A look at the R1.3 million micro apartments in Cape Town

Almost two thirds of the The Harri, a new 48-unit apartment block and mixed-use property development going up at 75 Harrington Street in Cape Town’s East City Precinct, has sold off-plan, despite the interruption brought on by Covid-19 in South Africa.

Only 16 of 42 studio apartments remain unsold, while just two of the six loft apartments are still on the market.

Construction has already begun, with a completion date of April 2021.

This follows neighbourhood construction which began last year of a new mixed-use development at 84 Harrington Street, which includes retail units, a restaurant, co-working space and residential living, and the recently completed The Harrington, a new mixed-use retail and commercial development at 50 Harrington Street.

“We sold right through lockdown,” said Jeff Kleu, co-developer with Steven Lampert, both of property-development company Sepia and Silk. “We sold to investors wanting to buy to rent, parents buying an apartment for their student kids or a holiday flat, and to locals as well as Zimbabwean, German and US nationals.”

The Harri’s units are priced between R1,299,995 and R1,999,995 for a studio apartment ranging in size from 24.5 square metres to 32.5 square metres, and R2,499,995 for a two-storey loft apartment.

The development offers a blend of apartment living with open-plan, co-living and co-working space, and includes fireplace lounges, a TV room with a large smart TV and access to Netflix, three dedicated Zoom (video chat) rooms, a rooftop terrace with a gas braai and mini-bar area, and hotel-grade amenities like Wi-Fi, a concierge, a housekeeping service, and 24-hour security.

“Since we launched, interest rates have dropped from 10.25% to 7%,” said Kleu. “This plays directly into the hands of the buyer because they’ll be paying substantially less on bond instalments, or it enables them to buy a much better apartment at a higher price point.”

Major developments in the area include the upgrading of the Cape Town City Hall at a cost of R27 million, The Old Granary at R31 million, the purchase of the Nicro head office on Harrington Street by a European company, Groupe SOS, for R30 million, and the opening last year of a R75-million five-star boutique hotel on Church Square.

“Numerous applications submitted to the City suggest that a variety of new retail and food outlets are set to open their doors, which will really cement the East City’s reputation as a trendy precinct that sees people flock to the area at the weekend,” said Sandra Gordon, research economist for Cape Town’s Central City Improvement District.

Kleu noted that the magnetism of the area lies in its revival of old historic buildings in beautiful retail stores, galleries, artisanal bakeries, restaurants and bars, as well as its close proximity to Gardens Shopping Centre, Virgin Active Wembley Square, and several MyCiti bus stops.

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A look at the R1.3 million micro apartments in Cape Town