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R450m New York-style apartments in Cape Town, Umhlanga

Nov 17 2017 16:53

Cape Town - FWJK Development recently announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple.

It involves two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York-style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.

These two projects in Observatory and Umhlanga are the first of more planned for Sandton City Centre and the CBD of Cape Town.

According to Dave Williams-Jones CEO of FWJK, these apartments will sell from R650 000 (including VAT and transfer duty) and are intended to make living in the city affordable.

The designs of the apartments are based on the designs typically found in Manhattan, New York, where the market served the demand from especially young professionals and people working in the City.

"Millennials are scaling down the size and price of the properties they invest in in order to have more disposable income for other things such as travelling and other life experiences and this brought us to the slogan 'stay small live big'," explains Williams-Jones.

South African cities are no different and Cape Town and Durban are becoming unaffordable, in his view.

The apartment sizes start at around 20m² including a balcony and have incorporated the use of vertical space which includes a fold-up double bed, fold-down dining room table and innovative use of space for storage.

The most defining part of these New York-style apartment living developments will be found in the facilities they offer which form part of the development.

The Lil’ Apple brand will include amenities such as a restaurant, co-working spaces, curated retail outlets, a boutique coffee brewery and roof terraces where residents can relax and meet up with friends in the building through a next generation community building cell phone app.

Williams-Jones told Fin24 he realised about six months ago that one had to do something about making living in the CBD of Cape Town, Sandton and Umhlanga much more affordable for the people who already work in the CBDs, but cannot afford the high prices that one must pay in order to live close to work.

"So I studied how people could afford to own property in Manhattan, New York, and it opened my eyes to the concept of compact living and creative design. FWJK has its own architectural division and in no time we had a design," explained Williams-Jones.

"The big challenge for rolling out our compact apartment designs of 20m², including a balcony, was that banks are not permitted to grant a bond on a property of less than 30m² in size."

However, after a presentation of the concept to the four big banks and SA Home Loans, Williams-Jones believes they will soon come forward to assist with the provision of more affordable housing in the CBDs by lowering their lending criteria for Lil' Apple.

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cape town  |  umhlanga  |  money  |  property


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