Massive Sandton development has just been canned

Business Insider SA
An artist impression of the entrance of the planned Wedgewood development.
  • Balwin Properties has cancelled its plans to construct Sandton’s first affordable high-rise development.
  • The company said the rate of presales was lower than expected and posed a risk for shareholders and home-buyers.
  • Wegdewood was a positive move that would have allowed first-time buyers access to affordable housing in a business district like Sandton.
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Balwin Properties has cancelled its plans to develop a R1.6 billion 'affordable living' lifestyle project in Sandton.

Last November, the property company announced plans to develop a 20-storey building, which would have had 1,340 apartments, with 33m2 studio apartments starting from R799,000 each and reaching R1.49 million.

The company said it had adopted a prudent approach to the Wedgewood high-rise development, stating that it had not met several conditions it wanted to achieve before starting construction.

The rate of presales, which was lower than anticipated, was one of the risk factors that led to the company’s decision to not continue with the build.

“Balwin’s Transaction Committee earlier recommended to the Board of Directors that it will not be in shareholders’ or home buyers’ interest for Balwin to commence with the construction of Wedgewood Sandton, based on the conditions precedent not being met. The board subsequently endorsed the recommendation,” the company said in a statement.

“Considering the risk associated with a single-phase development, it is prudent and in shareholders’ and home buyers’ best interest for the company to focus on its Green, Classic and Signature Collections currently under development across 18 sites nationwide,” said Balwin CEO Steve Brookes. 

Pre-approved buyers will receive their deposit back and have the option of buying an apartment in the company’s other developments at a discounted rate.

“It is our sincere wish to accommodate all prospective buyers in alternative Balwin developments where they can enjoy the lifestyle amenities and convenience associated with the Balwin brand,” Brookes said.

The Wegdewood development was seen as a positive move that would have allowed people more access to affordable housing, especially in metropolitan areas and business districts such as Sandton.

The development would have had various amenities, including an outdoor cinema and a rooftop five-a-side soccer field.

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