Chapman’s Bay Estate8th Feb 2017
The Best of Both Worlds
The developers of Chapman’s Bay Estate have utilised the unique setting and physical attributes of its Noordhoek location to provide residents with dramatic mountain and sea views, while simultaneously addressing the environmental needs of the surrounding wetlands and indigenous fynbos.
This 79-hectare estate is close enough to the city for daily commuters, and yet a comfortable distance from the buzz of urban life.
The story behind Chapman’s Bay Estate dates back by thirty years to 1986, when the Van Niekerk Family acquired the Dassenberg farm that shoulders what is now Table Mountain National Park. At the time, the Van Niekerks had little idea of how challenging it would be to bring their vision to life.
Thankfully Nel van Niekerk, a quiet and determined character, chose to approach these challenges in a very circumspect manner. Whilst one can bemoan the often layered and arduous development process, the outcome derived from the community, municipal and professional inputs has given this development a truly unique offering.
When Chapman’s Bay Estate eventually received its green light, it was time to assemble a professional development team that would do the vision justice. Chris Hyland of Kaikoura Capital and Mark Tame of Percipient Property joined Nel, bringing together a wealth of development structure and experience vital to a development of this complexity and sensitivity. Each professional firm involved is not only a competent outfit, but also has a unique understanding and appreciation for this specific project, as they have all travelled the road to approval.
“We realised this project would be challenging due to the necessary environmental considerations, but we saw an opportunity to develop some superb real estate, and in the process rejuvenate a piece of derelict land by cleaning the wetlands, removing alien vegetation, and rehabilitating the indigenous fynbos.” says Chris Hyland.
The ecologically sensitive actions they took included road crossings for the endangered western leopard toad and fencing that would not inhibit the growth and spread of the indigenous fynbos vegetation, without compromising security. The housing line follows the contours of the mountain, which allows natural forestation between the houses, increasing privacy and wind protection.
Chapman’s Bay was designed as a low-density estate, and for this reason there is plenty of open space – something worth considering for potential buyers and investors. The 145 units on the estate include town houses and free-standing homes. The two-, three- and four-bedroomed homes are contemporary living spaces which architectural firm Lennard & Lennard designed to offer homeowners privacy, undisturbed views and minimum wind.
The free-standing homes – with either pitched, mono-pitched or flat roofs – have been designed to take advantage of their location within the estate. Wetland units, built adjacent to the bird-inhabited wetlands; Courtyard units, positioned above Ou Kaapse Weg overlooking the sea; and larger Avenue units, which run along the contours of the estate. The remaining phases, 6 and 7, include Terrace units, which are three- and four- bedroomed single-storey homes that emphasise outdoor living.
Whilst the plans have been drawn up for each plot type, investors may design and build their own bespoke home, using an architect of their choice, provided the design adheres to the estate’s design guidelines.
The 30 town houses were developed by Magnus McDowall of Flagstone Property Developments, whose early investment in the town house component played an integral role in springboarding infrastructural development and early construction on the estate. Flagstone’s successful track record in property development made it the ideal candidate to develop the town house offering. “The town houses are especially attractive to young professionals, as they are priced at the right level to give them entry into the property market,” comments Magnus. The families who got in on the action when the town houses were launched have seen a property value growth of around R1 million in 18 months.
“From a developer’s perspective, our infrastructure mandate is now complete, and once the last few remaining plots have been sold and built on, our obligations are met.” says Mark Tame. The homeowners’ association will then take over the responsibility of decision-making with regard to security, adherence to the environmental management plan and compliance with the design guidelines.
The residents of Chapman’s Bay Estate are demographically diverse. Some buyers are from other parts of the country, such as Johannesburg and Durban, and some from abroad have bought holiday homes here, but most units have been sold to families from Cape Town. Since property sales commenced, the developers have been very happy with the uptake. The speed at which phases 1 to 5 were sold far exceeded expectations, with around 70% of units sold, and the process has begun to find buyers for phases 6 and 7, which are arguably the most exclusive and best-positioned plots on the estate.
“We feel that we have delivered a quality product at the right price so that investors are able to find good value and still benefit from capital appreciation,” says Mark Tame.
A sound long-term financial plan for the homesowners’ association and a levy stabilisation programme have contributed significantly to investor confidence.
As far as subletting and systems like Airbnb are concerned, homeowners are permitted to let their properties with the approval of the estate manager, and the lessees are governed by the same rules and regulations as any other residents.
Given the estate’s location amidst some of the most unspoilt natural surroundings on the Cape’s coast, with uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean, those who choose to buy here do so to live peacefully with nature. Facilities for fitness enthusiasts can be found within two kilometres at the newly opened Virgin Active gym. The brave and the British can enjoy the chilly waters of Kommetjie beach, while the rest of us head off to False Bay’s more temperate waters and our four-legged family members gambol on Long Beach. There are several private schools in the area, such as Reddam House, and a selection of highly reputable government schools, notably Sun Valley Primary, Fish Hoek Primary and Fish Hoek High.
With their lush green fields and paddocks, shops, restaurants and bars, Noordhoek, Fish Hoek and Kommetjie have the quaint feel of a farm village, with the wildlife-rich landscape of Table Mountain National Park as a backdrop.
“The success of this project can be attributed to the synergy between all parties involved; a common ethos of doing things right and being environmentally responsible. The City of Cape Town has also been proactive in its willingness to sit down and discuss any issues that come up, which has contributed tremendously to this development,” says Mark Tame.