Sales booming for new Investec project

Posted On Monday, 06 October 2003 02:00 Published by
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Prime position: close to the CBD, Royal Ascot residential development has optimised site layout

GRAHAM NORRIS

Property Editor

IN LESS than 18 months since its launch, well over 500 homes have been sold at Royal Ascot, the Investec Property Group's 34ha residential development on the edge of the former Milnerton racetrack.

Sales are, in fact, running 18 months ahead of schedule and recently it was predicted that all 1 300 homes in the estate will be signed for before the end of 2004, two years ahead of the original proposed completion date. Now Investec and their project managers, Rabie Property Projects, have expressed their ongoing confidence in Royal Ascot by themselves coming in as joint developers on a project, to be known as Chestnut Ridge. John Chapman, a Rabie director who has been closely involved with Royal Ascot from the initial conceptual status, said that Chestnut Ridge will have 61 double and single storey units, all to be sold under individual title. Handover of the units is scheduled from June 2004 onwards but prices will remain constant throughout the building period.

The site selected for Chestnut Ridge is on the western side of the project, sloping in a north westerly direction and, as this will be terraced, many homes will have views of Table Bay, Robben Island and Table Mountain. "This is certainly one of the best sites at Royal Ascot," said Chapman, "and our architect Kevin Gadd has optimised the site layout to maximise view and North orientation." The homes will be in a modern Victorian style with steeply pitched tiled roofs, overhanging eaves and large covered patios. These will lead off the living areas through full-length small pane French doors, forming an integral part of the living and entertainment areas in most homes.

The homes will be substantially larger than in most new developments launched these days - another "Victorian" touch: floor plans will vary from 120m2 to 150m2 in size - with the covered patios, measuring up to 25m2, being additions to these areas. "In consultation with the architects," said Chapman, "we worked hard to achieve good flows between the open plan kitchen and the living areas which spill out onto the patios and enclosed gardens. The majority of homes have two full bathrooms and a separate guest loo, and we have linked the garages to provide direct access to kitchens so as to overcome the hazards of a traditional Cape winter." All homes will have a garage and a second parking bay suitable for conversion to a garage. Generous visitor parking space has also been allocated. Street parking for residents or guests will never be necessary. Chapman stressed that buyers at Chestnut Ridge are likely to be owner-occupiers, not investors, and, he added, the design will appeal to a wide cross-section of the market, from newly-weds with young children to retirees.

Kevin Gadd has, he said, allowed for no fewer than 15 different floor plans and configurations. The imposing double storey units will comprise two homes, again in conformity with the Victorian theme and all three bedrooms will be upstairs. The living areas will always be on the ground floor and will be open-plan. There are 24 double storey and 37 freestanding single storey homes. As on all all the projects at Royal Ascot, the Chestnut Ridge homes will be enclosed with security walling - and there will be only one entrance gate, which will be remote-controlled. The backyards and entertainment gardens of all homes will be enclosed with walling but a portion of the front garden will be open to the estate's paved roads, thereby creating a friendly streetscape without the walled-in look of too many projects today. Prices are pitched from R585 000 to R850 000 inclusive of VAT. Farrel Osher of Investec has pointed out that these equate to R4 600 to R5 000 per m2 which he said, is "excellent value and about one third of what is being paid for many of the currently fashionable CBD apartments in elderly revamped buildings and about one fifth or one sixth what is being asked in the V&A Waterfront."

Chapman said that work had already started on two showhouses and these will be open to the public in November. The development's experienced sales team, which handles all sales at Royal Ascot, will operate from these. A fully detailed scaled model of the project is now on view at the current sales office on the estate. Chapman said that news of Chestnut Ridge had been picked up by the market, and, rather than frustrate would-be buyers, the sales team had simply signed them up - and is continuing to do so. However, the official launch and the break out of the advertising campaign are set for today. "Royal Ascot has, I believe, proved three things yet again," said Chapman. "The first is that buyers like to be within easy commuting distance of the Cape Town central business district.

The second is that they approve wholeheartedly of the landscaping and security measures for which Rabie is now well known. Thirdly, they are well informed when it comes to prices and value. "Chestnut Ridge - and indeed all of Royal Ascot developments are proving popular because they offer no nonsense, competitive, market-related value - something only possible when one is dealing, as here, in large numbers." For further information phone John Chapman 021 762 7080.


Publisher: Weekend Argus
Source: Weekend Argus

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