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Mixed-use developments make sense for the developer, who can hedge their investment bets across a range of property types. But they also offer significant appeal to buyers, who can beat the traffic and keep their petrol prices down by staying within their precinct, which should – if it delivers on the mixed-use promise – fulfil all their “live, work, play” requirements.

“These types of development are taking inspiration from international trends parallelling global demand for investment in locations where you can live, work and play,” says Nicholas Stopforth, managing director, Amdec Group, which is responsible for the award-winning Melrose Arch development in Joburg, and the still-under-construction Harbour Arch in Cape Town. “We’re utilising space to its greatest capacity in major city centres and offering a safe, convenient urban living experience, but it also boasts fantastic real-estate returns.”

Alex Oberholzer, Sandton area specialist, Knight Frank, says the popularity of mixed-use developments has been growing steadily in South Africa over the last five years. “Property developers are capatalising on this movement with new precincts popping up all over South Africa.

Consumer convenience, new building technology and a ‘new population culture’ are major driving factors for these developments,” he says. “Their popularity is greatly concentrated in the main business hubs in and around South Africa. It’s driven by the ‘live, work, play’ movement in the market where individuals want to live close to where they work with less travel time, and it also requires the need for the retail component to maximise efficiency and drive convenience.”

He adds that there’s further appeal in the sustainability, security and efficiency of the overall design of these mixed-use spaces.

These are some of the leading mixed-use developments in South Africa right now:

Cape Town


This development provides a prime opportunity to invest in the Cape Town CBD’s first large-scale, inner-city, mixed-use precinct.

Like Melrose Arch, this precinct will encapsulate the principles of new urban living, and present an opportunity for people to live, work, play, relax, and stay in a safe, convenient, enjoyable and sustainable community-focussed environment.

Located close to the city and its surrounds, Harbour Arch’s six towers will be located alongside landscaped public spaces with shops, restaurants, cocktail bars, international hotels, offices, health clubs and a range of residential apartments.



The hotel component of this mixed use apartment block in Houghton, Joburg will be completed shortly. “The Houghton will soon celebrate the much anticipated completion and launch of The Houghton Hotel, with the final phase of apartments also done. The hype around owning a property at The Houghton address has only increased enthusiasm among international investors, as well as local families seeking a secure, convenient, luxurious lifestyle with the amenities of a five-star hotel at their disposal,” says The Houghton director Arnold Forman.


This is a brand-new precinct on the doorstep of the Sandton CBD. The all-inclusive precinct makes it possible for residents to maintain a balanced lifestyle within its gates, with residential, office, retail, active and environmental space all on offer. Sandton Gate Terrace has recently been launched as one of the highlights of the development.

“Comprising 137 luxury apartments, Sandton Gate Terrace overlooks the lush Braamfontein-spruit and was designed for private, open-plan living,” says Simon van Helsdingen, Sandton Gate development manager, Abland.

“Each apartment makes the most of natural light and facilitates modern lifestyles with large balconies and savvy floorplans.”


The Riversands development is following a similar concept to that of Waterfall City, where Century has been extremely successful.

“The main difference is the realisation that this specific precinct needs to be more affordable and cater to an emerging LSM group. Upon completion, Riversands will offer residential nodes, commercial precincts, educational institutions, retail parks and light industrial warehousing – creating an economy within one development,” says Jessica Hofmeyr, the executive of sales, rentals, marketing and operations, Century Property Developments. She believes Riversands will become an extremely desirable place to live in and work from, where people can enjoy a varied and healthy lifestyle, all within walking distance.

Port Elizabeth


This Amdec development is its own trendy hub of Port Elizabeth, which adds “shop, retire” to “live, work, play”. It’s just 15km from the city centre on 128ha of land, boasting a variety of housing options, a school, retail outlets, and 48ha of open space with parks, wide pavements and green spaces.

“What’s really special about Westbrook is that it’s not just a secure lifestyle estate. It’s a community where people of all ages can live, learn, work and play,” says Clifford Oosthuizen, managing director, Westbrook. “People here enjoy all the benefits of a safe and secure estate, with a very relaxed atmosphere and a great sense of community.”



Set within the Sibaya Coastal Precinct, Gold Coast Estate developed by Devmco is a secure estate situated between dense coastal forest and the sands of the North Coast. It offers freestanding homes, beach pad apartments and recreational amenities across four villages called Maui, Bondai, Kirra and Laguna.

Features include a clubhouse, wine cellar and events venue, kids area with supertubes and fountains, lazy lounge area, lap pool, private gym, squash court, aerobics studio, restaurant, business lounge, jogging and cycling paths, and many more modern conveniences and leisure facilities.

 Mixed Use is Big in Retirement Too

Oasis Luxury Retirement Resort in Century City falls within the Century City mixed use development which offers residents every amenity right on their doorstep. It also boasts a wide range of its own lifestyle components for residents. These include a club house, a 25m indoor heated pool, a massage room, sauna, steam room, gym, a library, lounge areas, a restaurant, bar, a bridge room and a billiard room.

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