Historic sale of entire city block

Posted On Friday, 31 October 2008 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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'It’s the first time a whole city block has been sold in Cape Town’s central business district, which is exciting news for the city.

Rael Levitt Auction AllianceA whole city block was sold at the Alliance Group’s property auction on Wednesday in one of the most exciting property sales in the mother city’s history.

“It’s the first time a whole city block has been sold in Cape Town’s central business district, which was exciting news for the city,” auctioneer Rael Levitt said afterwards.

The property fetched an inclusive price of R72,41m (R65m hammer price), which Levitt described as “a phenomenal price in the current market conditions”. It was bought by the public works department.

The block, measuring 2850m², borders on four key city streets: Loop, Leeuwen, Bree and Dorp.

A sketch plan has been approved for an 18-storey contemporary building of 21869m² of lettable office and retail space and 647 parking bays.

“This is the largest such sale the group has transacted in Cape Town and the first time in history that an entire Cape Town city block has been sold. It is a fantastic boost for the city and we’re happy with the price,” Levitt said.

Two properties, part of the Fidentia estate, now under curatorship, were on offer. The buildings, at 1

The sale was not confirmed at the sale and curator George Papadakis said the bid would be referred to the Financial Services Board.

More than 350 people attended the auction, which said much for the South African property market.

“It’s unlikely that you would get such a turnout in London or New York today,” Levitt said.

There was an old-world charm about the auction. The refreshments on offer, displayed on well-appointed tables, included cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon, cottage cheese on brown bread, cream scones and wine.

Auctioneer Christian Stewart set the ball rolling by announcing the good news, including the bounce in the FTSE and a possible cut in interest rates soon — news which he said cancelled the “cooling off” in the property market.

First under the hammer was a house with four bedrooms belonging to a deceased estate in Tamboerskloof and suitable for redevelopment. The house attracted a top bid of R2,3m and was sold subject to the consent of the Master of the Supreme Court.

A commercial property on Main Road, Mowbray, with lettable area of 1183m², fetched R4,25m. In a one horse race, an office and retail premises with GLA of 301m² on Park Road, Cape Town, attained a hammer price of R1,8m.

An amount of R4m was offered for a vacant office block with a lettable area of 393m² in Bellville.

An industrial building with a lettable area of 3

A large double-storey warehouse in Paarden Island fetched R13m, and a six-bedroom house described as a landmark building in the heart of Stellenbosch got R2,25m.

Top billing was reserved for the city block. Bidding opened at R60m and the property was sold and confirmed at the fall of the hammer to loud, spontaneous applause.

Eight-figure prices were fetched for an industrial complex with total lettable area of 4705m² on two erven in Paarden Eiland (R27,5m), and a warehouse and offices with lettable area of 3944m² in Montague Gardens (R13,5m).

More whimsical was the “Die Ou Nagmaalkaners” in Calvinia.

Bidding was keenly contested and developed into a cliffhanger, with a proxy bidder carrying the day with a final offer of R750000.

The Fidentia buildings were the cherries on the top. The retail building covering 355m² off Century Boulevard fetched a hammer price of R2,9m.

Bidding was more dramatic for No 1 Waterford Place, a three-storey building with GLA of 4210m² Bidding opened at R15m, then immediately jumped to R30m at the second bid, culminating in a hammer price of R34,5m.


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