Penthouse living for SA's slick city dwellers

More and more young professionals are seeking out city living with penthouses in the Johannesburg CBD, which fetch anything from R2.5m each or rent out from R15 000 a month.

One- and two-bedroomed fully furnished apartments in upmarket Melrose Arch are being advertised from R15 000 upward.

No. 87 Commissioner Street in downtown Johannesburg is among a number of renovated buildings boasting penthouse living. Edmore Chitokomere of Jawitz Properties says the apartments are attracting mainly young professionals working in or around town, or people seeking a lock-up-and-go option. It’s also an option for investors seeking high yields of between 10% and 20%.

Perched atop No. 87 is a 246m² apartment accessible by lift from the basement. A massive brass door opens onto an open plan lounge/study area with the original parquet flooring and wood panelling along sections of the walls.

Just off the lounge is the spacious main bedroom with walk in closet and en suite bath and shower. Natural light permeates the living space which is uncluttered and opens onto views of the city and the Library Gardens.

Tucked in a corner as you enter through the main door is a fitted kitchen with a dumbwaiter at your beck and call to hoist food or whatever other refreshments you like from the ground floor to the first.

A spiral staircase takes you up a flight to another living area and single bedroom with natural light again flooding the living space. And if you have the energy, a trek up yet another flight of stairs takes you to the sprawling rooftop garden with panoramic views of the city and the northern suburbs.

Chitokomere says young professionals are also turning to fully furnished apartments in Marshaltown that are in close proximity to the Rea Vaya rapid bus transport system, other public transport, Gandhi Square, banks, shops, coffee shops and the Gautrain. He adds many residents work in the area cutting out the city’s often chaotic traffic congestion.

Chitokomere says property in Marshaltown or Braamfontein can in some instances be more expensive in terms of rate per square metre compared with similar apartments in the upmarket Killarney area north of the city, even though the latter is generally more spacious.

To illustrate this, Chitokomere showed Moneyweb a one-bedroomed, fully furnished apartment in the heart of Marshaltown’s financial district being rented out for around R6 500 a month and furnished bachelor pads going for about R4 500 a month.

A similar apartment in Sandton north of the city will set you back between R6 000 and R7 000 monthly, without having to contend with peak hour traffic. Areas of the inner city, notably those within the precincts of Anglo American, the big four banks, government buildings and other corporates have been renovated as part of attempts to revamp the CBD.


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