Calgro M3, the Gauteng based property development company which has built over 40 000 houses in their 18 years in operation, has just announced that they are releasing the next phase of their Scottsdene affordable housing development in Cape Town.
This phase, called North Pine Meadow, is part of the larger integrated Scottsdene development which consists of various pockets of housing, from RDP to social housing and bonded stock. Scottsdene is just off the Old Paarl Road (R101) and bounded by Botfontein Road (M15).
“The integration of the different types of housing is important,” says Charl Cornelissen, divisional marketing director at Calgro M3, “as it follows the national government directive to create a lifestyle haven for families and not just build housing projects. This type of development is specifically aimed at creating opportunities for people to upgrade their lives. They can start in an RDP unit and can eventually move to a bonded unit, which will then assist them to create wealth for themselves.”
The total project will have 2 200 units in all: 1 100 GAP, social housing and rental units, 340 CRU (Community Residential Units) which are subsidised rental units owned by the City of Cape Town, 550 fully subsidised RDP/BNG units and 210 freehold affordable housing units.
Scottsdene is Calgro M3’s first integrated development project to be undertaken outside of Gauteng. The four year old R554 million project was awarded by City of Cape Town in November 2010 and they anticipate completion in early 2015.
“The bonded units here are split into sectional title units and freestanding freehold homes, although the bulk of these will be sectional title units to densify areas and not contribute to an urban sprawl”, said Cornelissen. “This type of development must be done, however, in a way that the banks will find value to grant bonds and the residents maintain their pride in their units. Security is of utmost importance, as this “normalises” their lives and keeps the elements that they are trying to get away from, out.”
Calgro’s other aim is to train those who own property here on how to run the body corporate and they do employ a managing agent to manage the scheme, he said.
“What is interesting to see here,” said Cornelissen, “is how the owners of the sectional title units, when given a choice of having a lower levy without security or a higher levy with 24 hour security, chose the higher fee, because of the affect of crime and the strong need to move away from the affects of it.”
North Pine Meadow is a freehold phase, which will have 81 units in all. There will be choices of 43m², 52m² and 70m² (which has a garage), he said. The larger units will be semi-detached, double storey units with two bedrooms and one full bathroom with a guest toilet downstairs.
The prices of these units will be from R390 000 with optional extras available to upgrade if the buyer so wishes. Buyers who are buying in this price bracket would need to earn upwards of R12000, he said, but no deposits are required.
“Calgro M3 develop on such a large scale that we need full control and consistency within the systems we use to manage our developments and this is where RED-i’s (Real Estate Development Interactive) SIMS (Sales information Management System) has helped tremendously. We use various agents to sell units across all our developments and SIMS makes information available online as it happens so that all those involved are given clear communication. We have our administrators, who go through leads and vet buyers to see if they qualify for finance, use the SIMS system, and then pass information from one division to the next. There is a “Notes” communication system which allows direct and immediate communication between all the staff involved here,” said Cornelissen. “With the data being accurate and to the minute, we are able to meet with banks or stakeholders and give accurate feedback on sales and financial aspects with confidence.
“This creates a faster cash conversion cycle because time is not spent unnecessarily wading through data and reports,” he said. “The agents working on our developments have now embraced SIMS as their income earning potential has increased by expending energy on the correct deals and areas rather than following up on redundant information.”
“Calgro M3 is a fairly large company and all the various divisions are kept in the loop via SIMS on financial, legal, bond origination and other transaction data online. This in turn saves time, costs in paper, etc and creates a seamless, efficient system.”
“As with all affordable housing developments, costs need to be kept under tight control, to be able to provide the products at the correct prices. Savings in one area translates to savings in other areas and because we operate a turnkey development company, with our own architects, surveyors, etc, savings in all areas helps down the line to provide decent housing at affordable prices,” said Cornelissen.