Cosmopolitan Projects – Changing the Face of Affordable Housing in South Africa
For at least the past 18 months South Africa has been waiting with bated breath to see what the outcome of the recent national elections would be, which took its toll on the property industry as the market adopted a wait-and-see approach. With the sixth democratic general elections now successfully behind us, Cosmopolitan Projects – like the rest of the country – is positive and excited about the future.
Anton Crouse, Managing Director of the Cosmopolitan Projects and Central Developments Property Group, says that the stage is set for the industry to prosper again and that Cosmopolitan Projects is ready to invest billions in the delivery of affordable housing. He adds that with a fairly positive outlook on GDP numbers over the next two to three years and President Cyril Ramaphosa firmly committed to good governance and growing the economy, the only thing that is still needed to truly stimulate the industry is an interest rate cut.
After years of preparation, Cosmopolitan Projects now has six mega-developments comprising 45 000 units lined up to deliver affordable housing throughout Gauteng over the next 10 years. These developments are situated in Lotus Gardens (Pretoria West), Sammy Marks (Pretoria East), Rosslyn (Pretoria North), Protea Glen (Soweto), Lion Park (Johannesburg North) and Sky City, Alberton (Ekurhuleni), which is already well underway.
Ultimately comprising 17 000 units, Sky City is the largest privately-funded affordable housing development in South Africa. Since September 2017 Cosmopolitan has already delivered 2 000 houses at Sky City and the total residential project will be completed in phases over the next eight to 10 years at a value of approximately R10 billion.
More than Just Housing
With its shift to mega-developments, Cosmopolitan Projects’ approach has evolved into one of holistic property development. Besides the 17 000 affordable houses and high-density apartments, Sky City also includes schools and day-care facilities, shopping centres, a public transport hub, filling stations, community facilities, expansive parks and recreation areas and more. It, therefore, aims to not only provide housing, but rather a comfortable, quality lifestyle, by offering many different amenities other than just housing.
The civil and electrical services and infrastructure for the entire project will total R1.3 billion and will be handed over to the City of Ekurhuleni as the development progresses. The infrastructure for the first two phases has already been completed at a cost of R320 million. These two phases comprise 2 961 residential 1 stands and 534 high-density units, the shopping centre, filling station, transport hub, four schools and four social node stands for community facilities.
The affordable independent school, Royal Schools Sky City, opened its doors to its first 650 learners in January 2018 which soon increased to just over 1 000 learners in 2019. The latest addition to this holistic development is Sky City Mall, the regional shopping centre developed by the GMI Property Group, of which the first phase (12 800m2 of a total 32 000m2) opened to the public in April 2019.
Overview of the Sky City Development
• Cosmopolitan Projects purchased the land in November 2014 and installation of external services started in June 2016. Construction of the houses started in September 2017 and the first houses were occupied in November 2017.
• 17 000 housing units consisting of 14 500 residential 1 erven and 2 500 high-density units are being developed.
• The 32 000m² regional shopping centre.
• An additional convenience retail centre, including a car dealership, is also being planned, as well as a private hospital.
• 17 schools, including the Royal Schools Sky City independent school. This 9 000m2 school can accommodate 1 600 learners from grades RRR to 12 and is operated by Royal Schools. A second independent school, which will be opening in January 2022, is already being planned.
• 21 social nodes for community facilities such as churches, crèches, clinics and social facilities.
• Beautifully designed entrances, pavements and expansive parks with recreational facilities such as jogging trails, soccer fields and children’s play areas with jungle gyms.
• The entire development, as well as the inner superblocks, are fenced with perimeter security walls.
The Residential Offering
Sky City offers building packages from R492 700 (R5 400 per month) to people earning from R14 000 per month. People earning less than R22 000 per month will also qualify for housing subsidies under the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Program (FLISP). The houses range from 40m² (two beds, one bath) up to 99m² double storeys (three beds, two baths).
Setting a New Standard
With its planned mega-developments solidly on track and its unique approach to sustainable property development – which doesn’t just offer housing, but also integrates various other amenities resulting in holistic developments catering for much more than just its residents’ housing needs – Cosmopolitan Projects is setting a new standard in affordable housing in South Africa. Visit www.cosmo.co.za for more information regarding this and other projects.