On 25 March word went out that the Townhouse Hotel would be closing its doors after five decades as one of Cape Town’s most recognisable hospitality landmarks. The announcement hinted that the new owners had plans to resurrect the hotel in a different form, adding to the investment value of the Neighbourgood East City precinct and the Cape Town CBD.
Less than six months later, the doors on the corner of Corporation and Mostert streets will reopen as Neighbourgood East City, South Africa’s first hybrid co-living, co-working and hospitality concept. “Given the isolation we have all experienced over the last year and a half due to the pandemic, people are searching for living and workspaces that offer a sense of place, community, flexibility and affordability,” says Murray Clark, founder and chief executive officer, Neighbourgood. “We believe the City of Cape Town is one of the best cities in the world to live in. With flexible work trends allowing people across the globe to have a more nomadic lifestyle, Neighbourgood as a brand is well-placed to deliver an integrated living, working and lifestyle space solution for its members.”
Co-living is the new house sharing
The concept offers a solution for what young working professionals need – contemporary, affordable accommodation – and adds the convenience of fully furnished suites, common areas where the like-minded residents can meet while they work or relax, and exceptional amenities including free WiFi and weekly cleaning services, all under one cost-effective bill.
Members can have as much privacy or sociability as they like. Shared spaces include a MasterChef-style kitchen, contemporary dining and workspaces and a common lounge area. The suites are already available for rent. Inclusive rentals (or memberships) range from R5,950 to R9,950 per month and terms are flexible – three, six, nine and 12-month options. Short-stay (one to 90 days) memberships are also offered.
Creating community through a human-centric approach
“Members will love everything about living at Neighbourgood East City,” says Clark. “The rooms have been thoughtfully designed to be exactly what young professionals are looking for. They can work solo from their private suite, in company at our co-working space, or if they want a change of scene, they also get access to the hot desks at Neighbourgood Workspace at the Cape Quarter.
“We’re building a community and in addition to regular events, members can get to know each other at the on-site cafe and rooftop, as well as the shared kitchen, dining room, wellness area and Friends-style laundry. They get to experience co-living with amazing people in an incredible city.”
Neighbourgood East City will also contribute to the inner city’s ongoing revival, adding much-needed investment value to an area that has felt the effects of an extended national lockdown, Clark adds. The property is the first hotel-to-residential co-living conversion of its kind in the country, but it may not be the last. Neighbourgood is in the process of working with a number of other hotels, guesthouses and property owners who are looking to do the same.