Mansions maintained

2015-08-25 14:47

The Warwick, a new development on Main Road, looks to merge the old with the new.

nicole mccain

The Warwick, a new development on Main Road, looks to merge the old with the new. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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A Green Point heritage building is being incorporated into a multi-storey development.

But all the historical features of Warwick Mansions are set to stay.

The building will be completely restored, says sales agent Ryan Joffe, and the windows, doors, floors, electrical wiring and plumbing is all all to be redone.

New bathrooms and kitchens will be fitted in the dozen “classically modern” apartments housed in the historical building.

In a fusion “of Cape heritage and of modern style”, the property alongside Warwick Mansions will be developed into a 12 storey contemporary block, housing another 39 apartments.

Due to the “significant” heritage of Warwick Mansions, the decision was made to combine the old with the new, says Joffe.

“We spent a year working with Heritage Western Cape, redesigning our new building to complement the old. We could not knock down the old building and it’s very hard to make a new building look old, so we went for very modern,” he says.

Green Point Ratepayers’ Association spokesperson Luke Stevens says Warwick Mansions is a well-known property.

“Entering Green Point from the city you cannot fail to notice it. Redolent of a period when craft, detail and beauty counted for much, it is seated on a splayed corner, generously set back from the street. It sets a significant period tone to the suburb and breathes some graceful calm into the Main Road bustle,” he says.

“In a time where history counts for little, and when developers exploit every weakness in law, demolishing or eroding whatever Green Point built heritage they can buy, it is an absolute delight to see a building spared. The restoration and revitalisation of this building is all the more significant in that this project clearly demonstrates investment in the old is economically justifiable and that the outcome is desirable for buyers.”

However, the larger, contemporary part of the development is widely considered by residents “to be two floors higher than anybody wishes”, Steven says.

“This height, unfortunately, is within the limits of what the Cape Town zoning scheme permits. On the positive side there are fairly generous setbacks.

“We hope the inevitable noise, dust and disruption during construction do not cause too great a financial hardship for surrounding businesses,” he says.

The development will boast secure underground parking, fibre optic internet wiring, CCTV surveillance systems and 24-hour security, Joffe says.

Approval for the development has been given by council and construction has already started on site.

The sell-out value of the property is estimated at R220m.

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