Rejuvenation transforming Atlantic Seaboard's urban heart

Massive investment in property regeneration is rapidly transforming the urban landscape of the Atlantic Seaboard between Sea Point and the Mother City's CBD.

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And after years of decay and stagnation this formerly vibrant strip is poised to once again become one of Cape Town’s most significant residential and commercial hubs.

Chad Shapiro, Senior Commercial Broker for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the CBD, City Bowl and on the Atlantic Seaboard says: “Cape Town’s expanding population and escalating traffic congestion between the city and suburbs during peak hours is driving the demand for living space close to the city.”

Shapiro predicts that within decade, the entire Main Road stretching from Sea Point to the Central City will have become an extension of the CBD, as well as a top-end commercial zone and popular residential node in its own right, with semi high-rise apartment and mixed-use complexes lining the thoroughfare.

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says until the early 1990s the area was a thriving retail hub by day with a vibrant night time economy, but this changed dramatically after the development of the V&A Waterfront and by 2000 there were already some 14 slum residential buildings and 120 empty shops along Main and Regent roads.

“The subsequent exodus of long-standing residents heading for safer areas destabilised not only the residential market in Lower Sea Point, Three Anchor Bay and Green Point, but also altered the social fabric and community structures that continued to deteriorate for almost a decade.

“However, the construction of the Cape Town Stadium for the 2010 Soccer World Cup and the development of the Green Point Urban Park revived interest in the area, attracting developers and initiating extensive residential and commercial regeneration.

“During the past five years we have seen all available land in the vicinity being snapped up by developers, dilapidated apartment blocks bought and completely renovated with new apartments selling quickly off plan and, one by one, the dated shopping centres are also being refurbished.”

One of the first malls to be given a major facelift was the landmark Galleria on Regent Street. Built in 1984 and centred around a Checkers supermarket, it is now known as The Point and boasts a wide range of tenants, including the completely redesigned Checkers that boasts the largest Kosher market in the southern hemisphere. 

Shapiro says: “Since then, businesses have flocked back into the area with upmarket boutiques and popular restaurants replacing the discount stores and questionable take-away eateries that had popped up on every block.

“We are also seeing new industries moving offices into the area for the first time and this is contributing to the creation of an upscale neighbourhood in which residents can live, play and work.”

Geffen says: “It’s heartening to see that this eclectic strip is no longer considered the run down, poor relation of the Atlantic Seaboard; that it’s once again becoming one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in the country, with property values soaring in tandem with the vigorous demand.”

Geffen adds that a conspicuous driving force in the strong recovery of the residential market has been rampant sectional title development.

“Propstats records show that at the end of 2010, the average sale prices of apartments in Sea Point and Green Point were R1.9 million and R1.5m respectively, although investors also had their pick of properties priced between R650 000 and R1m.

“By December 2016, the average apartment price in Sea Point had risen to R3.6m, which, measured over six years translates to a substantial nominal growth of 15% per annum. Owners who bought apartments in Green Point in 2010 fared even better as the average sale price of R3.47m by the end of last year demonstrates a substantial 21% year-on-year growth on their initial investments.”

Geffen adds that the upper end of the market has also been boosted considerably with high-end apartments now breaching the R20m mark and even unrenovated older houses above High Level Road commanding prices of up to R18m.

Contributing to the area’s growing appeal is the fact that there has been substantial investment in public amenities and residents are now able to enjoy myriad recreational facilities, well maintained parks and appealing public spaces. The entire area is also well serviced by the My CiTi rapid bus transport system.

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