From double-storey to upmarket living

An old double-storey house in Vredehoek that offers incredible views of Table Mountain and the city has been reinvented for modern city living and transformed into four apartments and a spectacular penthouse, complete with indigenous landscaped gardens and private terraces.

Called Horizons, the development in St James Street in Vredehoek, transformed a former single dwelling built in the 1940s into four two-bedroom apartments and a three-bedroom penthouse, each with secure, off-street parking bays.

The apartments, which are priced from R1.65-million to R3.95-million, have sunny north-facing terraces that overlook the city and harbour, Signal Hill and Lion’s Head. Two also have private, landscaped gardens.

The project has been spearheaded by one of South Africa’s top property entrepreneurs, John Rabie, the chairman of Rabie Properties which is behind some of SA’s most successful mixed-use developments via his new private label brand, Signatura.

Rabie believes the time is right to drive a property revival by reinventing older buildings in sought-after areas - especially in scenically beautiful Cape Town where there is high consumer demand for homes, especially in the City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard areas.

“Horizons is a good example of well-positioned and value-priced, master-crafted accommodation within Cape Town’s city limits. And we have a pipeline of similar development opportunities ready to be transformed and brought to market.

“The whole concept of Signatura is to identify suitable older properties and renew them for 21stcentury living. Modern-day buyers want the convenience of living centrally but don’t have the time or the vision to renovate for themselves. They want superior finishes, nice places to live in the right areas and want value for their money.”
Horizon’s two-bedroom apartments range in size from 65m² to 120m², each with terraces of 11m² to 25m², while the135m² penthouse has three bedrooms and two bathrooms and three large terraces of over 80m²with mountain and city panoramas.

Designed by Juan Bernicchi Architects, the landscaping has been done by Anthony Wain of Planning Partners with interiors by well-known designer Francois du Plessis who has given the property its finishing touches.

“We worked closely with the local city council to ensure that our plans for renewal were as beneficial as possible and that the land is used in line with the City of Cape Town’s spatial development framework regulations.

“A three-bedroom, one-garage house is now a nine-bedroom, eight-garage apartment block, all without a loss of privacy or views. Consolidation, or managed densification, is the natural evolution of the Cape Town property market.”

“Urban renewal and consolidation is a growing trend in all the world’s major cities, such as Sydney, London and New York City, where land is at a premium. Vredehoek has long played second fiddle to the more ‘glamorous’ areas of Tamboerskloof and the Atlantic Seaboard. It’s an area which is perfect for reinvention because it’s full of well-built gems on sizable stands that are waiting to be transformed. It is also near excellent schools, good shopping and restaurants, the new MyCiti transport link, and boasts some of the best views in the city,” says Rabie.

“We are already planning two other Signatura developments within Vredehoek, as well as in the City Bowl and on the Atlantic Seaboard, which will all be developed to the same high standards as Horizons.”

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