R250million sold across region on auction floor

Whether it was Wednesday, 18 March 2010, in Gauteng at The Radisson, or Thursday, 19 March 2010, at Crystal Towers Hotel in Cape Town, both venues were certainly the place to see and be seen. As the auction halls in these glamorous hotels filled up to a bursting stature of over 400 people each, Auction Alliance’s team, led by master auctioneer and company CEO, Rael Levitt, gave full throttle during the course of the proceedings.
The properties on offer ensured a strong attendance, as onlookers and serious bidders alike crammed into the generously sized rooms. “The energy was palpable,” commented one client, whose associate had flown in especially to take part in the Cape Town auction. With three hotels in the Cape, and one in Gauteng, complimented by a variety of notable commercial and smaller industrial properties up for auction, the quality of stock certainly paid tribute to the attendance and bidding in both regions.
With a stellar price tag of R250million in cumulative sales, hotels seemed to dominate the auction floor. For the operator looking for a boutique catch, La Splendida, based in Mouille Point, was just the trophy, and active bidding both on the floor and by phone confirmed this. The hotel boasts 24 suites, and exhibits both internal and external Art Deco features. A recently renovated Italian-style cafe, which enjoys a high level of foot traffic and superb exposure, is located on the ground floor. The hotel offers prime access to the nearby beachfront, as well as a golf course and the V&A Waterfront complex. The hotel commanded much interest leading up to the auction as it remains the only hotel on the Mouille Point strip. Not losing any momentum on auction day, the sale was confirmed on the floor at a stellar R28,6million.
Also up for offer, were the immensely popular Codfather and Dizzy’s Jazz café. Both these locations are household names to most Cape Town locals who live along the Atlantic Seaboard, and probably no fewer than two thirds of tourists that head for the Camps Bay strip have dined at these two establishments. Their status has been earned by over a decade’s worth of trading, and their long leases confirm that they have no intention of leaving. On the back of this, Camps Bay Corner also ensured its place on the road to success with another “GONE” sign soon to attach itself to this iconic property. It sold for a solid R26,95million to an out-of-town buyer.
For the investor looking for a less central, but equally accessible investment, Harbour House Hotel in Hermanus was certainly not overlooked. With ultra-modern finishes complimenting the original house, this property offers 18 self-catering units for the tourist looking for more privacy, as well as a boutique conference facility that can host up to 30 people. The target market for this property comprised someone who enjoys engaging with a national and international client base looking for seaside tranquility, but supported by the infrastructure offered by a well established town. This hotel too secured its place on the winning mile at a fantastic R19,8million after remaining unsold almost two years ago at a previous sale.
Moving upwards to Gauteng, the United Hotel in Midrand was hammered home at R27,5million, keeping the “GONE” figures all at similar levels across the country. This hotel, with its 116 rooms, compliments the business traveller due to its central location close to major arterial roads, conference centres and strategic commercial nodes.
Other notable sales supported the upbeat market sentiment that seems to be pervading through the auction walls. Such sales included a fully-let unit in a gated industrial office area in Racing Park, Cape Town, with a national tenant at R3,65million; and vacant industrial land in Bellville South for R4,7million. The prices and confirmed sales mark a positive sense of buyers’ willingness to transact again at fair market values. “These were both our best auctions in almost two years,” commented Levitt to a bank representative who themselves witnessed several key clients amongst the crowds. “People remain discerning, but there is no doubt that appetite is back,” concludes Levitt.
Issued by Auction Alliance

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