Flat liv­ing with ho­tel lux­u­ries

De­vel­op­ers work to meet de­mand for apart­ments with five-star ser­vice

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY - BONNY FOURIE

THE BLEND­ING of ho­tel and res­i­den­tial ac­com­mo­da­tion is a trend sweep­ing through Cape Town as de­vel­op­ers try to meet grow­ing de­mand for res­i­den­tial prop­erty near the CBD while cap­i­tal­is­ing on the city’s sta­tus as a lead­ing in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tion.

More own­ers are also want­ing to live in mod­ern apart­ments that come with the lux­u­ries of ser­viced ho­tel liv­ing.

Strate­gi­cally lo­cated ho­tels, of­fice build­ings and shop­ping cen­tres have been, and con­tinue to be, re­de­vel­oped and trans­formed into lux­ury ho­tel and res­i­den­tial apart­ments. Given the suc­cess of these con­ver­sions, the trend is grow­ing.

In the lat­est con­ver­sion, lux­ury units in Rom­ney Park, one of the coun­try’s fore­most five-star all-suite ho­tels, will go on sale later this year as res­i­den­tial apart­ments.

Ho­tel and apart­ment com­bi­na­tions are “great hy­brids” and ex­press the mixed- use trend in real es­tate de­vel­op­ment, says David Cohen, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Sig­natura, the de­vel­op­ers be­hind The Onyx and Radis­son Blu.

Res­i­dents of the apart­ments have the added ben­e­fits of ameni­ties not oth­er­wise in­cluded in nor­mal apart­ment blocks. More im­por­tantly, they are also usu­ally bet­ter man­aged as they have full staff com­ple­ments pro­vid­ing ser­vices and ad­min­is­tra­tion to ho­tel guests, and this also sup­ports the apart­ment com­po­nent.

“A nor­mal man­ag­ing agent can­not com­pete with the ser­vice level of­fer­ing of a ho­tel man­age­ment com­pany as they do not have the man­power to deal with the day-to-day is­sues of a nor­mal apart­ment body cor­po­rate.

“The Radis­son Blu Ho­tel and Res­i­dence is do­ing ex­cep­tion­ally well. Own­ers and ten­ants are en­joy­ing the ser­vices, and the ho­tel is pro­vided with a base line of clients for their ser­vices, even in off-peak months when oc­cu­pancy lev­els are lower.”

Ho­tel- apart­ment de­vel­op­ments are also a fo­cus for Sig­natura in Cen­tury City as the de­vel­op­ers be­lieve the in­di­vid­ual who chooses to live in the city should not have to sac­ri­fice the of­fer­ings in sim­i­lar build­ings on the At­lantic se­aboard.

“In­di­vid­u­als who pur­chased units at The Onyx don’t re­alise how world-class the build­ing is go­ing to be,” Cohen says.

In Rom­ney Park, re­fur­bish­ment will mod­ernise the in­te­rior and turn the lux­ury ser­viced ac­com­mo­da­tion into sec­tional ti­tle apart­ments, says Heino Reul­ing, direc­tor of Rom­ney Park Lux­ury Apart­ments. The de­ci­sion fol­lowed the re­tire­ment of the ma­jor­ity Ger­man share­holder, and was based on the past suc­cess­ful use of the large square me­ter­age of the units and guests’ en­joy­ment of the suites’ spa­cious­ness.

The po­ten­tial for the ex­ist­ing lay­out of units to be made big­ger and con­verted to lux­ury apart­ments with min­i­mal de­vel­op­ment ef­fort was also a fac­tor, he says. Rom­ney Park was orig­i­nally built as a sec­tional ti­tle build­ing and con- verted into a ho­tel.

“Af­ter 21 years, the cir­cle is now com­plete with the ho­tel be­ing con­verted back into apart­ments.

“Off-shore guests and reg­u­lar ho­tel guests have al­ways hinted at this, with com­ments like “if you ever sell as units, let me know’,” Reul­ing says.

In Cape Town, as in large cos­mopoli­tan cities like New York, Lon­don and Paris, this trend of ho­tel- apart­ment de­vel­op­ment is fast tak­ing root as more buy­ers see the value in a home that comes with all the lux­u­ries as­so­ci­ated with a ho­tel stay, says Rob Ste­fanutto, group man­ag­ing direc­tor at Do­gon Group Prop­er­ties.

“The ho­tel res­i­dence trend essen­tially al­lows own­ers the op­por­tu­nity to live in a ho­tel per­ma­nently and en­joy the same fa­cil­i­ties as tem­po­rary ho­tel guests, from room ser­vice to fine din­ing, a concierge ser­vice, gym, pool and spa.

“We do be­lieve the trend will con­tinue to grow.

“This way of liv­ing is par­tic­u­larly at­trac­tive to peo­ple down-siz­ing and look­ing for lock-up-and-go op­tions, and it is per­fect for those who live a fast-paced lifestyle. Plus it fits in with the gen­eral global trend of liv­ing in smaller sized prop­er­ties sit­u­ated in city cen­tres.”

Ste­fanutto says ho­tel res­i­dences are an at­trac­tive in­vest­ment for busi­ness peo­ple who travel fre­quently and want to en­joy the com­fort of a per­ma­nent apart­ment that is main­tained and ser­viced. When not in res­i­dence, the unit brings in rental re­turns for the owner.

PIC­TURE: SIG­NATURA

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the ho­tel lobby at The Onyx, Sig­natura’s ho­tel and res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment on Heeren­gracht, op­po­site the Cape Town In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

PIC­TURE: SEEFF HOUT BAY

A prime piece of land at Hout Bay’s World of Birds is on the mar­ket.

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