Abalengani expands leisure property portfolio

The Abalengani Group has announced the expansion of their leisure property portfolio with the acquisition of the Klein Normandie farm in the Franschhoek Valley and Paperbark Lodge, a private game reserve located in the Waterberg.

Klein Normandie is a historic 85ha wine farm property established in 1688, located in the Franschhoek Valley and bordered by the world famous Boschendal and L'Ormarins wine estates. The farm is also located in an area proclaimed a Cultural Heritage site by the SAHRA in 2007. Currently Klein Normandie has a 28,33ha vineyard that produces Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinotage. There is an additional 32ha of high quality soils that have been identified for possible future vineyards. Abalengani intends to further develop the dwellings on the farm into luxury accommodation in the form a boutique hotel, as well as a residential manor house. Abalengani also intends to develop state-of-the-art conference and event facilities during the refurbishment of the farm.

Paperbark Lodge is a six star game reserve that is located within a 2,5 hour drive from Johannesburg, in the Waterberg Mountains, and is part of a proclaimed UNESCO biosphere. The reserve offers Big 5 game viewing, with the largest private collection of White Rhino and over 270 species of bird. Abalengani is in the process of refurbishing the Afr-French styling of the luxury lodge, which is due for completion in early December 2008.

The Abalengani Group, predominantly a residential and commercial property developer in the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg, first entered the leisure property market with the Nondela Drakensberg Mountain Estate. Construction on the residential and golfing estate located in the Northern Drakensberg began in 2006, with the first phases of development now nearing completion.

“The diversification of our property portfolio into leisure property is a natural evolution of our business, having started with land banking in the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg in the late 1990’s, to becoming one of the biggest residential property developers in the area,” says Ashruf Kaka, Chief Executive Officer of Abalengani. “We also have a number of commercial properties on our books at the moment, so we have been looking for new avenues for growth.

“The slow down in the residential property market, which fortunately has not been felt as much in the top end of the market in which we operate, has necessitated some degree of diversification to ensure continued growth for the company,” continues Kaka. “Abalengani intends to use these acquisitions to create a solid base from which to grow our property portfolio even further into the future,” he concludes.

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