INSURANCE magnate Douw Steyn’s much anticipated lifestyle estate Steyn City, sandwiched between affluent golf estate Dainfern and low-income Diepsloot in Fourways on the northern outskirts of Johannesburg, was finally unveiled to the media on Thursday.
Until now much of the talk about Steyn City has centred on Mr Steyn’s palatial R250m mansion, which was completed some 12 months ago. The billionaire founder of Auto & General’s 3,000m² Tuscan villa on a 2.5ha stand is believed to be the most expensive home ever built in SA, even pipping President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla.
Other details of the 2,000 acre project have been kept largely under wraps. However, five years after first breaking ground and R6.5bn later, Mr Steyn and his developer friend Giuseppe Plumari are ready to bring Steyn City to the market.
They have transformed what used to be one of SA’s largest squatter camps — Zevenfontein — and its barren surrounds into the largest single live, work and play development in SA. Steyn City is four times the size of Monaco and six times the size of the Sandton CBD.
Unlike most other developers who typically launch residential projects off-plan, Steyn City Properties first completed the estate’s infrastructure and built an entire show village.
“We wanted to make sure people could see what they were buying and not simply sell them a pipe dream,” said Mr Plumari at Thursday’s launch. The first phase, comprising 93 one-, two-and three-bedroom apartments, 70 stand-alone homes and clusters and 220 freehold stands, will go on sale from March 12.
Prices of the 93 completed apartments range from R1.65m for one-bedroom units of 74m² to R3.9m for three-bedroom units of 149m². Another 25 ultra luxury apartments of 350m², including expansive patios and private plunge pools, will be sold off-plan at R13.9m. Stand-alone homes and clusters are priced from R6.2m to about R20m. Vacant stands sized between 800m² and 4,000m² will be sold from R2.3m to R16m.
Mr Plumari said while the properties only go on sale officially next week, most of the fairway and river frontage stands of R16m have already been reserved. He expects completed homes on these prime sites to be valued in the R40m-R60m range.
However, Mr Plumari stressed that the uniqueness of Steyn City lies in the fact that the estate caters to a broad cross-section of buyers and not only to the super rich.
“Whether you buy a R1.65m apartment or build a R50m stand-alone house, everyone has access to the same facilities.”
Richard Day, national GM for Pam Golding Properties who is responsible for marketing Steyn City, said the key attraction of Steyn City was the range of lifestyle amenities on offer and the fact that half of the estate would comprise wooded parklands.
About 200,000 indigenous trees have already been planted with another 1-million trees expected to be added to the estate over the next three years. The estate boasts a 42km off-road mountain bike track, 15km of pedestrianised walkways, 100km of jogging tracks, an equestrian centre, outdoor swimming pools, skate parks, a clubhouse, gym and spa.
A primary and high school will also be built on the periphery of the estate as well as two convenience shopping centres.
Wynand du Plessis of the estate’s architectural and design team said the idea is to offer buyers enough choice.
“We don’t want to enforce one particular architectural style but rather encourage diversity.”
Homes in the show village range from super contemporary to more traditional barn house and old manor styles.
To date, about R6.5bn has been invested in construction of bulk services, the show village, an 18-hole Nicklaus-designed golf course and other surrounding infrastructure.
The latter includes a R300m contribution to upgrade the R511 William Nicol Road bordering Steyn City and a new R35m water reservoir which forms part of Johannesburg Water’s master plan for the region.
Another R50bn will be invested to develop further phases of Steyn City over the next few years. Steyn City will eventually be home to up to 10,000 residents.