Covid-19 has not stopped progress on one of South Africa’s most ambitious apartment mega-projects, the R5.5 billion City Center development of Steyn City located on the sprawling 2000-acre estate in Joburg.
That’s the word of developer Giuseppe Plumari, CEO of Steyn City Properties and business partner of insurance billionaire Douw Steyn in Steyn City’s largest billion-rand development.
Read: Joburg’s Steyn City will be a R30bn development by 2030
Speaking to Moneyweb on Wednesday, he said that despite some delays due to the pandemic and last year’s shutdowns, higher-density development is on track.
“As large investors, we are fully committed to the project as a long-term investment in the future of South Africa,” noted Plumari.
“In fact, we have already invested more than R3 billion in the first phase of the new City Center development in Steyn City and we will officially launch the apartment sales of this new section. [publicly] next week, ”he said.
Around 730 apartments are part of the overall residential development, representing the first “high-rise” apartment offering in Steyn City. Just over 280 apartments will be launched on the market with the completion of the first phase.
Plumari said that when this project is fully completed, around R5.5 billion will have been invested. This excludes the remainder of the larger Steyn City urbanization and commercial development node, which is located near Fourways in Joburg.
Steyn City takes shape to be a ‘farm like no other’
Steyn City is rapidly taking shape
“We now have around 1,300 independent dwellings or residential sites on the farm, in addition to sections of commercial offices, private schools and a new ‘helistop’ [for chartered and scheduled helicopter flight] among other offers ”, he pointed out.
“The first phase of Steyn City’s overall development saw an investment of around R6.5 billion in recent years. In 2019, we started the development of the new R5.5 billion city center, which will include some 730 apartments in a single taller building, but with a village-like layout linked by several squares, ”he explained.
“There are also about 6,500m2 of retail space for convenience retail offerings, such as a grocery store, coffee shops, restaurants, spas, and hair salons. The ‘apartment towns’ and commercial space are all on top of a super basement [built] for 2,000 cars, which means that the area above is a pedestrian-friendly and car-free zone, ”added Plumari.
He told Moneyweb that when the second phase of downtown development is completed over the next two years, the total investment in Steyn City will exceed the R13 billion mark.
“This excludes money spent on the roughly 1,300 detached houses or residential sites that are already on the larger farm. It is difficult for us to put a number on it, as some houses are worth several million rand or more. We anticipate seeing around 6,000 homes as part of the overall Steyn City development when fully completed, but that could be higher based on demand, ”he said.
“The City Center development will bring over 700 apartments to market, bringing Steyn City homes to over 2,000. So far, I’d say about 20% of the developable land on the larger estate has been developed,” he noted. Plumari.
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He is optimistic that the apartments in the new development will sell, not only because of SA’s low interest rates in five decades, but because of what he describes as an “apartment offering unmatched in the country.”
“This is a world-class development and we have already sold 25 apartments to our existing investor base in Steyn City, even before we hit the broader market. Of the two penthouses that are part of the first phase of the city center development, one has already been sold for around R35 million, ”said Plumari.
Pam Golding Properties and Kent Gush Properties have been appointed to handle apartment sales for this new development.
Dr Andrew Golding, CEO of Pam Golding Property Group, told Moneyweb that City Center’s latest offering in Steyn City further positions it as a premier residential property development on the African continent and globally.
“With a wealth of amenities and activities set on 2,000 acres, all conveniently located between Johannesburg and Pretoria, this unique property is difficult to compete with,” he said.
“From an investor perspective, in addition to the potential for strong buy-to-rent profitability, favorable capital growth can be achieved in the medium and long term due to the fact that the Steyn City and City Center offering is so unique that it is not it can replicate, certainly not in Gauteng, and not on this scale and with this high level of finishes, ”added Golding.