This new Durban apartment building offers tenants an ownership option – as cities come alive


The Watt Club, Durban (Image provided)

  • South Africa’s major cities are coming back to life as pandemic-induced restrictions and work-from-home orders fade.
  • Mixed-use developments, integrating apartments with work and entertainment in the same building, have sprung up in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
  • Durban recently welcomed its own new block, the 247-unit Watt Club, which has been transformed from commercial property.
  • It has a gym, rooftop social space, games lounge, and coworking spaces.
  • It also offers a rent-to-own solution, offering paying tenants the opportunity to purchase their apartments within 15 years.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Downtown districts of South Africa’s major metros are reviving after a pandemic-induced exodus to the suburbs. A new apartment building in Durban capitalizes on this rejuvenation of the city center and offers a unique rent-to-own solution.

As South Africa’s lockdown restrictions ease and office spaces reopen to hybrid working models, city centers and commercial districts are returning to their pre-pandemic bustle.

Although office vacancy rates remain high, city apartments are back in vogue as buyers trade size for security amid growing demand for sectional properties. Mixed-use developments – incorporating work, play and living spaces – have also sprung up.

In Cape Town, One Thibault in the CBD and Station House in Sea Point are examples of these new developments, where apartments, restaurants, fitness centers and workspaces coexist. In Johannesburg, HQ Sandton, with apartments from around R1 million, has a huge roof garden and work pods, all located in “Africa’s wealthiest square mile”.

Apartment for rent in Durban

The Watt Club, Durban (Image provided)

Apartment for rent in Durban

The Watt Club, Durban (Image provided)

Durban city centre, with a higher office vacancy rate than Cape Town and Johannesburg, is struggling to shake off the cobwebs of the coronavirus. The violent wave of looting and destruction during the July Troubles did little to help the city’s recovery.

But green shoots are beginning to appear, with Durban’s urban rejuvenation program seeking to rid the city of dilapidated buildings and accelerate waterfront development by R30 billion.

A recently launched development on Field Street in central Durban is the city’s answer to mixed-use counterparts in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The Watt Club, officially launched in December 2021, is Urban Lifestyle Investment’s latest venture through its Homii brand, which already offers coworking spaces and self-catering apartments in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Apartment for rent in Durban

The Watt Club, Durban (Image provided)

“With urban intensification taking center stage in eThekwini Municipality, these new town center residences have led to a unique approach to land ownership that solves a range of challenges facing South Africans,” said Craig Turner of the Watt Club.

“We have been fortunate to spearhead the conversion of existing underutilized commercial buildings into residences focused on proximity, convenience, lifestyle and affordability – having recently completed a conversion of 247 units from offices to housing in the center of Durban-city.”

Channeling New York-style industrial design, the 17-story building features a gym, rooftop social space, games lounge, coworking spaces and laundry service alongside one-bedroom apartments. or two bedrooms. Of the 96 units released so far, 23 have been reserved.

Apartment for rent in Durban

The Watt Club, Durban (Image provided)

Watt Club apartments can be purchased direct, from R559,900. A “Rent-2-Own” program allows property investors or tenants to one day own a property at the Watt Club, starting at R6,500 per month.

“With our new Rent-2-Own product, we are proud to introduce a solution that gives individuals the ability to grow a real estate portfolio without upfront capital and without extending debt exposure to banks,” said Turner. .

“By creating solutions for home ownership and wealth creation, rather than stimulating long-standing rental market demand, we will create a greater sense of belonging and pride among city dwellers, which will result in better managed and maintained urban buildings.

Apartment for rent in Durban

The Watt Club, Durban (Image provided)

Residents, paying their monthly rent, have a contractual option to purchase the property at any time for a period of 15 years. The longer the person rents, the lower the purchase price.

There are no upfront fees, such as deposit, bond or transfer fees. Additionally, municipal rates and corporate levies are included, and there is no waiting period typically associated with the transfer process.

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