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Monday Sep 03, 2012

'Creatives opt for hidden treasures in Cape Town'

Aside from being named the World Design Capital 2014, Cape Town's growing reputation as the creative and design capital of Africa is not misplaced, says Seeff City Bowl agent Warren Emett.

"It is growing in popularity as a place of residence for many of the country's top fashion designers and advertising creatives, photographers, architects and interior designers and celebrities," he says.

"Many of these are also drawn to the creative spaces in which they can work, live and play.

"As part of the CBD's innercity renewal, a number of heritage buildings have been upgraded to include apartments and mixed-use facilities such as offices and shops.

"The Taj on St George's Mall is a good example, but there are many hidden gems across the CBD."

For example, he says, The Wellington on Longmarket Street is a heritage landmark that was originally designed by Sir Herbert Baker's office around 1902.

It overlooks Darling Street and the granite murals and frescos on the side of the old post office building.

The building is tall and narrow, with a striking terracotta fa├žade decorated with ornate carvings of cherubs and heraldic shields.

"It was originally known as The Wellington Fruitgrowers Market, but was upgraded and converted into a mixed-use residential and office building a few years ago."

The ground floor of the building has also been relaunched as the Eastern Food Bazaar, one of the city's trendiest new eateries.

Walls lined with Moghul paintings, or nate wooden screens and carved doors framed by columns create a faux Indian lane here with exotic smells, a lively atmosphere and good food.

There are 15 loft apartments in the building of between 208m and 212m2.

Most of the units still have the original arched windows and high ceilings, with modern downlights, wooden floors and contemporary finishes.

The Wellington is one of only a few dog-friendly buildings in the CBD.

The building also has an intercom system, a lift and DStv connectivity.

Emett says only two units have been sold here over the past year, at R2.1m or R10 096/m

Buyers can expect to pay about R1.9m for an apartment with two large bedrooms with en- suite bathrooms and an open-plan living area.

"The Cape Town CBD is rapidly becoming a safe and vibrant residential and business neighbourhood.

"Longmarket Street is a cosmopolitan, tree- lined street close to Parliament, museums, and trendy hotels, restaurants, boutiques, antique shops and a short drive to the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town Stadium and beaches," says Emett.

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