Facelift for Milnerton

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 he 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 the giant 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 unique combination of upmarket office suites, retirement homes and exclusive apartments within a sectional title scheme, he says.

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 comprises 34 apartments for over-60s, almost fully let. Take-up has been mainly by locals, he says, many of whom had seized the opportunity to divest themselves of large, unmanageable owned homes. Instead they have invested the proceeds of their sales, while taking advantage of the scheme’s extremely competitive rentals to enjoy low-maintenance living in a quiet, peaceful environment that is 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 snapped up within weeks of the launch by 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 which is at the disposal of residents.

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 its world-famous views of Table Mountain.”

Article by: Ingrid Smit' Property Journalist - ingridsmit@worldonline.co.za