ApexHi Mothballed office space to be converted to residential apartments

Posted On Friday, 18 June 2004 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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ApexHi sells art deco castle mansions

Gerald LeissnerApexHi Properties Limited has sold the mothballed office component of one of its central Johannesburg properties, Castle Mansions, to property developers, AFHCO Group Holdings for R800 000.

ApexHi CEO Gerald Leissner says the transaction is in line with ApexHi's stated intention to sell some 40,000m² of unlettable office space in the Johannesburg city centre for conversion into residential apartments.

ApexHi retains the retail component of the property. “The retail space is currently fully let, and once AFHCO has converted the 6,242m2 of mothballed office space into the residential apartments for rental stock, the retailers should perform even better,” says Leissner.

AFHCO’s Wayne Plit says the conversion of Castle Mansions is the first large scale conversion of a high rise office block into affordable residential housing apartments in the country aimed at the R2 500 – R8 000 monthly income target market. “The conversion, which will cost R7.5-million, commenced in February 2004. We expect to have completed units ready for occupation by mid-2004 and to be fully let by December 2004,” he says.

AFHCO will convert the space into 135 apartments comprising 14 studios, 14 one-bedroom apartments, 99 two-bedroom apartments and five grand three-bedroomed penthouses on the top floor.  The stairwells, lift lobbies, lift cabs, and foyer and reception area will all be upgraded.

Plit says the building will have access control in the form of fingerprint technology, 24-hour security with CCTV surveillance, intercoms and TV points to each unit and separate metering for water and electricity consumption.  The building will be managed by Propserv, a subsidiary company of the AFHCO Group.  The importance of effective hands on residential property management is absolutely critical in order to ensure the long term sustainability of the environment.  We own and manage over a thousand inner city units with our very own innovative management methodology, which has been developed and fine-tuned over nine years of operations.

AFHCO's Wayne Plit says the construction of Castle Mansions was completed in 1932, and was one of the first buildings to be constructed out of steel, concrete and glass, instead of the stone, brick and timber typically used.

“Castle Mansions was the modern building of its day, noted for its plate-glass shop fronts, art deco brass trim and modernistic illuminated shop signage. In fact, the building was hailed as the greatest building in South Africa – it was the largest, bulkiest and tallest building in the country, and remained so for over five years,” says Plit.

No major changes will be made to the external façade of the building which Plit says is in good condition. “The building has a natural, low-maintenance finish which requires only minor cosmetic improvements, which will be carried out by AFHCO in keeping with the original appearance of the building,” says Plit.

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 12:31

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