Property prices have risen significantly in Overport generally and Crescent Street has been a beneficiary
A hilly residential area, Overport is home to a wide variety of residential and mixed-use neighbourhoods broken down into Overport, Sydenham and Sparks Estate, with the bulk of the area being traditionally Indian.
The eighth mayor of Durban, William Hartley, coined the name for the estate he developed bordered by the roads today called Julia, Springfield Stephen Dlamini (formerly Essenwood) and Felix Dlamini (formerly Brickfield).
Crescent Street runs between Peter Mokaba Ridge (formerly Ridge Road) and Alpine Road that is now a busy 1km stretch where residential flats, mixed-use buildings and commercial enterprises function side by side. Newer developments, like Crescent Towers and Swift Centre, are besides residential blocks including Roslyn Heights, Panchal Court and Fern Gardens, while former houses are now office premises.
These include the redevelopment of MIC House for the MI Cassim Group and the Rainbow Kids Montessori and Daycare school. The site where the MusjidAl-Hilal mosque now stands has its own historic links with Crescent Street. It was once occupied by the Admiral Hotel, known for its inexpensive Sunday lunches and social activities for the local community.
When the hotel closed, the Al-Hilal Trust acquired the site and the mosque and Islamic Dawah Centre was completed in 2004. Now it hosts a stream of local, national and international dawah groups and serves as a religious guidance centre for Muslims across Durban.
MI Cassim Brokers partner Mahomed Cassim says significant development is happening within Overport generally, ad Crescent Street is one of the beneficiaries. Property prices have risen significantly – good for people already invested in the area and less so for anyone wanting to.
The financial services company has been operating from its revamped modern building for the past eight years. He says properties typically are not coming on to the market unless the owners are moving away from Overport.
As a microcosm of the neighbourhood, Crescent Street reflects a sense of community and integrated commercial and residential demands. Social infrastructure incorporates two mosques, a church and a school as well as the commercial requirements.
However, a negative aspect is the general impression of being unkempt – municipal infrastructure like the pavements and verges require attention and litter is a problem.
As a reflection of commercial rates in the area, a 90m² office with good road frontage commands R78/m², while a newly built commercial space offering tenants leases between 100m² and 1 000m² start from R90/m². Nearby, an open piece of land measuring 928m² has come to the market for R2.95 million. Currently zoned residential, investors could get the property rezoned to to build a multi-unit development.
Businesses catering to the needs of residents and visitors
Rainbow Kids Montessori and Daycare
Catering for children aged from three months to six years, the Rainbow Kids Montessori and Daycare follows the Montessori philosophy which gives children the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential. The philosophy embraces education for life with learning happening at the child’s pace.
Radio Islam International
Licensed since 1997, Radio Islam International has become synonymous with Islamic values and as a tool for dispelling misconceptions relating to Muslims in South Africa and abroad.
Malek Travel & Tours
Founded by Nazir Malek in 1988, Malek Travel & Tours aims to make travel simple, comfortable and affordable. The company’s black economic empowerment policy promotes employment of previously disadvantaged people, especially women, and takes on students for their in-service training.
World of Travel
Owner Irshad Malek promotes Hajj and Umrah travel. Established in 2011, World of Travel seeks to provide efficient, hassle-free travelling, whether for business, leisure or pilgrimage.
MI Cassim Group
Originating in Tongaat with its parent company MI Cassim Brokers, the MI Cassim Group has been trading since the 1980s and specialises in financial services, real estate and travel.
Epsom Seafoods Fish & Chips
Renowned seafood retailer Epsom Seafoods Fish & Chips has branches across the city, including the flagship store. The company offers a range of cooked, fresh and frozen seafood
Advantages offered by the area
Originally an Indian area, Overport is an established neighbourhood with a keen integration of social, cultural, commercial and residential components. This ensures a long-standing customer base and support.
The 1km stretch of road runs between Peter Mokaba Ridge (formerly Ridge Road) along the Berea ridge and Felix Dlamini Road (formerly Brickhill Road) that links into the M10 and Umgeni Road. It is easily accessible from the N3 national freeway, M19 highway and within the Overport neighbourhood to service customers near and far.
As a traditional mixed-use environment, the street has a combination of buildings offering commercial space on street level and residential accommodation on the higher levels. Stand-alone houses are being acquired for upgrading and conversion into commercial properties.
Sense of community
Business owners have a sense of community when opening their ventures as a significant number of them will come from the neighbourhood. This provides customers with confidence in knowing the family.
Set on a busy road, businesses have high visibility and sound foot traffic statistics from passing trade. Signboards are visible along the street.