Honest dialogue, positive insights and property passion from the Lush Panel

We held our first Lush webinar with the main aim of providing greater insight into the vision of Lush, how this vision fuses with that of Elaleni and how the Lush vision is being brought to reality along with providing a clear picture of what owners can expect once lockdown is lifted.

Here is a recap of some of the key insight shared by our panel.

Clifton Smithers, co-developer of Lush

Our intention was to create a new benchmark for residential developments on the North Coast- something fresh and trendy but which is priced sensitively and offers access to the Elaleni lifestyle. On this 2-and-a-half year journey we have learned that there are many buyers out there who do not want to buy land and build but still want to gain a foothold in an estate, and Lush is a way of providing that. We wanted Lush to become a brand, not just a development within a development- it needed its own unique look and feel and energy so that it still retains its edge in the market. The design of Lush is a golden thread that runs all the way through from the hard exterior of the buildings, through to the landscape design and green features like the vertical green walls, to the aesthetics of the interiors and the quality of the finishes, therefore we carefully selected our contractors and professionals- the likes of Lucas Uys, Construction ID and Rainmaker Marketing on the branding side. Lush is an agile asset-  buy to use, let out or resell after transfer; and we have a mix of owners with a large investor market. What this means is that we have allowed for short-term letting at Lush and we are one of the few to do so. This will also allow owners who want to enjoy dual usage of their furnished apartment for their own usage and then rent out on a short-term basis when it is not in use.

Dave Perks, co-developer of Lush

When we launched in May 2018 our intention was to do a 2-phase sales launch and structure the construction around that. Due to the phenomenal sales uptake, we changed our approach and in only 12 months since breaking ground, we have already come so far. Lush is now 80% complete and we have one fully furnished show unit ready, with another 2 waiting in the wings. Construction has moved on schedule and we were gearing up to begin handovers in June of this year but due to lockdown we are on hold for a while. Once lockdown is lifted, our projected handover phase will happen over 3 months in a phased manner beginning with some of the Villas. To mitigate the time lost due to lockdown, we have been working closely with Construction ID to find the most expedient way to do so and will likely look at overtime and hours over weekends. We are very aware of the new safety protocols which have to be implemented after lockdown, and we will be relying on our on-site HSE team to ensure this  is done seamlessly and in the best interest of all  and will include measures around entering site, distribution of PPE, sanitisation of common areas, ablutions and tools. We will be putting a lot of energy and time into getting this right, and have full confidence in or HSE team, who, I add, conduct regular audits on site and report back to us on findings and recommendations and so far, our contractors can boast a clean audit!

Wesley Bench-Capon, Developer of Elaleni Coastal Forest Estate

We are truly passionate about Elaleni, and this is a collective passion which drives the team and pushes them to go above and beyond. Elaleni has its own magical energy which needs to be experienced first-hand, and if you look around, you’ll see the results speak for themselves. When we started Elaleni, we didn’t really know or define the boundaries of the estate, but we knew we wanted to provide the full circle: a bespoke offering for all ages in a healthy productive environment. And as things progress Elaleni evolves its offerings- we always knew we wanted an Elaleni Beach Club, and through Devon’s hard work we have managed to secure arguable the prime post on Sheffield Main Beach. The Beach Club has applied for rezoning and we are trying get this off the ground as quickly as possible, which we anticipate will be at the end of the year. Our future plans include creating a precinct within Elaleni, at the Gates with a coffee shop, artisanal bakery, gin bar and produce collection points and also to beef up our kids parks and ‘boundary-free’ green spaces within – we want to remain agile enough to offer the full circle to residents. This includes Lush owners and residents, who, will also benefit from all the Elaleni has to offer. The Elaleni Leisure Centre is top of our list and we will push to have that ready as soon as possible – we estimate within 6 months of council approval. Many people have expressed interest in the beautiful estate dams, and we have put plans in motion to make these more accessible for residents to use recreationally. We are lucky  to have many exceptional developers in this area, and many of whom are taking it upon themselves to fund much-needed road and infrastructure upgrades- we will upgrade the stretch of road between The Grand Exotic (Sheffield beach Road) all the way up to the entrance of the Lifestyle centre. We have already started on Elaleni’s sister estate, which will be the first of its kind focused on wellbeing within an edible landscape- produce grown onsite and delivered to your door.

Devon De Lange, Head of Development Sales for Lush and Elaleni Coastal Forest Estate

Greater Ballito still stands as good investment area; we have seen an average of 20% price growth year-on-year, and a huge demand for rentals, in the last month alone we have had 40 rental enquiries.

Elaleni itself has outperformed its counterparts with the value of land transfers at an average of R2.2 million- which is unseen in the area apart from Zimbali. Investors looking to capitalise on the short-term rental market will be pleased to know that, Airbnb has reported that Ballito is the most under-supplied area in SA when it comes to short-term rental opportunities. In 2 years’ time, once Elaleni has truly grown into itself and all amenities are established and settled, is when those who buy now will really see a huge return on their investment.

Lucas Uys, Head Landscape Architect for Lush and Elaleni Coastal Forest Estate

Elaleni itself is a collection of experiences informed by the hard and soft physical landscape; there are so many facets which make up its unique feel. Amongst these experiences are those which cannot be had anywhere else- the forest, for example is the only one of its kind here and one of the last remaining, and anyone who has traversed the forest boardwalk, will tell you it is an indescribable experience, Lush has its signature landscape, which although peculiar to Lush, fits in well with the greater Elaleni landscape and design. The decision to include a 30-ton African Baobab tree at Lush was not part of the initial plan but the developers called me to say that they wanted something iconic to anchor the immediate Lush landscape and that they wanted to put more time and money to create an impactful landscape.