Balwin Properties CEO Steve Brookes said that the development, called Munyaka – or crystal in Venda – would be the crown jewel in the group’s portfolio. Photo Supplied
Balwin Properties CEO Steve Brookes said that the development, called Munyaka – or crystal in Venda – would be the crown jewel in the group’s portfolio. Photo Supplied

Balwin goes big on shiny R9bn, 5000-apartment development in Midrand

By Edward West Time of article published Feb 7, 2020

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CAPE TOWN – JSE-listed Balwin Properties on Thursday announced plans to build a R9 billion, 5 020 apartment development in Waterfall, Midrand.

Chief executive Steve Brookes said that the development, called Munyaka – or crystal in Venda – would be the crown jewel in the group’s portfolio.

The group is involved in more than 70 developments in Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

“We have worked closely with our architects to bring something exceptional to sectional title buyers and believe that it will not only set a new standard for lifestyle estate living,” Brookes said.

Construction of the lagoon, boundary wall, gatehouse, lifestyle centre and show apartment block had already started with the balance of apartments being rolled out over the next eight years. Sales were expected to begin early in March.

Brookes said that Balwin would also invest in road infrastructure around Munyaka, having already completed Mia Drive at a cost of more than R100 million.

The company typically matches its rate of construction against its rate of sales, but given the success of its development of The Blyde in Pretoria East – the site of the first Crystal Lagoon amenity in sub-Saharan Africa – demand was expected to outstrip supply significantly.

Brooke said that the current sales were buoyant, with apartments priced in an affordable range from R499 000 to R2 million.

He said most of the apartments would be Balwin’s core model one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and would include appliances such as a fridge, stove and washing machine in the sales price.

One-bedroom apartments would start from R799 000.

In addition, two ultra-luxurious penthouses would be developed with a 180-degree view of the lagoon, expected to be marketed at R30m each, as well as four “super luxurious” lagoon facing units, which was expected to sell for R10m each.

“I’m a strong believer in the prospects of our country. We can and will turn SA Incorporated around,” Brookes said.

Balwin recently concluded an exclusivity agreement with Crystal Lagoons for South Africa, which will see the company develop freshwater lagoons in six strategic nodes in Johannesburg, Pretoria, the Dolphin Coast, the Western Cape and Mbombela.

Crystal Lagoons is a multinational company that has developed an innovative concept and technology, patented in 190 countries, allowing for the construction and maintenance of unlimited size bodies of water, in crystal-clear conditions, at low cost.

The freshwater Crystal Lagoon at Munyaka would be the largest in the southern hemisphere, covering an area of about seven rugby fields.

It would feature a 50m-high tower with amenities including a 50-seater restaurant and conference facility with a view of the Johannesburg skyline as well as zip-lining from the tower into the lagoon and a heated pool, fed by the lagoon. A range of non-motorised watersport activities will be available.

All Munyaka residents would have access to the lagoon as well as the lifestyle centre with an on-site free-access gym, a spa, movie theatre, meeting rooms, restaurants, laundromats and concierge facilities, with access biometrically controlled.

The group reported that its net asset value at the end of the six-month period to end August was R5.93 per share. It said revenue increased 19 percent to R1.42bn during the period, while headline earnings was up 5 percent to 40 cents per share.

Balwin Property shares closed 0.63 percent lower at R3.15 on the JSE on Thursday.

BUSINESS REPORT

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