Byline: Cheryl Frei
Johannesburg, Mar 16, 2007 (Business Day/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) — NORTH Riding is a popular suburb to the north of Johannesburg, in the Randburg district. Property in this area has largely evolved from small holdings to secure complexes.
North Riding is very convenient as it lies between two offramps of the N1 highway placing it within easy access of the centres of Sandton, Randburg, the east and west rand, Pretoria and Johannesburg and is only a 10 minute drive from Lanseria airport.
Two major shopping malls, Northgate and Fourways, are located on either side with many smaller centres in and around the suburb. Primary and high schools, as well as numerous pre-school institutions are also close at hand, as are private hospitals and clinics.
Although much of this region is built up, there are still a few spots available, bordering on the unspoilt veld which is found in the northern parts of Randburg. Some developers are very aware of these environmentally sensitive areas, which are decreasing in size and number, and potential buyers are responsive to every effort made by developers to conserve and protect these zones.
Rabie Property Projects of Cape Town, which has been responsible for many of that city’s prestigious residential developments over the past 28 years (including the mega Century City) is renowned for its environmentally sensitive approach to development.
In recent years the company has won the South African Property Owners Association’s green spiral award as well as the International Real Estate Federation award for its Westlake development in Cape Town.
In a joint project with ICA of Johannesburg, Rabie Property Group have launched Olive Crest, a unique 20ha high-security
eco-estate in North Riding which they are developing for a total of R48m. Plots, which average 950m’, are selling for between R795000 and R1,1m, and already 70 of the 107 erven are sold.
Allen Usher of Usher Realtors, the marketing agents, says while buyers are able to choose their own architects and builders, all homes and all landscaping has to comply with strict architectural and environmental guidelines to preserve the natural beauty and rural atmosphere. However, specific styles are not stipulated.
“The developers have gone to great lengths to ensure that although it is a secure estate with perimeter security, the security is not in your face and that the rural nature of the site will be preserved; giving residents the best of both worlds. Two hectares of the walled estate have been reserved for public open spaces for the enjoyment of all residents and include a view site sanctuary, a children’s rock forest park, a gym park, clubhouse garden, pool area and a nature trail.
“Environmental consultants have identified and mapped all significant indigenous trees — some of which are as old as 500 years — as well as large shrubs and rock formations, and buyers will have to build their homes around these. Rather than seeing this as a hindrance, buyers have embraced it as it will not only preserve the natural beauty of the area but will enhance their long-term investment,” Usher says.
The first six homes in the estate are already under construction while the clubhouse and surrounding landscaping is complete. Total land sales are expected to amount to about R80m, while total capital investment, which includes the cost of construction of the homes, is set to exceed R300m, says Usher.
Information from the Knowledge Factory’s SAPTG shows that growth for North Riding stands at 9,34% for the year to date while the five-year trend is indicated as 25,38%.
Jacqui Bell 083 251 4451
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