter-con­sump­tion fea­tures. Apart­ments are net­worked, of­fer­ing easy – and usu­ally high­speed – in­ter­net and satel­lite con­nec­tions.

The com­pany’s com­mit­ment to ur­ban re­newal is also ev­i­dent in its re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and up­grade of side­walks and pub­lic spa­ces. Se­cu­rity is vis­i­ble and makes a valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to the whole community, and not only those who live inside the building.

Carl Nortje, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of the com­pany, says that his com­pany’s mul­tiu­nit res­i­den­tial com­plexes are pop­u­lar with in­vestors seek­ing a rental in­come, or for those seek­ing to ac­com­mo­date univer­sity stu­dent off­spring. “Raw­son De­vel­op­ers con­cen­trates on prop­er­ties close to trans­port nodes and ma­jor fa­cil­i­ties such as sports sta­dia, schools and stu­dent catch­ment ar­eas. At present, the com­pany has been de­vel­op­ing in Ob­ser­va­tory, where buy­ers have been able to cash in on the tax in­cen­tives of­fered by the au­thor­i­ties,” he says.

Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion can be ob­tained on the Raw­son De­vel­op­ers web­site at www.raw­son-de­vel­op­ers.co.za.

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