Cape Town - Da'Realty is currently undertaking three luxury developments in Cape Town with a total value of R1.5bn.
The R900m Aurum development involves the redevelopment of the old Ambassador Hotel situated on the rocks in Victoria Road, Bantry Bay, along Cape Town's exclusive Atlantic Seaboard. It is being redeveloped into eight luxury "presidential penthouses" overlooking the ocean - one per floor.
Another 15 apartments being developed across the road also form part of the Aurum development.
The Aurum apartments' prices range from R25m for mountain side apartments up to R130m for sea facing apartments. Sizes range from 125m² to 800m². The development is expected to be completed by winter 2018.
Da'Realty has only been present in SA for the past three years. Founding president Ahsan Darvesh fell in love with the beauty of Cape Town while studying for his MBA in the city. He was staying at the then Ambassador Hotel, saw it was for sale and decided to open a South African division of the Darvesh family's global property development company.
Aurum presidential apartments' lobby:
The company's most recent Cape Town purchase is the Adelphi Centre in Main Road, Sea Point. Da'Realty is re-developing it into a luxury shopping centre to be renamed Artem and with a value of R200m. Artem is expected to be completed by February 2018.
Street art is being incorporated as a dominant feature in the ARTEM galleria in Main Road, Sea Point. The entire parking area will become a giant canvas, featuring designs of a group of street artists from Pretoria who have been commissioned to turn the blank walls into an urban gallery.
Lethlogonolo Mathabe, Sam Shaba, Tebogo Qhingana and Patrick Rulore are four of the members of this dynamic street art crew, working under the leadership of the group's founder Khutjo Tsebe. They have named their group “Visualiz Khorr”.
Street art at ARTEM:
Da’Realty is also developing luxury residential "hanging garden" villas in Clifton - called Azalea - with a total value of R400m. Azalea is not on the market yet and prices will be announced when it is launched. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
The company says its goal is to create properties which redefine the concept of opulent limited edition living in SA. Its focus is on creating buildings which are "works of art" in themselves.
Aurum presidential apartments' view:
The firm works with artisans from all over the world - each one an artist in his respective trade. For example, the carpenter used to make the company's specialist “hingeless” doors is a direct descendant of the carpenter who made these doors for Napoleon.
Aurum presidential apartments' lounge:
The strategy of Da'Realty is to look for prime positioning, where "all elements of nature present themselves to be woven into the artistry of the building". The company intends never to develop more than one building in the same suburb or area.
The company's chief operating officer in SA, Lily Eskandari, explains that the company has a strong visible brand guideline, which brings the five elements of nature into every development.
Aurum presidential apartments' bedroom:
"This combination of opulence and nature is what we call ‘lifestyle artistry’. It offers a rare level of beauty – not only in terms of the positioning of the building within the landscape, but in every fixture, finish and detail,” she explains.
Lost sense of exclusivity
In the view of Da'Realty, many exclusive brands have lost their sense of exclusivity.
"Property developments - and the detail that goes into them - are being mass produced, unlike the earlier days where artisans in each field were used to create bespoke items," Ahsan responded to Fin24.
Aurum presidential apartments' entrance:
"Da'Realty wishes to reinvent the luxury feel of its developments by having niche developments with true artisans specialising in their field of expertise and make accessibility limited - thus making the product more beautiful and desirable."
Before founding Da’Realty SA, Ahsan established Elegant, a division of the Darvesh family business in the Middle East. It pioneered bespoke retail outlets for luxury brands like Chanel, Gucci, Tom Ford and YSL.
Aurum luxury apartments:
“True beauty lies in the detail and to achieve perfection one has to strive for more. As most artists around the world start from a vision or an inspiration, so does Da’Realty,” says Ahsan.
The company regards Cape Town buyers as more cosmopolitan. It also finds that, because of its natural beauty, Cape Town attracts artisans from all over the world, making the city "a more exclusive destination for the display of architectural art".
Graphic of what the new Artem shopping centre in Sea Point will look like:
"An understated and true appreciation of art is what we expect from our buyers. Buyers in Da’Realty developments appreciate the detail that goes in every element of the developments," Ahsan explained to Fin24.
He said the company certainly takes into consideration the current water crisis in Cape Town. Whereas water was previously a prominent feature in each development, it has now been replaced with aesthetic lighting details and mosaic elements.
Da’Realty’s strategy has been to add to the conservation of water till the crisis is resolved, added Ahsan.
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