Covid-19 has not halted progress on one of South Africa’s most ambitious apartment mega-projects, Steyn City’s R5.5 billion City Centre development located in the sprawling 2 000-acre Joburg estate.
That’s the word from developer Giuseppe Plumari, CEO Steyn City Properties and business partner with insurance billionaire Douw Steyn on the larger multi-billion-rand Steyn City development.
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Speaking to Moneyweb on Wednesday, he said despite some delays due to the pandemic and lockdowns last year, the higher density development is on track.
“As major investors, we are fully committed to the project as a long-term investment in the future of South Africa,” Plumari pointed out.
“In fact, we have already invested more than R3 billion in the first phase of Steyn City’s new City Centre development and will be officially launching apartment sales of this new section [publicly] next week,” he said.
Around 730 apartments are part of the overall residential development, which represents the first ‘higher rise’ apartment offering in Steyn City. Just over 280 apartments will launched to market with the completion of the first phase.
Plumari said that when this project is fully complete, around R5.5 billion will have been invested. This excludes the rest of the broader Steyn City estate and commercial development node, which is near Fourways in Joburg.
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“We now have around 1 300 free standing homes or residential sites on the estate, in addition to commercial office sections, private schools and a new ‘helistop’ [for chartered and scheduled helicopter flight] among other offerings,” he noted.
“The first phase of the overall Steyn City development saw investment of around R6.5 billion over the past several years. In 2019, we began development of the new R5.5 billion City Centre, which will include some 730 apartments in a unique higher rise, but village-type design linked by several piazzas,” he explained.
“There is also about 6 500m2 of retail space for convenience retail offerings such as a food store, coffee shops, restaurants, spas and hairdressers. The ‘apartment villages’ and retail space are all on top of a super-basement [built] for 2 000 cars, which means the area above is a pedestrian-friendly and no-car zone,” added Plumari.
He told Moneyweb that when the second phase of the City Centre development is complete over the next two years, total investment in Steyn City will surpass the R13 billion mark.
“This excludes the money spent on the 1 300 or so free-standing homes or residential sites already on the broader estate. It is difficult for us to put a number to it, as some homes are worth several million rand or more. We anticipate seeing around 6 000 households as part of the overall Steyn City development when fully complete, but that could be higher based on demand,” he said.
“The City Centre development will bring over 700 apartments to market, taking Steyn City’s households to over 2 000. So far, I would say around 20% of the developable land in the broader estate has been developed,” Plumari noted.
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He is optimistic that apartments in the new development will sell, not just on the back of SA’s five-decade low interest rates, but due to what he describes as an “unmatched apartment offering in the country”.
“This is a world-class development and we have already sold 25 apartments to our existing investor base at Steyn City, even before launching to the broader market. Of the two penthouses that are part of the first phase of the City Centre development, one has already been sold for around R35 million,” said Plumari.
Pam Golding Properties and Kent Gush Properties have been appointed to handle apartments sales of this new development.
Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of Pam Golding Property group, told Moneyweb that the latest City Centre offering in Steyn City further positions it as a premier residential property development on the African continent and globally.
“With a host of amenities and activities set on 2 000 acres – all conveniently positioned between Johannesburg and Pretoria, it is hard to compete with this unique estate,” he said.
“From an investor perspective, apart from the potential for sound buy-to-let returns, favourable medium to long-term capital growth is achievable by the fact that the Steyn City and City Centre offering is so unique that it cannot be replicated, certainly not in Gauteng, and not on this scale and with this high level of finishes,” added Golding.