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Author:  Staff Writer
26 September 2020

One of the most sought-after properties in South Africa is going up for auction

Developers from South Africa and abroad are lining up to bid on a Clifton auction which includes plans for what could become the only luxury hotel in the exclusive Atlantic Seaboard suburb and its first hostelry in some 40 years.

Plans for an 18-suite boutique hotel spread over seven floors above ground and a further three basement levels have already been drawn up for the 543 sqm site on the mountainside of Victoria Road opposite 1st Beach, says High Street Auctions director Rodney Beck.

“A major design feature of the hotel plan is a fully-automated parking garage for 21 vehicles, with seamless hydraulics performing an intricate ballet behind glass walls to shift luxury vehicles in and out as needed.

“A further 235 m² have been incorporated into the plan for entertainment, dining and reception spaces, as well as back-of-house facilities. There’s also a retail element on the ground floor ideal for a coffee shop or private concierge lobby.”

Beck says years have been invested in planning and application processes to bring this unique hotel project to the point of fruition.

“The property has been rezoned to General Business 1, a demolition certificate has been obtained for the old cottage that remains at the rear of Erf 337 and excavation of the front portion has already begun.

“The Council has also granted approval for a portion of Erf 145, measuring 76m², to be sold to the owners of the adjacent Erf 337 for a price of R3.5 million, escalating at 8% p.a. from 1 September 2018. This portion must be consolidated with Erf 337.

“Although this acquisition is not compulsory, it allows the developer to build a bigger scheme with more parking and a larger footprint,” he said.

Beck said that the new developer will also have the option of purchasing a smaller vacant erf on the Apostle Stairs, adjacent to the right rear portion of the proposed hotel site.

“This lot has always been privately owned. It is currently zoned Single Residential 1, but the possibilities are endless for a developer looking to extend a hotel’s leisure facilities over an additional 455m². The chances of these two tandem lots ever coming to market at the same time again are slim to none.”

According to 2020’s South African Wealth Report published in April by New World Wealth, the stretch of Victoria Road through Bantry Bay and Clifton where the planned hotel site is located, is ranked as the most expensive street in the country, with pre-Covid real estate prices averaging out to around R80,000m².

The report also names Clifton as the most expensive suburb in South Africa.

Joff van Reenen, High Street Auctions director and lead auctioneer, says it’s precisely this exclusivity attracting international investors’ attention to the virtual auction on 8 October.

“Clifton is the French Riviera of the southern hemisphere. It’s a global hotspot to see and be seen, which doesn’t render it impervious to overall downward trends in the real estate sector but does increase its desirability as a safe harbour investment in very turbulent times.

“More encouraging still from a tourism investment perspective is that South Africa has emerged as the most sought-after international travel destination in the first post Covid-19 survey of its kind.

“It’s indisputable that our world has been changed by this pandemic. International borders are reopening, though, and people will travel again soon – perhaps slightly more selectively than before – but travel they will and Cape Town will reap the benefit.”

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