The thousand-hectare Sibaya Coastal Precinct, with its mix of residential, commercial and retail components, has become the most talked-about development on KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast and the ultimate location to live, work and play. Conveniently situated between uMhlanga and eMdloti, overlooking the Indian Ocean and hectares of indigenous coastal dune forest, near to schools, shopping, entertainment and Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, its location alone is enviable enough. Already twelve years in the making, the scope of this project, which enjoys a reciprocal co-existence with the natural landscape, is something to behold.
For more than twenty-five years, Tongaat Hulett Developments has been in the business of converting agricultural land, in collaboration with many stakeholders, into ready-to-use real estate for investors, developers and end users. Its mandate is to create value for stakeholders through an all-inclusive approach which recognises a concept or opportunity and creates a master vision, in line with municipal spatial plans. From there, the development layout, town planning, rezoning and infrastructure are conceived in accordance with the requirements of the land. The Company successfully managed nearby Zimbali and was ”largely responsible for unlocking the potential of KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast,” says Sithembiso Mthembu, Development Executive of Sibaya Coastal Precinct for Tongaat Hulett Developments.
Fully realised, Sibaya will include hotels, offices, shops, restaurants, educational institutions and recreational opportunities to complement its comprehensive residential offering. The precinct is wedged between the Indian ocean, the oHlanga and uMdloti rivers, and the N2 national highway. Coupled with the unique landscape that is synonymous with KwaZulu-Natal, the location lends the development character. Tongaat Hulett’s vision for the precinct is an urban space integrated with the protected natural environment, remaining accessible to all. In the comprehensive planning process, careful consideration was given to the site’s topography and natural elements – which are fundamental to the unique lifestyle that Sibaya Precinct affords homeowners, occupants and visitors.
Tongaat Hulett’s ecologically mindful approach to development planning for Sibaya goes beyond mutual respect between man and his surroundings, towards actively encouraging the integration of urban development and the natural environment, so that these elements reinforce one another, creating a brand new urban identity and all-encompassing lifestyle.
The vision is of a mixed-use urban development where buildings are embedded in the landscape rather than imposed upon it, and the architecture responds to its local context. In the planning process there was a determination to reduce the spatial footprint and elevate the natural landscape, while maximising open space. Seventy-five kilometres of nature trails and 600 hectares of pristine rehabilitated and existing coastal dune forest inhabited by indigenous fauna and flora testify to the developers’ commitment to low-density living.
“Sixty percent of the precinct will remain open space. We decided to focus development around hilltop settlements, allowing the indigenous vegetation and natural beauty to be flaunted,” says Sithembiso.
Tongaat Hulett Developments awarded the first infrastructure contract to Vumani Civils, which includes the construction of a wide, tree-lined boulevard forming the main entrance of the precinct and linking up with the M27 north.
There are seven nodes planned for Sibaya Coastal Precinct, all unified by this eco-conscious development philosophy and architectural guidelines that offer unique land use opportunities, which include residential, hotel, resort and commercial options. This mix of development is expected to take fifteen to twenty years to complete after commencement, and may also include schools, hospitals and tertiary education facilities. Nodes will be developed as their preliminary planning and approvals are finalised, though not necessarily in numerical sequence.
Nodes One and Five are currently in the implementation phase, with already secured development rights (environmental impact assessment approval as well as rezoning approval). These provide for some 2 325 residential units, hotels and 100 000m2 of commercial bulk. The planning for Node Four is expected to be completed by June 2017. “We have already broken ground for the installation of infrastructure and expect to have the first residents in Node One by September 2017. We will be getting the infrastructure for Node Five ready next,” says Sithembiso.
All body corporates and individual homeowners’ associations will belong to the Sibaya Management Association (SMA), which is yet to be established. It will be responsible for participation in the Sibaya Conservation Trust overseeing the design review process, security, landscaping, and maintenance, as well as the implementation and management of the operational management plan. These entities will be run by Tongaat Hulett Developments for the full duration of the development period, after which residents will take over their management.
Because Sibaya is essentially a suburb or small town, there is a thoroughfare of traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular. Careful planning between Vumani and Rob Anderson & Associates Consulting Security Engineers will enable all open areas and boulevards to be monitored by a control room housing state-of-the-art security equipment. Access to the various residential development and commercial enterprises in the Precinct is controlled by the respective bodies corporate.
A Conservation Trust will be established to ensure the management, maintenance and rehabilitation of ecologically sensitive areas. In addition, the Trust will oversee visitor access to this previously inaccessible environment. The environmental management programme will provide further oversight of construction activities and ensure sound management once builders have left the site.
Developers are encouraged to make use of energy-saving and water-harvesting features, as well as natural lighting and ventilation, in response to the overarching architectural vision. Infrastructural installations will not only serve Sibaya, but also enhance services to neighbouring communities.
A design review process will be implemented for all development undertakings and will involve the establishment of a design review panel, together with appropriate design guidelines and a development manual, which will include the approved environmental management programme designed to preserve and protect natural areas and indigenous vegetation. Architectural guidelines, to be administered by the Sibaya Management Association through the design review process, will ensure the maintenance of a high-quality, value-maximising urban space. Purchasers will, however, be able to modify their plans as long as these alterations are deemed by the SMA to be compatible with Precinct’s philosophies.
A number of developments within Node 1 have already had successful market launches including the following:
Signature – Sibaya’s most exclusive residential offering – will undoubtedly set the benchmark for prime real estate development in the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast region. Boasting the Precinct’s most prized ocean views, state-of-the-art security and exquisite architecture, it is destined to be the most sought-after address in the province. With just forty-five sea-facing stands, each 1000 m2 to 2000 m2 in size and selling for R 6 million to R 10 million, residents are afforded maximum privacy and a lifestyle par excellence.
Signature’s contemporary, organic design makes use of raw materials and precious metals that blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings. The architectural guidelines are based on sustainable principles which incorporate water and waste recycling, solar and photovoltaic water heaters, energy-saving lighting and gas stoves. Security measures include biometric access control, thermal cameras, electrified fencing and 24-hour armed patrols.
Dayalan Chetty, Tongaat Hulett Developments executive and Signature Sibaya project management consultant, says that the development is in the capable hands of Signature Residential Dtevelopments, who have entered into a turnkey project management agreement with Tongaat Hulett Developments based on their brilliant track record with projects such as Zimbali Coastal Resort and Estate, which is yielding maximum value for stakeholders.
GAPP Architects and Urban Designers, in conjunction with Iyer Urban Design Studio, are the appointed architects and urban designers, while Garlicke and Bousfield are the conveyancing attorneys.
Situated at the southernmost apex of Node One, OceanDune was the first residential opportunity launched within the Sibaya Coastal Precinct. Like Sibaya’s other residential developments, more than half of OceanDune was sold on the day of product launch, and the rest soon thereafter. Most of its 260 luxury units – all with direct forest and beach access and unobstructed sea views – hit the market in one, two, three or four-bedroom options. The close connection with nature that residents enjoy here is enhanced by access to hiking trails and one of the last remaining coastal dune forests teeming with indigenous vegetation and wildlife. A retail and commercial hub within the development offers amenities such as a swimming pool, childrens play park, restaurant and gym. “We believe that affordability and value were key in the quick uptake of OceanDune. We had studio apartments starting from R 1 million all the way up to penthouses selling for R 17.5 million,” says Charles Thompson of OceanDune ID Construction.
Pebble Beach, released on the 26th November, is the second development headed by Charles Thompson. The four-storey urban village will comprise 160 units made up of one, two and three-bedroom apartments. And the views are magnificiant. Charles and the sales team have very strategically set up a multi-storey container viewing point, that allows investors to get a better understanding of the magnificant views and scope that this development will offer them. Swimming pools and a variety of facilities like climbing walls and a putting area will keep the children entertained. The mixed-use aspect of the development will offer retail space, ensuring that residents are in walking distance from shops. With units selling from R 950 000 to R 7.9 million for a three-bedroom penthouse, the price range will cater for what Charles believes will be their largest pool of potential investors.
At the apex of Sibaya lies Coral Point, FWJK Developments exclusive residential development soon to be launched by Pam Golding Properties. Coral Point is perfectly poised to offer convenience and lifestyle, all within a protected coastal reserve of Sibaya. Cobbled pathways, landscaped gardens, wooden walkways, beach access, retail nodes and resort-style living are perfectly blended to make Coral Point the ultimate lifestyle choice. Coral Point is limited to 152 apartments only, most of which have panoramic views of the indigenous costal reserve and Indian Ocean. Choose from bachelors, 1, 2 or 3 bedroomed apartments all with secure covered parking, 24 hour security and full access to all the Sibaya amenities. Coral Point neighbours the exclusive Signature Sibaya Estate on the hill top of Sibaya’s node 1 and faces in an Easterly direction. FWJK’s Development Manager Dan Gardner says “Coral Point has been designed to capitalise on its prime position within Sibaya maximising panoramic ocean and forest views and celebrating open spaces”. The architecture is masterfully integrated in harmony with nature to ensure Coral Point blends within it’s costal forest surrounds offering investors and end-users alike an opportunity to owner a truly spectacular piece of paradise.
Independent property development company Africa Rising has an ambitious mixed-use offering that is currently in the approval phase with the Sibaya Management Association’s Design Review Panel. The Sterling will consist of a hundred-key hotel and conference facility, retail space, luxury car show floor and residence node. The Sterling focuses on a premier lifestyle, offering an investment opportunity and a letting managetment team. Africa Rising has an extensive footprint in property development in the uMhlanga area, with Marina Bay, The Madison and Park Avenue all under construction and an exciting multigenerational development on the cards.
Tongaat Hulett’s inculcated philosophy of ‘Better Together’ is built around transformation and as such have created an industry benchmark through their Socio-Economic, Sustainability and Innovation Programme (SSIP). According to Rory Wilkinson, Tongaat Hulett Developments, Planning Director, “The approach that we take is viewed as a multi-dimensional practice across the
full value chain of development. The real focus for us is around sustainable transformation and empowerment .
With its enviable position on this pristine coastline, a subtropical climate and an excellent infrastructure, Sibaya Coastal Precinct has already attracted both local and foreign interest and investment. An anticipated R50 billion will be injected into the regional economy through its development, firmly placing Kwa-Zulu-Natal among the most desirable places in the country to own real estate.
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