|Three years and R25 million after the launch of his ambitious project to upgrade part of Milnerton’s central business district, local businessman Andrew Stephenson has good reason to pat himself on the back, if he were so inclined.|
Not only has he turned an eyesore of dilapidated buildings into a landmark residential and commercial development, but has also provided much-needed retirement accommodation for many of the town’s older residents. “Milnerton’s CBD has effectively had a facelift,” says Stephenson, who is co-owner of Stephenson Estates, one of more than 200 members of National Referral Network (NRN).
En route to the beach and lagoon, and just below the town’s Centre Point Shopping Centre, the three-phase Lagoon Views development offers a combination of upmarket office suites, retirement homes and upmarket apartments within a sectional title scheme.
According to Stephenson, the first phase involved the extensive renovation of Ascot Court, a rundown Georgian edifice dating back to 1902. Now fully let to nine businesses, it has filled a niche in the local market for well-located, small office space in a character building.
In 2005, Stephenson launched the second phase, which saw the renovation of two sister buildings, New Market and Hatfield Courts. Now linked by a landscaped courtyard, the complex of 34 apartments for over-sixties is almost fully let. Take-up has been mainly by locals, he says, many of whom have divested from large, but now unmanageable owned homes. Instead they have invested the proceeds of their sales, to enjoy low-maintenance living in an environment within walking distance of the town’s amenities.
The third and last phase unfolded on one of Milnerton’s last general residential zoned sites, once an unkempt eyesore of dilapidated garages, but now home to the first new high-rise building to be built in the town in the last 40 years. Seven storeys high, the ultra-modern apartment block comprises 28 luxury flats. Priced from R900 000 upwards, they were sold within weeks of the launch to a mix of end users and investors, says Stephenson. Linked to the retirement complex by a covered walkway, the new building has a high-speed lift.
Says Stephenson: “The entire Lagoon Views scheme is completely secure with ample basement and ground floor parking and offers residents a quiet sanctuary that is an easy walk to shops, banks, tennis, bowls and golf clubs as well as the beach with views of Table Mountain.”