Affordable homes in upmarket resort

A MASSIVE R4,5bn coastal development called Blythedale Coastal Resort, which covers 1200ha, is being planned for KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast. What differentiates the proposed development, which is awaiting approval in terms of the Development Facilitation Act, from a host of other resort developments is that well over 25% of the development will be set aside for affordable housing. Government has previously proposed that 20% of new residential property developments be set aside for affordable housing. While many developers are concerned that such proposals could put pressure on already squeezed profit margins, there are some who are thinking of creative ways of providing affordable housing and limiting pressures.

Cape Town developer Johnny Rabie said at commercial property association Sapoa’s annual convention in May that one of the creative ways to alleviate the housing shortage was to develop affordable housing as part of mixed-use developments.

Rabie said the Rabie Property Group, of which he is chairman, had used this model to provide 800 affordable housing units at Westlake, in Cape Town.

This development also included 300 upmarket residential units, office space, a school, mixed business space and a shopping centre.

The mixed-use development model enables the developer to use the profits of a mixed-use development to cross-subsidise the affordable housing portion.

The same principle is being applied at the Blythedale Coastal Resort, which is being developed by The eLan Group about 25km from the new King Shaka International Airport. It is expected to receive approval in terms of the Development Facilitation Act within the week.

Shayne Isbister, project director, says the resort consists of five development nodes: Blythedale Ocean, Blythedale Forest, Blythedale Golf, Blythedale Equestrian and Blythedale Hills.

Blythedale Ocean will have three medium-density housing clusters, a hotel with 600 rooms and about 500 freehold sites.

Blythedale Forest has several development sites and about 400 freehold sites.

An Ernie Els championship golf course and 1800 apartments ranging from R750000 are planned for Blythedale Golf.

Blythedale Equestrian consists of 30 sites ranging from 4500m² and R2m.

Blythedale Hills, the affordable housing component, will consist of 1100 stands priced from R50000 to about R350000.

Isbister says Blythedale Hills is aimed at a range of people, including those who are eligible for government subsidies, as well as teachers and policemen.

He says a range of different facilities will be developed within the overarching Blythedale Coastal Resort. These include three schools within Blythedale Hills, a sporting school of excellence, soccer fields, rugby fields, a golf driving range and clubhouse facilities.

The eLan Group, which will resell the sites for facilities development to other developers but manage the specifications of these developments, says a commercial and retail component will also be developed, as a well as a private school.

There will be a retirement village, a clinic, an ecoconservation area, wellness centre of international standard, and a hotel site and theme park.

Two beaches, with shark nets, will also be available to people living on the resort, as well as the general public.

Everyone who lives on the estate will have access to the estate but membership will be required at certain facilities.

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