StayMelville is a new eco-lifestyle estate nearing completion in Ottery, Cape Town, and most of the 348 apartments are already occupied. The balance is due for completion within the next six months. This beautifully landscaped estate ought to become a blueprint for secure, environmentally-friendly residential developments across the country, writes Marlene Bramley.
Friendly guards greet me at the double-gated security entrance before Matthew Quinton of Aquacor, the developers of StayMelville, introduces me to the two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments. They have a feeling of modern, warm homeliness: compact, elegant and efficient.
“The fully-fitted kitchen includes a stone top, built-in oven and a four-plate hob with extractor fan. Additional storage and space for your standard-size fridge and washing machine extend the kitchen to the full width of the open-plan room, adding to the impact of this spacious living space, which also features built-in cupboards throughout,” Quinton explains.
“The main en suite bathroom offers a shower, basin and toilet, while the family bathroom has all that plus a stylish bathtub. The optimal use of space extends to small things most developers never think about: like where you put your broom, suitcases, surfboard, hockey stick, or cooler box – all items that normally become issues when living in an apartment. At StayMelville, we have used every single nook and cranny without compromising on practicality or style.”
The east-facing blocks enjoy the bright morning light while the west-facing blocks enjoy a view of the entire range of Cape Town mountains – from Devils’ Peak to Simon’s Town. Ground-floor apartments have small private ‘stoeps’ with direct access to the communal gardens. Prices range from R1.199million to R1.3million.
But this development is so much more than bricks and mortar. It has a feeling of community: the kind of space where people make stories and memories with their children. Where neighbours braai together in one of the 10 braai areas dotted around the property, and where kids play together in the well-landscaped gardens or the two mini football fields. It is also a space where residents clearly make good use of the 1km running track, and the indoor and outdoor gyms.
The Community Centre that sits at the heart of the development includes a lounge with shared workspace and a coffee bar, laundry facilities, a pre-school with four classrooms, a playground and a 75㎡ eventing space – available at cost to residents, for workshops, meetings, yoga classes and birthday parties.
A great cost-saving feature is the uncapped WiFi, available to residents for just R99 per month for a 20Mbps line. There are also full laundry facilities available for those who want to install a dishwasher in their apartment instead of a washing machine.
The thought that has gone into the layout of the development is evident. Around 70% of the landscape architecture is dedicated to indigenous or edible gardens.
“We maintain the garden for the use and joy of residents, who are also welcome to grow their own veggies and herbs in the raised communal beds in our communal veggie gardens,” Quinton says.
The estate also offers solar heat pumps. During load shedding, a generator powers the estate, which means the Internet connection and all security measurements are available at all times.
I have seen many so-‘lifestyle estates’ advertised but most of the time this is just a marketing pitch with no substance. StayMelville is substantially different. It truly delivers on everything it promises, and more.
I grew up in a rural town where there were no burglar bars, no locking of doors. We played in the streets and our parents knew we were safe. We ate fruit from the trees and vegetables from the garden. StayMelville reminds me of my childhood.
Quinton says: “As a parent, I realised that the real clients at StayMelville were going to be the children. If the children are happy, the parents have most of their stress relieved.”
For more information, please phone 021 417 4300 or visit the StayMelville website.