R27m sale points to new faith in CBD

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By MATT MEDVEDpage_6717317

A historic seven-storey building on Long Street in Cape Town’s CBD has been auctioned for R27.5 million, and this, say experts, is further proof of the inner city’s rejuvenation.

The 65-year-old building, which had been owned by a Namibian family, was bought by a UK recruitment agency.

Auction Alliance was given the mandate to sell the property, at 50 Long Street near Greenmarket Square, six weeks ago.

Auction Alliance communications head Morris Levine said it reflected renewed growth in the inner city.

“In the past, people have often been turned away from the inner city area.

“There’s been the perception of crime, that you’ll get mugged and that there’s no parking. But it’s a historical part of the city and the visible policing is encouraging tenants to return to the area. Subsequently, property demand has increased, as well as prices.”

Theo Yach, a city real estate broker with the Cape Town Partnership, said that at R27.5m the building was worth approximately R10 000 per square metre.

He said this marked a five-fold increase from just five years ago, when the building would have been worth just R2 000 per square metre.

“It’s dramatic, it’s a huge change,” said Yach.

“When we put the Cape Town Partnership together, it was doom and gloom. People were giving buildings away and tenants were running out. This is absolutely a sign of regeneration.”

Kim Faclier, of Auction Alliance, said the building was registered as a heritage site and was built and owned by the South African Permanent Building Society.

Faclier also said the price was along the lines of what both the Auction Alliance and purchaser had been expecting.

“The Cape Town Central Business District is experiencing a massive rejuvenation,” said Faclier.

“The area has become extremely popular recently, hence the massive interest in the property.”

Cape Town Partnership CEO Andrew Boraine said the sale was just one of R24bn in projects in the areas from Green Point to Salt River in the next three to five years, which includes the R3bn Green Point Stadium and expanded Waterfront project.

“The auction confirms the robust nature of the central city’s property market,” added Boraine.

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~ by Matt Medved on May 30, 2007.

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