Neighbourhood insider guide - insider secrets
Category AREA FOCUS
Neighbourhood insider guide - insider secrets
Helga Clemo has operated as an estate agent in the Century City area for eight years. This ideal live, work and play suburb is in such demand that residential property prices are climbing, despite the economy structured as a mixed use development, including entertainment, residential, retail and office components, Century City is one of the newer suburbs in Cape Town. Development began in 1997. It's just 10km to the north-east of central Cape Town along the N1, and is traversed by numerous waterways, wetlands and canals. "Century City is one of the hottest property markets in the area and, despite the weak economy, there is a shortage of property to meet the demand and prices are still climbing," says Helga Clemo, licensee for Seeff Century City. When it comes to city property, Century City is about as hot as it gets, and high demand and limited stock levels have seen prices of residential property in the suburb spike by 50 percent-plus in fewer than three years, she adds. With views of Table Mountain and over the city out to sea, Century City is sought after for its location and centrality. It is aesthetically appealing, with modern developments, palm-lined cobbled streets and canals, making it one of the most ideal live, work and play neighbourhoods. Although still growing, Century City is already home to a mix of sectional title complexes and freehold property located in estates. "The lifestyle is just fabulous. You can live in a modern lock-up-and-go in the suburb, surrounded by stunning gardens and lovely streets." Residents have access to Curro Private School, Abeille Ruche Christian School and Abbotts College, along with facilities such as the Endeavour Educare Centre. There is an Intercare Day Hospital (Central Park) as well as the new Oasis.
CENTURY City is one of the most dynamic property areas in the city and after working in the area for some years, I decided that it was time to invest in my own business venture. It is an exciting area in which to operate and there is constant growth and development. It is also a stunning spot with beautiful palm trees, modern residential and business premises and, of course, gorgeous views of Table Mountain. You are close to everything. The city-within-a-city vibe is a big attraction. There is always a buzz in the area and you have all the amenities of a metro right on hand and do not have to travel too far. There are so many great places to visit. For instance, just about any coffee shop in the area is a favourite. The Knife Restaurant is a popular dinner venue. Other places are the markets - Central Park day Market and night market. I also enjoy the Intaka Island Bird Sanctuary. When you need a quick workout, there is the Virgin Active gym, and all sorts of fabulous facilities are available at The Crystal Towers hotel.
By the numbers Assisted Living and Frail Care Centre (for Oasis residents). Other facilities include a multi-use clubhouse with various sports clubs, such as an athletics club, a canoe club, adventure boot camp for women, as well as summer and winter touch rugby leagues. There is a Virgin Active Health Club and most of the complexes have pools and gyms. Century City offers a good mix of lock-up-and-go apartments, luxury apartments and town houses, all in secure estates, says Clemo. "Sellers are not just achieving good prices, but often even more than they anticipated, such is the demand." According to Lightstone data, the median selling price for a sectional unit in 2013 was R1.35 million. By last year, it was R1.72m. "This year, we are seeing apartments achieving on average R1.5m for a one-bed-roomed unit, as much as R2m for two bedrooms, and R2.8m for three bedrooms. Prices do vary greatly though, depending on the complex. Those that overlook the canals for example sell for more," says Clemo. Century City is a high-income area, with relatively high living costs, compared to the neighbouring suburbs, and therefore attracts buyers who are top earners. Most buyers are in the 36-year-plus age bracket and the area is popular with older buyers. Buyers are astute, though, and are not willing to overpay, so accurate pricing remains paramount for serious sellers, cautions Clemo. "With so much still happening here, the excellent price growth and continued high demand for the lifestyle, you are assured that whether you are buying, selling or renting, Century City is the place to be." Great food and fun on offer in a dynamic, stunning setting aside from many businesses that operate in the area or have head offices there, there are a number of hotels including the five-star Crystal Towers Hotel SE Spa, along with restaurants, coffee shops and the Canal Walk mall. Interestingly, Canal Walk and Ratanga Junction - Century City's two original developments - were considered white elephants to start with. While Canal Walk has exceeded all expectations; Ratanga will close in the next few years.
Development continues unabated, however, with the new independently-owned and managed contemporary Century City Hotel opening recently. The Square Cafe & Wine Bar (021 204 8000), which is on the hotel premises and spills out onto the bustling Century City Square, offers relaxed dining. There are deli items, such as fresh fruit, salads, sandwiches and confectioneries, for sale for those on the go. Designer details, such as custom-made furniture, black sub-way tiles and colourful Le Creuset crockery, make this a refreshing new dining destination. Century City Square's open-air setting serves as an ideal location for live outdoor concerts, markets and gatherings. Other restaurants and coffee shops in the square include Cafe Frank (087 150 2562), Tiger's Milk (087 820 4288), Punjab Wok (021 110 5190/1), and Seattle Coffee Company (www.seattlecoffeecompany.co.za). The Western Cape is seen as one of the world's leading leisure destinations, with Century City pegged as the ideal eco-tourist destination. It is at the forefront of sustainable development aimed at reducing the area's carbon footprint. The Century City Square development itself is registered with the Green Building Council of South Africa for a Green Star mixed-use rating. Century City is home to Intaka Island, 16 hectares of wetland conservation. The ecologically sensitive pans and reconstructed wetlands help filter the water of the surrounding canals. Knife (021 551 5000), a sister restaurant to the hugely successful Fork Restaurant in Long Street, is based at the Crystal Towers development. It offers a variety dishes in a relaxed, but upmarket, setting and a happy hour special where you are invited to indulge in bar snacks and cocktails. The mall at Canal Walk is, of course, the major hot spot in the area with more than 400 top stores with local and international brands, cinemas and plenty of restaurants.
Author: Adrian Louw