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Bid for lofty living in skyscraper building that honours youthful valour

A flat in John Ross House, on the old Victoria Embankment, with sweeping views over the harbour, is among the properties to be auctioned by Aucor Property at the Durban Country Club on November 26 at 11am.

The one-bedroomed flat on the 14th floor of the skyscraper in Margaret Mncadi Avenue, has a fitted kitchen and open-plan lounge with dining area.

Rona Pillay, who is handling the sale for Aucor Property, says properties in or near the Durban CBD are attracting attention with an increasing number of people keen on having a downtown address.

“This will undoubtedly strengthen the bidding for this lofty flat,” she says.

The 33-storey John Ross House – completed in the early 1970s – is known to many South Africans as the home of the famous Roma Revolving Restaurant, one of only a handful in the world, which offer a 360 degree views.

“There are more than 500 sectional title apartments in the building, many of which enjoy spectacular harbour views.”

The building was named after “John Ross” (real name: Charles Rawden Maclean), who ran away to sea in England when just 12 and ended up in what was then known as Port Natal. At 15, the youngster walked over 500km from there to what is now Maputo and back to procure vital medicine and supplies for his ailing fellow British adventurers. The reason for the name John Ross is unclear but it is known the youngster was protected by the feared King Shaka Zulu as well as other local tribes who admired his courage and provided impis to accompany him. Today, young Ross’s statue stands outside the building.

John Ross House has undergone a multimillion-rand refurbishment which restored the lower three floors of the property, including the ground-floor retail and two floors of offices in the podium of the building. It re-developed the public foyer and extensively updated the exterior facades. A hi-tech security system was installed and extensive upgrading of the lifts, air conditioning and electrical infrastructure has been done.

Other properties on offer at the auction on November 26 are:

* Freestanding residence at 2 Rolleston Place, Woodlands. The three-bedroomed dwelling is being sold as part of a deceased estate.

* Three-bedroomed home at 77 Corbett Crescent, Westgate, Pietermaritzburg.

* Another three-bedroomed dwelling will be on offer as part of a deceased estate. This unit is at 178 Avoca Road, Avoca.

* Vacant land of over 11 hectares at Cato Ridge will be sold.

For more information about the properties, contact Rona Pillay at 082 304 5636 or 031512 5150 or email ronap@aucor com.

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