Following the launches of BlackBrick Sandton and Bedfordview in Gauteng, as well as Foreshore in Cape Town, the developer is set to launch BlackBrick Gardens, Cape Town. This is the fifth location in the growing hotel-apartment-office network.
The BlackBrick concept is what will become “a global network of urban villages that makes it possible for a community of digital nomads to live and work freely between cities within a likeminded activated community,” co-founder Johnathan Liebmann said.
BlackBrick began in SA, with three locations operational so far, and a further four under development.
“We’ve opened Sandton 2 this year and have another ten locations in the pipeline such as Umhlanga, Rosebank, Cape Town, Pretoria, Nelspruit and more,” says Liebmann.
“Our vision is one of people living in multiple cities, experiencing the world, while working in one urban community. Young people increasingly want to live and move freely, especially in the years post university and pre kids. Most employers these days are hybrid or remote. It’s become the new normal,” he says.
As a buyer of a BlackBrick apartment, you become the member of a club. You are then able to use any BlackBrick shared workspace, facility or other amenity at any development.
Moritz Wellensiek, explains that BlackBrick Gardens is set to become one of the jewels in their crown. It is located on Roodehek Street, within walking distance to Wembley Square, the newly-launched CHIPS coworking space, Gardens Centre, Dunkley Square, the Mount Nelson hotel and museums.
“The original features of the building will be respected and highlighted. Sustainability will extend into the recycling design of the building through the employment of environmentally sound building practices, the installation of Photo Voltaic Panels, and other initiatives such as boiler systems instead of geysers. We’re working with world renowned and multiple award-winning architecture firm Designworkshop, based in South Africa and Mexico,” said Liebmann.
Andrew Makin of Designworkshop said BlackBrick Gardens would deliver RowHouses.
“With all the main elements of a full urban house, from a sidewalk to a stoep, through cooking, eating, and living spaces, to bathrooms and bedrooms with private terraces as rear garden sanctuaries, every RowHouse, no matter what floor it’s on, from 30m² up to rooftop penthouse options, always naturally illuminated and ventilated, a house and a home. BlackBrick Rowhouses are always part of an active ecology, a system of mutually beneficial elements,” said Makin.
Young emerging South African artist, Lazi Mathebula has been commissioned for some of the detail on the courtyard walls.
Liebmann said this development is part of an effort to reenergise Roodehek as the new creative neighbourhood in Gardens.
“This exciting node takes the best of the bustle of the city and the local community atmosphere of the City Bowl and combines it into a context of the soon-to-be developed R1bn precinct, offering the best in mixed-use developments as neighbours,” he said.
As many as 89 Apartments will be included in the development, over six floors with hospitality amenities, an outdoor cinema, meeting rooms, co-working spaces, security, a ground floor courtyard restaurant and a rooftop swimming pool. Priced from R1,195m, it will offer units ranging in size from 30m² to 62m².
BlackBrick is a platform that designs, develops and operates the product post completion at a stage where other developers remove themselves.
Liebmann says the unique concept offers a network to owner members, not only by getting a solid return on their investment, but also a lifetime club membership for as long as they own the apartment, access to all facilities across the country, ten days free as a hotel investor, plus 15% discount on all hotel bookings in the network.
Units are designed to be modular to offer more flexibility. Up to four units can be combined to accommodate larger groups or families.
“Our first three locations perform at a very high level with 80% occupancy and yields of 9% plus. We don’t see ourselves as developers, but rather as deeply passionate people building a network. We want to become a community for millennials. Many people in this age group are choosing to live much more transient lifestyles. Rather than being pinned down to one property in one place, they want to enjoy the freedom that renting offers, compared to the responsibility that comes with owning a house. No longer the ‘forgotten child’ of the property industry, we’re seeing a huge organic growth in the rental market, both in South Africa and globally,” said Liebmann.
Building will start in August and is expected to be completed by mid-2024.