Landani House: A mark of hope for revitalisation, TUHF

Posted On Wednesday, 03 July 2024 07:20 Published by
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At 32 Becker Street in Yeoville, there is a double story residential apartment building that is hard to miss, given its current green façade.

Housing 22 units, it is also home to Andile Zulu's aspirations to becoming a property entrepreneur, and a noble goal of uplifting the Yeoville area, called Landani House.

Andile explains that the building had a previous owner who sold the property before migrating to Cape Town, and the building came onto the market practically fully rented. He elaborates that he was drawn to purchase the property, with TUHF's assistance, since he had previously owned a sectional title property in the area and wanted to participate in revitalising this inner-city neighbourhood of Johannesburg.

“Unfortunately, Berea and Yeoville have several rundown buildings which are not being maintained and the housing standard within the area continues to deteriorate. I saw an opportunity to enter the market as a young property investor to learn about the property market, understand the needs of tenants within the area and get to grips with how best that can be monetised into a viable business venture,” he continues.

For Andile, his first project with TUHF has two objectives. The first is to enable him to gain the necessary experience in the affordable rental property space and within the area to propel him into building his property portfolio. The second is to provide quality and affordable housing for the people of Yeoville and Berea and ultimately contribute to TUHF’s vision of revitalising metros like Johannesburg.  

Although purchasing an existing building meant no need for construction, he is currently doing renovations in a phased approach to improve the building.

This entails refurbishing the bathrooms and toilets, on a sequential schedule, so that as each set of three bathrooms are being renovated, residents could make use of the other facilities. As the internal refurbishing is almost complete, Andile plans to move onto the next phase from June. He explains that this entails patching up cracks in the façade, replastering it where necessary and painting the entirety of the building externally to give it a fresh look and street appeal.

Few if any property development projects are without their challenges. For Andile, these entailed dealing with the city, and at the beginning, tenants that were in arrears.

However, following the premise of learning through one's experiences, together with his team, Andile created an 'operating system' to deal with challenges as they arise. “This ensures that we deal with any red flags immediately. Delays in the past of waiting and seeing how situations evolve led us into sticky situations with evicting tenants, dealing with threats from tenants we are evicting, meter thefts, and utility management,” he elaborates. 

Another critical learning that Andile highlights from his first project is the importance of teamwork and not trying to go it alone.

“For example, TUHF had an immense contribution to getting this deal over the line as they assisted me in some of the legal and general administrative outside of buying a building, not to mention the assistance of providing me with the loan facility,” he explains.

Additionally, Andile was able to rely on the skills of Landani Facilities Management, a company which he also runs. The commercial and facilities management company offers a range of soft and hard services that include cleaning, pest control, landscaping, maintenance, renovations, and handyman services. All of these helped in the refurbishment of the building.

Later Andile plans to undertake a solar lighting project for the building. “These are part of the measures to increase the security and improve the general safety of the building for all tenants and will mitigate the lack of streetlights outside the building”, he explains.

For Andile, Landani House at 32 Becker Street is his launchpad into more ambitious projects and mentions that while this is his first project with TUHF, it is not his last.

“In subsequent property developments I want to take everything I have learnt through this experience of the TUHF Programme for Property Entrepreneurs (TPPE) and expand beyond the safety of my first investment. I am committed to my properties for the long haul, and plan to be involved with revitalising the area for the next couple of decades,” he concludes.

 

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 03 July 2024 07:33

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