The River Club Development: Work and Play Come Together in Nature

After five years of delays, fierce challenges and political manoeuvring, one of the biggest mixed-use developments to be planned in recent years is about to get underway in Observatory. 

The River Club Will be set on 150,000 m² of prime Cape Town real estate, featuring a mix of residential and commercial property units to meet the requirements of the mother city’s ever-growing business community.

With phase 1 of the development ready to commence construction we take a look at some of the highlights of the River Club project as we eagerly await one of Cape Town’s most exciting office space ventures to date.

World-class commercial property in the southern suburbs

The River Club is one of the biggest developments to be planned and executed in the Observatory area, with many property experts predicting that it will become the focal point of the Cape Town southern suburbs’ urban renewal.

With an estimated investment outlay of R4 billion this large estate project will be home to several prominent corporates –  most notably Amazon, which has already signed as an anchor tenant. The tech giant will base its African headquarters at the River Club upon completion of phase one. 

Construction will take between 3 to 5 years to be completed with phase 1 scheduled to kick off mid-2021. The following amenities are planned for the River Club development:

  • Office units accommodating a variety of business types and sizes
  • Conference facilities
  • An extensive residential development across a range of price points with an affordable housing component to ensure inclusivity
  • A luxury 200-room hotel
  • Gym and recreation facilities
  • A variety of restaurants and retail options 

The River Club has been designed to offer cutting edge modern amenities set in an area of Cape Town that is steeped in history.

A sustainable development in partnership with local communities

If you follow commercial property trends closely you may recall that the River Club development experienced several delays on the road to being approved by the city of Cape Town. With these resolved, the MEC for Environment has approved the project for immediate commencement.

This area has strong cultural and historical importance for the local community – many of whom are descendants of the KhoiSan people.  

The area around the development was originally home to the KhoiSan people who cherished the clean drinkable water in its broad river in the days before desalination when seawater was virtually undrinkable. According to Heritage Western Cape (HWC), the KhoiSan were driven away from this site by early European settlers.

Negotiations leading up to the initiation of this project have set the scene for construction to go ahead in an inclusive manner that respects the wishes of the local community and the original KhoiSan inhabitants of the Observatory and Liesbeek areas. 

As a gesture of goodwill and to show its commitment to fair sustainable and inclusive development, the Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust will include the following facilities in the River Club during its development:

  • Affordable housing that will be accessible to members of the local community.
  • An amphitheatre to be used for cultural events by the KhoiSan community and highlight their unique culture to the broader Cape Town audience.
  • A botanical garden featuring traditional plants and flowers representing the agricultural and horticultural Achievements of indigenous traditional science.
  • Internal road names in local indigenous languages 
  • A cultural heritage media site and eco-trail in honour of the local community

From an environmental perspective, the developers have agreed to undertake a comprehensive wetland rehabilitation project on site. Overseen by a hydrology expert, plans are in place for the Liesbeek Canal to be rehabilitated to mitigate the risk of flooding and developers will be spending more than R70 million to upgrade water connections and other engineering services.

Work in nature just minutes from the Cape Town CBD

The eagerly awaited River Club development is set to be a game-changer for commercial property in the Observatory area.

The presence of Amazon’s African headquarters should provide a strong magnet for eCommerce and tech related businesses to secure tenancy or purchase commercial units in the development. This bodes extremely well for the River Club’s long-term prospects even before the first foundations have been laid.

To learn more about this exciting new commercial property development and secure your office unit before you miss out, contact our team of area specialists today.