‘The Zen’ mixed-use development – adding a new dimension to uMhlanga Newtown living

As a recent new urbanism project, the focus of design in the uMhlanga Ridge Town Centre on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal has been on a public environment that is accessible to all, safe and convenient for pedestrians, attractively landscaped, managed and maintained. The architecture embraces an eclectic, contemporary approach which appeals to people of all ages.

Artist Impression of The Zen in Umhlanga Ridge Town Centre
The area is already well developed, with the acclaimed Gateway Theatre of Shopping at the epicentre and with a five acre green belt running alongside with beautifully landscaped green lawns, shady trees and a large natural freshwater pond. Security and safety in the Newtown precinct is of a high standard, with 24 hour CCTV surveillance and patrols. A further advantage is the proximity of King Shaka International Airport, just minutes away, as well as office parks in the La Lucia and uMhlanga areas.
Only about a five-minute walk from Gateway and the park is planned a new mixed-use development, The Zen, which accords with the ‘live, work, play’ philosophy of the area.
Pam Golding Properties has just secured an exclusive mandate for the Zen, for the marketing of 61 residential apartments and 12 offices and retail units, which are being sold off-plan.
Elwyn Schenk, area principal for Pam Golding Properties in uMhlanga and eMdloti says: “With its trendy clear lines and central location in the heart of uMhlanga Ridge Town Centre, The Zen is already proving immensely popular, with 25 apartments – at a total sales value of approximately R19 million - already sold within just two weeks of being launched. Completion of the project is anticipated for August 2015.
“Purchasers to date are a mix of young buyers seeking to gain a foothold in the property market for a modest price, as well as buy to let investors wishing to achieve a good return on investment. The block represents excellent value for money with 42sqm, one bedroom, one bathroom apartments priced from R695 000, two bedroom, two bathroom units of 70.6sqm priced from R999 000, and three bedroom, two bathroom units of 90sqm priced from R1.299 million.”
The apartments are open plan with quality fittings and all units include a laundry room, the latter facility which is not often seen in developments of this nature. Adds Schenk: “Most units also include a small storeroom and patio area, together with one or two secure, covered basement parking bays, and on the first floor of the building will be an appealing, fully-equipped gym and swimming pool area plus an open garden. The layout of The Zen also allows for ample visitors’ parking.”
Being a mixed-use building, the ground floor comprises 12 commercial or retail units, each 100sqm in size, available to purchase at R17 500 per square metre (excluding VAT).
Adds Schenk: “Given the position, appealing modern design and reasonable pricing, demand is brisk for a development such as The Zen with the residential component attracting those who prefer to own their own apartment – sometimes with financial assistance from family members – rather than pay the high rentals which the area commands. The latter naturally serves to make the units very appealing for buy to let investors.”

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