Soweto is shining

With Soweto’s Orlando Stadium receiving unprecedented national attention as the venue for the recent Super14 rugby final between the Bulls and the Stormers, and now as a training venue for the Soccer World Cup, this huge suburb of Johannesburg is seeing the birth of a major new mixed-use development — the Orlando eKhaya precinct.

Just 25 kilometres from Sandton City and 22 kilometres from Johannesburg International Airport, Orlando eKhaya is expected to transform the area into a vibrant and sought after destination for investment, business and tourism which will include a world-class waterfront park, 30 000m² of new retail space and 60 hectares of open space and conservation development as well as a sizeable residential component comprising sectional title and freehold homes.

This major project is now underway, and surrounding infrastructure has already been upgraded significantly.

"With its prime location," comments Jacques Pienaar, MD of Katavi Properties, which is a subsidiary of property services company JHI, "this R1-billion rand development is set to provide a major boost for Orlando — a previously neglected area. Coupled with this, the R400-million upgrading of the University of Johannesburg Soweto campus which is incorporated in the Orlando eKhaya precinct will be a positive catalyst for investment in the whole region and further boost the demand for housing accommodation. Ultimately the upgraded campus will cater for some 10 000 students across a variety of disciplines, not all of whom can be accommodated right on campus and who will as a result require accommodation close by. This will provide a further stimulus for investment in housing in the vicinity."

Katavi Properties, who are developing the residential component at Orlando eKhaya, have over the past 16 years successfully brought to market a number of projects catering for both the affordable and middle-to-upper housing markets at a total capital value of over R500-million. Among others these include Quartz Close and Amber Ridge projects in Ormonde Johannesburg, comprising a total of 95 townhouses, 1400 government-subsidised homes in the city’s Alexandra Extension 7 and 347 upmarket stands in Clearwater Estate in Rietvalleirand in Pretoria.

Several housing developments are now being developed and sold by Katavi within Orlando eKhaya, with 28 units already sold and a completed show-house on site. In catering for the huge demand for student accommodation, 1500 two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments are selling priced from below R300 000 to around R500 000 in Orlando eKhaya Power Park. Pienaar says these will provide sound investment opportunities as buy-to-let properties. Also within Power Park a further 2500 two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments are in the pipeline, designed to cater for young families and first time buyers in the price range up to around R600 000.

In the Orlando eKhaya Townhouses gated estate over 1000 homes are planned in 10 phases with 132 units in the first phase comprising sectional title apartments priced between R695 000 and R995 000. These 60m² and 73m² homes comprise either two bedrooms or two bedrooms with a loft and car ports, while hi-tech internet connectivity and security are key features. In addition, a further tranche of 433 freestanding homes in five cluster complexes are to be situated within Orlando eKhaya and will be marketed in the R1.5-million to R3-million price range.

Investors taking note of Orlando

"Astute investors are starting to take notice regarding the major investment opportunities with tremendous growth potential which are becoming available through the acquisition of immovable property in Orlando," says Pienaar. "Having seen firsthand the unifying experience of the recent rugby event at Orlando Stadium, with fans from all walks of life enjoying the hospitality of the community in taverns and spaza shops, we believe this area is on the brink of an exciting future, so now is the ideal time to get on board.

"The significance of the Orlando eKhaya development as a key growth node cannot be underestimated. Apart from Soweto’s rich cultural and historic appeal, being home to the Mandela Family Museum and Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, this development provides a wide variety of facilities and entertainment as well as leisure activities. It sees the transformation of a heritage landmark, the Orlando Power Station, into an innovative and unique mall, with the Orlando Towers becoming the world’s first urban and indoor bungee jump. The Orlando Waterfront includes a recreation pavilion, sports and recreation centre, open public spaces, bird sanctuary, quay and jetty, restaurants, walkways around the dam, an events arena and a piazza, while Orlando Bridge or Heroes Bridge pays tribute to the people of Soweto."

Within easy reach of popular Maponya Mall and the world-renowned Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Orlando eKhaya is easily accessed off Nicholas Road which runs through to Chris Hani Road.

Other projects envisaged for inclusion in the precinct include a R400-million hotel and conference centre, a R1-billion Soweto music centre and a R300-million office block.

Article from: www.iafrica.com