- It is rare to find a vacant site in Clifton going on the market.
- Clifton is regarded as one of the most affluent suburbs in the country.
- An auction of the site is offering the chance to develop a luxury boutique hotel.
A business-zoned site in the affluent Cape Town suburb of Clifton, on the Atlantic Seaboard, is set to go on auction on 8 October.
The current owner is a company called Pariplex.
The 543m² site is situated on the mountain side of Victoria Road, opposite 1st Beach, according to High Street Auctions director Rodney Beck.
Plans for developing an 18-suite luxury boutique hotel on the site had already been drawn up and will be available.
The property has been re-zoned to general business 1, a demolition certificate has been obtained for the old cottage that remains at the rear of the plot, and excavation of the front portion has already begun.
Furthermore, the new developer will have the option of purchasing a smaller vacant erf on the Apostle Stairs, adjacent to the rear portion of the proposed hotel site.
In the view of Beck, this could be used, for example, to expand the leisure facilities of the hotel over an additional 455m².
According to the 2020 SA Wealth Report, published in April by New World Wealth, the stretch of Victoria Road through Bantry Bay and Clifton, where the planned hotel site is located, is ranked as the most expensive street in the country, with pre-Covid real estate prices averaging out to around R80 000/m².
The report also notes that Clifton, as a whole, takes top ranking as the most expensive suburb in South Africa.
In June this year, for example, a buyer snapped up a Clifton beach house for R17.84 million.
Joff van Reenen, High Street Auctions Director and Lead Auctioneer, says it is this exclusivity attracting international investors' attention to the virtual auction on 8 October.
"Clifton is the French Riviera of the southern hemisphere. It's a global hotspot to see and be seen, which doesn't render it impervious to overall downward trends in the real estate sector, but does increase its desirability as a safe harbour investment in very turbulent times," says Van Reenen.
"It's indisputable that our world has been changed by this pandemic.
"International borders are reopening, though, and people will travel again soon – perhaps slightly more selectively than before – but travel they will, and Cape Town will reap the benefit."
According to Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, the UN scenarios on tourism growth predict that the market will rebound in mid-2021, based on assumptions of a reversal in the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Our industry is also laden with the potential to re-ignite opportunities for new entrants. We are confident that through the Tourism Recovery Plan, we will pave a way to realising those opportunities for many South Africans," she says.