Dubai family’s Cape Town property sets new benchmark
(This article was published on 14 May 2016 in the Weekend Argus, a weekly newspaper published by Independent Media in Cape Town, Western Cape province.)
Written by Yazeed Kamaldien
A wealthy Dubai family planning to turn the Ambassador Hotel in Bantry Bay into exclusive apartments – costing up to R115-million each – are cashing in before renovations have even begun.
Local estate agent Pam Golding Properties is exclusively marketing the development, called Aurum, which comprises 23 apartments with coveted ocean views.
Basil Moraitis, area manager for Pam Golding’s Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl office, said yesterday they have already sold ten of the apartments on Victoria Road.
He said the Darvesh family, owners of the property, would keep the top floor which would be turned into a four-bedroom 530m² penthouse.
Moraitis said they have marketed the apartments to their database of wealthy local and international buyers.
He said it would only be marketed to the general public next week and there was already interest from their “top end buyers”.
“We have three people flying in this weekend. One is from Johannesburg,” said Moraitis.
He said two of the “presidential residences” costing between R67m and R115m a unit have been sold. A further eight luxury apartments priced between R17,5m and R70m have also been sold.
“A further seven apartments have been reserved,” said Moraitis.
“Internal construction will start in mid-June and occupation will happen next September.”
Moraitis said Aurum would doubtless push up property prices even higher in Bantry Bay and its surrounds.
“It’s already establishing benchmarks in the area. It shows confidence that buyers have in the Atlantic Seaboard,” he said.
“There’s no more land here for development. There’s this small strip of land between the sea and mountain with little supply (properties) and high demand.
“It’s the jewel in the crown of South African property.”
Moraitis added: “We have a list of people waiting for properties for sale in this area. We don’t need to advertise. We go to our database of people who are interested and show them what we have on offer.”
The Dubai family runs Da’Realty which “undertakes residential, commercial and industrial developments”.
Da’Realty is a subsidiary of the 107-year-old “privately-owned, billion dollar global” Darvesh empire named after the family that owns it.
The company explained yesterday in a statement via local publicists they bought the Ambassador for the views.
“Ahsan Hassan Darvesh, president of the global conglomerate, bought the hotel after a lengthy stay during which he realised the potential of the spectacular cliff-face site with the Atlantic Ocean undulating below and Lion’s Head gazing down upon it,” they said.
They said also that Aurum’s presidential apartments would be “expansive, exemplary and bathed in natural light”.
“Each residence will occupy its own floor with private lift access right on the ocean’s edge. In addition to Armani Dada designer kitchens, each residence will boast imported appliances, dressing room fittings, sanitary ware and sound systems from famous international designers,” continues Da’Realty.
“The reception areas will be adorned with fine glass and crystal chandeliers. Other features will include a luxurious spa, restaurant, 24-hour valet and concierge services, and beautifully landscaped grounds around a feature pool.”
Apartments would have two, three and four bedrooms as well as two parking bays.
The 15 luxury units would have similar finishes.
Da’Realty chief operating officer Lily Eskandari will be based in Cape Town to oversee the development.
Darvesh meanwhile said in a statement that “only a true work of art could pay homage to this incredible setting”.
“Da’Realty is focused on finding locations that exude innate investment qualities, and in taking luxury development to a new level, promising not only luxurious living, but also high returns,” he said.
Darvesh said his company would follow up the Bantry Bay development with another in Clifton, “with a goal of one niche boutique project annually in South Africa”.