Empty nesters' paradise
It's the best of both worlds. Apartment-hotels have become a growing trend in Cape Town, attracting young professionals and "empty nesters".Properties in this niche market are selling like hot cakes because they give buyers the luxury and feeling of living in a five-star hotel.The 124-unit Radisson Blu Hotel and Residence is the latest development in Cape Town's CBD.Although still under construction, it is attracting record prices - R35000 to R55000 a square metre - much higher than the inner city average price of just over R24000.Penthouses on the top two floors are priced from R10-million, going up to R35-million.The five-star apartment-hotel development, valued at R1-billion, is by veteran developer John Rabie's company Signatura for Stonehill Property Fund. About 90% of the apartments in the under R5-million price range were sold out shortly after the launch.On the corner of Riebeek and Long Streets, the property is a 10-minute walk from the V&A Waterfront. There will be 11 floors of executive apartments. The lower half of the building will have hotel rooms. Apartments are between the 12th and 22nd floor, boasting 360-degree views of the Mother City - with the ocean on one side and Table Mountain on the other.Cape Town property expert Erwin Rode said apartment-hotels were a "special niche" in the market because they allowed "modern day living in a developed world"."It's about minimum hassle and maximum services," he said. He said this was likely to attract young professionals, businesspeople and "empty nesters" - people whose children have left home.Carola Koblitz of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District, said the prices fetched by apartments in the new development were definitely much higher than the average. The apartment-hotel, she said, was a "growing trend".Other properties in this niche included those at Mandela Rhodes Place, 15 on Orange, North Wharf Protea, Fountain Suites, Taj Cape Town and The Pepper Club.David Cohen, a senior executive at Signatura, said: "It's not just about a pool and gym. People who live there are going to feel like they are living in a hotel, with room service and key cards."He said the new owners included young professionals looking to avoid traffic, investors and those down-scaling from large houses for a "lock up and go" style of living.