Overlooking the Indian Ocean and hectares of indigenous coastal dune forest, near to schools, shopping, entertainment and Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, its location alone is enviable. Already 12 years in the making, the scope of this project, which enjoys a reciprocal co-existence with the natural landscape, is something to behold.
Fully realised, Sibaya will include hotels, offices, shops, restaurants, educational institutions and recreational opportunities to complement its comprehensive residential offering.
Preserving the natural environment
The thousand-hectare Sibaya Coastal Precinct, with its mix of residential, commercial and retail components, has become a most talked-about development on KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast and the ultimate location to live, work and play.
Coupled with the unique landscape that is synonymous with KwaZulu-Natal, the location lends the development character. The vision for the precinct is an urban space integrated with the protected natural environment, remaining accessible to all. Careful consideration has been given to the site’s topography and natural elements, which are fundamental to the unique lifestyle that Sibaya Precinct affords homeowners, occupants and visitors.
With an ecologically mindful approach, Sibaya has encouraged the integration of urban development and the natural environment, so that these elements reinforce one another, creating a new urban identity and all-encompassing lifestyle.
The vision is of a mixed-use urban development included a determination to reduce the spatial footprint and elevate the natural landscape, while maximising open space. About 75km of nature trails and 600 ha of pristine rehabilitated and existing coastal dune forest inhabited by indigenous fauna and flora testifies to the developers’ commitment to low-density living.
A positive picture for the property industry
The Devmco Group, in 2015, were the first private developers to invest in the Sibaya Coastal Precinct. One of their first residential developments, Pebble Beach Sibaya, achieved R675 million in sales on launch day.
Charles Thompson, the Development Management Director for the Devmco Group, shares: “We are passionately Durban, which is the driving force behind the Devmco Group investing into the Sibaya Coastal Precinct, with the development of OceanDune, before anyone else. With Pebble Beach Sibaya, we delivered 160 off-plan units, from sale to transfer, in only 14 months.”
Despite a tumultuous market, their latest success story paints a positive picture not only for the developer but also the property industry regionally. Devmco Group’s most recent sales success of R36 million in one week is a direct result of market demand.
“These results show us that the property market in this sphere is robust and indicates that we may be at the start of an upward trajectory. There is a strong demand for what we, as developers, are offering to the residential property market,” says Thompson.
Also located within the Sibaya Coastal Precinct, Gold Coast Estate boasts phenomenal success with 170 off-plan homes launched, and 80% sold out in only five days. Despite being a premium product in the higher price range, buyers were not scared off, which has resulted in Gold Coast Estate coming to fruition sooner than expected.
The Sibaya Management Association
In terms of the management of the Sibaya Precinct, all body corporates and individual homeowners’ associations will belong to the Sibaya Management Association. It will be responsible for participation in the Sibaya Conservation Trust overseeing the design review process, security, landscaping, and maintenance, as well as the implementation and management of the operational management plan. These entities will be run by Tongaat Hulett Developments for the full duration of the development period, after which residents will take over their management.
Because Sibaya is essentially a suburb or small town, there is a thoroughfare of traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular. Careful planning between Vumani and Rob Anderson & Associates Consulting Security Engineers will enable all open areas and boulevards to be monitored by a control room housing state-of-the-art security equipment. Access to the various residential development and commercial enterprises in the Precinct is controlled by the respective bodies corporate.
A Conservation Trust will be established to ensure the management, maintenance and rehabilitation of ecologically sensitive areas. In addition, the Trust will oversee visitor access to this previously inaccessible environment.
A design review process will be implemented for all development undertakings and will involve the establishment of a design review panel, together with appropriate design guidelines and a development manual, which will include the approved environmental management programme designed to preserve and protect natural areas and indigenous vegetation.
Architectural guidelines, to be administered by the Sibaya Management Association through the design review process, will ensure the maintenance of a high-quality, value-maximising urban space. Purchasers will, however, be able to modify their plans as long as these alterations are deemed by the Sibaya Management Association to be compatible with Precinct’s philosophies.
Author: Louise Martin