Century City has everything a buyer could want, including canal walks and birdlife, hundreds of shops and restaurants, plenty of work opportunities and proximity to schools, the CBD and Cape Town International Airport
Conceived as a mixeduse development suburb when 250ha of apparent wasteland along the N1 were rezoned from purely residential, construction of Century City began in 1997.
Today it is a multi-faceted area comprising entertainment, residential, retail and office components, offering its residents everything they need for daily operating and living.
“My husband and I and two spaniels – Frank Sinatra and Robbie Williams – have been living here for more than 15 years now, so we have seen it grow from Canal Walk shopping centre into an urban neighbourhood,” says TV chef and food writer Anel Potgieter.
“There is always something to do. We love walking along the canals, heading out early on Saturday mornings for the regular Parkrun or sitting watching the world go by, or checking out some of the interesting and amazing art sculptures.
“Then it is always quick and easy to meet someone for a glass of wine or a bite to eat at one of the many cafés or restaurants in the Century City precinct.” Century City has grown at a phenomenal rate over the past few years. It is close to highways, the CBD is about 15 minutes away, Cape Town International Airport is about 10 minutes away, and Canal Walk shopping centre and several private schools are on the doorstep. All this means it is one of the most sought-after areas to live and invest in, says Just Property consultant Jess Campbell.
“This brilliant growth has meant an influx of investors buying up everything Rabie launches. That, coupled with all its offerings, means tenants flock toward the area. Century City has truly been brilliant from conceptualisation to its current state.
“In my opinion, we will see similar concepts for the future; it won’t take away business from the city’s main CBD, yet it does alleviate the traffic congestion caused by commuters heading to the city for work. “Similar areas for the future will help to combat this. At the same time, people like the added security and convenience of having everything you need within walking distance.” On the other side of the coin, Century City’s constant and continued growth means that prices have exceeded demand, says Campbell.
“Buyers are no longer willing to pay the high prices and we find sellers are expecting the same growth and thus are not willing to budge on their sales price.
“This in turn means a large number of properties are stagnating on the market. We expect this stalemate to end once sellers are more realistic with their asking price, or the economic climate turns for the better.”
The next exciting step for Century City will be redevelopment of Ratanga Junction into a similar Century City feel, with lots of new businesses, restaurants and apartments all about to enter the suburb, further adding to its appeal, says Campbell.
“It will be in keeping with Century City’s urban jungle, mixed-use lifestyle. All in all, Century City is what urban living should be – everything you need, from your entertainment to your office and home, all conveniently situated.”
Things to do
With more than 400 stores open from 9am till 9pm, restaurants, coffee shops, and a cinema complex, Canal Walk is a one-stop retail destination. There are regular special events, in and out of school holidays. On September 22, from noon until 5pm, children can make and decorate their own superhero masks and crowns. Other activities will include balloon sculpting, face-painting and sand art. 021 529 9699.
Anel Potgieter recommends Punjab Wok (021 110 5190), saying it has the best curries. The owners are from northern India and use fresh, organic ingredients. “All our curries, kebabs and tandoori dishes are freshly prepared and are gluten and sugar free. All chicken is free range and the lamb grass-fed,” they say. Tiger’s Milk (021 286 2191) for a glass of wine at the bar and chicken livers is another favourite of Potgieter’s.
“Century City Hotel (021 204 8000) has the most amazing intimate wine cellar with a sommelier featuring an exclusive range of local wines,” says Potgieter. “I go to Bootleggers (021 201 6811) for a good cup of coffee.”
“The monthly night market is great to meet friends for a casual drink and stock up on some good cheese, charcuterie etc.” 021 531 2173.
To enrich the urban environment, the Century City Property Owners’ Association, with the Rabie Property Group, has a multi-faceted programme of outdoor educational exhibits and artworks. The Century City Art Trail consists of a number of mosaic and sculptural pieces, with information plaques at pedestrian level to explain the exhibits. 021 552 6889.