Zululami Luxury Coastal Estate has been created to enhance the lifestyle of all those that live within it and ultimately create a place where nature becomes your home, from the beach, forest and vast open spaces. The key players in conceptualising this estate and having made it a reality talk through the various elements of Zululami in a recent ‘Connect with Collins’ webinar hosted by Pat Lambie, former Springbok and now Sales Strategist at Collins Residential.
Murray Collins – CEO of Collins Residential
When we stood at the back of Zululami, where the cane was still high; it was an incredible view. Just the outlook, the challenge, the prospects that lay ahead were fantastic. My grandfather bought the first beach cottage in Willard’s Beach, between Thompsons Bay and Ballito, in 1942. The cottage was built in 1948 and he bought it for £2000. That gives you a bit of an idea of how long my family has been involved there. As kids growing up, we loved the North Coast, and never thought or believed it would grow; there were dirt roads down to the beach in those days. My great uncles were pioneer farmers in the early 30’s in Tongaat. As a family, we have had our routes there and never understood, at the time, that it would grow into what it is today. There are so many things that have evolved since then, we have to accept that the North Coast is not this big, beautiful sleeping giant that it was; it’s now an emerging, metropolis with the airport, and all the future development that is going to take place. Apart from its natural beauty, people, access to industry and logistics, it’s tailormade for growth in South Africa. It has a great climate, with everything going for it – so we look forward to making Zululami part of the growth in this region. When you have scale and variety – you have everything.
Geoff Perkins – Director Residential Projects – Collins Residential
Within 3 minutes of being on the crest of Zululami, and looking down onto that magnificent coastline, Murray’s mind was made up. Once Zululami is built, there will be about 750 homes, a mixture of freestanding and sectional title homes. It’s a short trip to the airport – about 10 or 15-minutes, and just North of Ballito Town. The entire estate is 111 hectares with access to open spaces and wetlands; it’s very generous in its size. We changed the original design to help make it a lot more efficient, as well as changed some of the sectional title units into mini sub-development opportunities – so they became smaller sites and more affordable. It took a while for us to get to this stage, where we can transfer a site to a purchaser. We pride ourselves, and try as much as possible in all developments we are involved in, to get amenities in so that when the first person moves in these are in place. The next phase of amenities to tackle is sports facilities and the future clubhouses.
Bernice Rumble – Director – Land Art Studios
As landscape architects we are fortunate to work with all the open spaces between the built areas. What is interesting is that Zululami is 111 hectares, of that 43 hectares will go over to the outdoor environment, which will be road verges, formal landscaping, areas around the gatehouse, all the ecological zones, parks and sports areas. We firmly believe that the 43 hectares will become the nature of Zululami. We started working with contractors onsite in October 2017 and started the process of rehabilitating and transforming the site. It was essentially sugar cane farm, with very small resemblance of ecological value, there was a portion of an existing swamp forest, and degraded wetlands. We have gone about rehabilitating and bringing back some of KZN’s typical coastal biomes; the swamp forest and the wetlands have been enhanced, we have planted KZN coastal forest, and we have rehabilitated coastal grasslands into areas as well. The intention of the rehabilitation work has been to improve the species diversity and ensure the long-term sustainability of ecological zones. As nature starts to return, flourish and thrive, so will the residents of Zululami. This nature will really become an asset for the residents. We’ve introduced a network of trails for walking and running, there are boardwalks that hug the existing swamp forest, there is a sunrise deck that has been positioned next to reed beds. Just before the shutdown we finished the citrus park, that is a small little park that is connected to the future sports node. There is a lawn terrace for people to come along and put their picnic blankets down, have a gin and tonic and watch the sun set, kids will have fun with the equipment introduced. The landscape team have identified the research of Blue Zones, which identifies 5 hotspots around the world where the longevity of individuals in these certain countries is really high – they are not just living they are thriving. Through this research 9 principles have been identified; moving naturally, belonging, having a sense of purpose, downshifting (less stress), surrounding yourself with people who are like minded, loved ones first, eat plants (less meat), using the 80% full mantra, and have wine at 5. These principles create well-being, although we can’t control people’s habits, what we can do is think consciously about what we are creating for well-being for people and nature.
Lisa Rorich – Lead Architect from Lisa Rorich Architects
We have tried to keep the architectural code very simple, where all the ques come from the site and living on the North Coast. We have also linked them with sustainability and hope to create timeless architecture. Our key design principles are to connect with nature through large openings where individuals can engage with one another, where they are on the landscape. We encourage the use of passive design elements such as large, deep verandahs that give you great sun control, and courtyards where you can get out of the prevailing wind. We have a natural finishes palette so that it ties in with nature beautifully. Our last element is sustainability, which includes water harvesting, solar panels, grey water systems, energy efficient appliances and LED lighting. We believe that by combining these elements we will achieve a holistic approach to the estate that will be timeless.
Richard Ellis – Director – Slingshot Investments
There are a number of issues that can affect the building cost, for instance the site is an obvious one, a double storey can end up costing more, the piles and the foundations, the roof whether concrete or sheeted, the various features like cladding, and then there are the internal features – the list can go on and on. This can be managed by your building team. What you do need to keep in mind is to do your detailing right up front, as you don’t want to do too many changes, as there can be issues with KwaDukuza in this regard. The developers have identified great building teams who will assist with making this a seamless process. Once approval has come through from the local Municipality and site handover has been done, a double storey house can be done in 8 – 9 months. If there are changes along the way and builds have to be resubmitted – that can cause further delays. By getting all the details right upfront you won’t experience these delays and will ensure your build is efficient.
Andrew Smith CEO – Smith’s Property Group
We’ve come a long way from those early days – the renders of the gatehouse just show what a spectacle this structure has become. Along with the clubhouse and how beautifully it is progressing – it is anticipated to be complete around the end of the year. Zululami is a lot different to what it was when we first launched in December 2016. Back in 2016, Zululami was an old sugar farm that hadn’t been maintained – it was overgrown, had a lot of weeds and even beach sand. It really has been a journey, but we are very excited for this next phase of Zululami right now. The record will show that the public’s response to this product was completely overwhelming. During that launch phase we concluded over R250 million worth of sales. Today, we have about 130 homeowners, who have taken transfer of their properties and about 30 who have bought into the next phase and are awaiting transfer. For the next 12 months it is a big time for Zululami, a lot of construction is going to take place, people are going to start making their dreams come true. When we launched Zululami we were only selling vacant land at that stage, and things have changed as now the estate has matured. We now have several options to offer; we have the perfect fit for young couples within Zululami, who are looking to get onto the property ladder, prices start from R1.9 million – R2.3 million, depending on the different sectional title schemes; Moyana and Aura which offer incredible views. For families that are looking for a bit more space, we have land that you can buy, where you can design your own home to your specific requirements. Empty-nesters who are downsizing can find home packages, that consists of floor plans that have been approved, and all the architectural elements have been done. We have a number of investors who have purchased apartments from a buy-to-let point of view, as well as land to spec and then sell. We have had around 30% enquiries come from Gauteng, Pretoria – Johannesburg market. Lastly, our international buyers, who range from destinations such as Belgium, Germany, England who are looking to make Zululami as their home. Zululami has something for everybody – it doesn’t matter what life stage you are at.
Additionally, the developers have effectively acquired the neighbouring estate. The master stroke here is that they were able to secure beach frontage (about 2km). Through the various Homeowners Associations registered – Zululami will be able to have a choice of three access points. Through a cleverly crafted link between these two estates, Zululami residents can walk through the estates and onto Christmas Bay.