Monday, December 10

New-look boost for Mitchells Plain

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Eco-friendly, safe, affordable and high-quality homes a boon for residents

Twelve years ago, New Age Properties imagined a development that would transform acres of barren land into a community of safe, affordable and high-quality Mitchells Plain homes.

Today, that land is home to the area’s flagship urban renewal project, one of the first privately funded affordable housing developments: Watergate. Four phases later, 850 units have been completed and sold, and a further 350 units are scheduled for completion in 2019. Watergate’s units are designed to promote an urban lifestyle, boasting prime location and eco-friendly designs.

In mid-2006, New Age Properties acquired a tract of vacant land along the R300 highway. The property stretched from New Woodlands through Lentegeur, all the way to Mandalay. New Age Properties had successfully developed many other residential, commercial and mixed-use spaces, but the developers had ambitious goals for Watergate. Directors Anver and Carolyn Essop hoped to rejuvenate the Mitchells Plain community by providing high-quality housing at a previously unmatched price point.

They aimed to make home ownership a reality for the gap market; families who fall above the threshold for social housing, but struggle to find value for money in traditional private sector market offerings.

After four years of planning and rezoning, Watergate officially broke ground in 2010. Development required a significant investment into infrastructure and bulk services, and construction began during the depths of the financial crisis. But the dynamic team at New Age remained committed to delivering on their promise to the local community – driven by the belief that, during challenging times, it is your approach that counts.

That commitment paid off in 2010 when the first 250 Watergate Estate homes went to market. Over the next two years, 130 more homes joined the Watergate Estate complex. Watergate Mandalay launched soon after, added 250 more houses to the development. The fourth and final phase of the development, Watergate Village, launched in 2016. 

Watergate Village includes a commercial development, single residential units for purchase and apartment blocks with units to let. There are 120 units complete and occupied, while the final 80 units in the apartment development are scheduled for completion in 2019. During the development and planning process, Anver Essop, (managing director) came up with the idea of enhancing Watergate’s offerings with a rental option.

Then, in June 2018, New Age Properties began offering modern, affordable two-bedroom, one-bathroom units for rent – the Watergate Apartments had launched. The apartment complexes are carefully managed to maintain a safe, serene environment.

Twenty-four-hour security, including biometric pedestrian entry, roaming guards, electric fencing and armed response, provides tenants with peace of mind. Families with children can spend weekends adventuring through Watergate’s exciting jungle gyms, communal garden and kids’ play areas, while working parents will soon be able to take advantage of the convenient in-complex crèche.

Each apartment also comes with a covered parking bay. The Watergate Apartments are already 50% occupied, with demand far exceeding the team’s expectations. New Age Properties carries out all projects in a socially responsible manner, seeking to empower local communities by training and employing men and women from the local workforce. 

Since breaking ground, Watergate has in fact created almost 500 new jobs each month and also stimulated growth in small, medium- and micro-enterprises, as many in the community have started businesses to meet the needs of new homeowners – “burglar bars, gates, painting and waterproofing you name it,” says Anver.

In their own words, the duo is “inspired to serve local communities by providing safe, affordable, and high-quality homes”. Upon completion of Watergate’s final phase in 2020, more than 1 500 families will occupy safe, affordable, high-quality New Age homes.

Rent or buy excellence

ECO-FRIENDLY Two-bedroom, one-bathroom units are ideal for first-time buyers at the Watergate Estate. Picture: Supplied

Watergate contains a diverse assembly of residential units, ranging in size from 55m² to 95m². Prices start at R545 000 for a two-bed/one-bathroom unit. First-time buyers with a joint income of R15 000 to R20 000 per month can also access financing to make their purchases more affordable.

Homeowners are guaranteed value for their investment, because the New Age team works tirelessly to ensure excellence and timeliness in every delivery. Located along the R300, Watergate offers easy access to the N1 and N2 freeways, taxis and bus routes.

Watergate Village is flanked by the Mitchells Plain General Hospital and Watergate shopping mall, bringing a convenient Shoprite and Clicks to the neighbourhood. The mall is also home to a colourful medley of eateries residents can enjoy after parking securely within the complex.

Watergate is built to facilitate ecofriendly living. Units are equipped with solar panels that heat residents’ geysers and homes, while smart water systems minimise wasteful water consumption. Watergate estate offers sales as well as rentals.

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