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World Cup boosts high-end accomodation demand in Joburg

The centre of Johannesburg will become a hive of activity as foreign visitors arrive to stay at upmarket accommodation in the city centre during the FIFA 2010 World Cup. Aengus Property Management (APM) which administers more than 2000 stylish apartments in the centre of town, says a number of its units have already been booked out for the duration of the tournament - an unprecedented amount for non-hoteliers.

"We've been inundated with requests for accommodation from overseas visitors coming from as far away as Europe and South America," says APM Marketing Director, Simon Rubin. "We have been inundated with requests for room nights that have been booked across our portfolio and we hope we will have sufficient stock to meet the last minute demand."

Over the past few years the Aengus Property Holdings that owns APM has transformed former office blocks in the Braamfontein district into modern and fashionable apartments. The company's portfolio consists of a mixture of developments, including one and two-bed and apartments.

"This is a unique opportunity for us, and perfect timing as we can offer visitors affordable, high-end accommodation all within a 2km radius from Ellis Park stadium and just 12 minutes from Soccer City in Nasrec," says Rubin.

He says Braamfontein's convenient location is unparalleled for the FIFA 2010 World Cup. "The area also offers visitors a range of attractions and activities, from restaurants to art galleries, nightclubs and retail shops."

All of APM's buildings offer superior security, with biometric fingerprint access and 24-hour guarding. While the South African Police Service have been very cooperative in securing the area for international guests, APM will also be employing additional private security around its buildings to ensure the safety of visitors during the soccer tournament.

Historically, APM's buildings in the Braamfontein area have mostly been let out to young professionals working in the city and student tenants attending university at nearby campuses. "The World Cup coincides conveniently with student vacations, so we were able to rent out these rooms to visitors instead," says Rubin. The company had also allocated rooms in its portfolio as far back as last year specifically for the World Cup.

The company has recently invested in upgrading the facilities at some of its buildings, including constructing gyms, convenience stores and restaurants in preparation for the influx of World Cup visitors. "We are well on the way to developing Apart-Hotels, which are hotels made up of individual apartments," says Rubin.

So far, APM's units have been booked out for the duration of the tournament - five weeks in total, but a number of guests have chosen to stay for longer, either before or after the World Cup. "We've traditionally focused on the rental and property management side of the business, but the World Cup could open up new opportunities for APM in the hospitality sector," says Rubin.

He says the company is excited about showcasing the city's attractions to hundreds of foreign visitors. "Our buildings will become a melting pot where soccer fans from different nations can enjoy the excitement of the World Cup in style at an affordable price," says Rubin.