It is currently the largest single property construction site in SA, with eight cranes, more than 2 000 construction workers and major excavation work taking place.
Development of a new ‘city centre’ within the exclusive multi-billion-rand Steyn City lifestyle estate, located between Fourways and Lanseria International in northern Joburg, is well underway and was officially announced on Wednesday. It will offer 730 apartments, retail and leisure space as well as a 300m-wide lagoon and man-made beach.
The R5.5 billion project represents the next major phase of development at Steyn City, which is backed by billionaire Douw Steyn, fellow insurance tycoons the Enthhoven family, property developer Giuseppe Plumari and other private investors.
As part of its first phase launched in 2015, R6.5 billion has already been invested in bulk infrastructure and other buildings to set up the sprawling 2 000-acre estate.
Around 1 000 residential stands have been sold to date at Steyn City, which today has numerous multi-million-rand homes – including Douw Steyn’s palatial mansion reportedly worth more than R250 million.
Plumari, who is the public face and CEO of Steyn City Properties, tells Moneyweb that the city centre development will kick off with around 730 apartments in adjoined multi-level buildings and have 5 000m2 of initial retail space on the ground floor. Like Joburg’s established Melrose Arch precinct, construction of the new urban centre within Steyn City includes a “super-basement” for vehicles.
“The R5.5 billion project is part of our ‘Vision 2020’ next phase of development and will bring our investment commitments into the overall Steyn City estate to around R12 billion,” says Plumari. “It shows our strong commitment to investing long term in SA, despite tough economic conditions currently.”
“Our new ground-breaking city centre project is being built atop a super-basement for around 2 000 cars,” he adds. “There will be no cars on the piazza level, which will overlook the lagoon and beach on one side, while the other side will have views of a new 80 000m2 office park section. Further developments in the estate include a private high school to complement our existing primary school, and a heliport.”
Plumari says the R12 billion investment commitment by Steyn City’s investors excludes the homes being built by buyers of the 1 000 residential sites already sold.
Steyn City Properties has thus far seen about R2.2 billion in sales from these sites.
More to come
Asked what the total investment in Steyn City might total once the estate is fully developed, he says it is likely top the R30-billion mark in ten years, with more developments in the pipeline.
“The estate could ultimately have between 9 000 and 10 000 homes, including free-standing houses, apartments and penthouses,” he says. “We’re also planning to build a world-class sports centre at Steyn City, in addition to a 25 000m2 shopping centre near one of its entrances.
With these amenities and half of the estate being parkland and green spaces, he believes Steyn City will be South Africa’s top estate.
Also at the event was Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth. New World Wealth, which also brings out the annual AfrAsia Bank SA Wealth Report, uses criteria such as views and scenery, communal parks and gardens, design and space, location, and security, as well as activities and facilities offered in compiling its top ten SA residential estates report. It does not look at the financial performance of an estate or appreciation in value of properties as part of its research.
“We no longer rank estates in specific positions in our top ten SA residential estates report,” he says. “However, Steyn City is part of our list of leading estates in the country together with the likes of Val de Vie, Zimbali, Fancourt and Pezula among others.”
He adds that Waterfall Equestrian Estate and Blair Atholl in Gauteng are also part of its top ten.
According to Plumari, Steyn City’s other noteworthy investments into the estate include over 45km of roads and walking paths, an aquatic centre and the planting of a million trees within its borders. He also revealed to Moneyweb that the new city centre focal point of the estate could “double up” in size in terms of apartments and other facilities, as its structured super-basement has a 2 000-car capacity.
The apartment buildings in the new development are already several storeys high and, remarkably, the developers have not yet sold a single unit. Plumari says a sales launch is planned for next February.
“This highlights our commitment to investing in SA,” he adds. “Yes, we are taking risk, but we are confident in the future of the country over the long term. We’re confident the apartments and penthouses will sell, as we are also selling an unbeatable lifestyle offering here.”