Grand Homes has just completed their third Private Estate complex in Newlands – called Sibaya – along Walmer Drive. The first project was Sibiti Private Estate in Greencroft which was completed in 2018 and consists of 26 three bedroom, double storey, semi-detached garden flats. The second project was Sitari Private Estate in Greendale which was completed in 2020. Sitari consist of 48 three bedroom duplex apartments, semi-detached, each with a small private garden. Within the complex is a swimming pool, a private gym and a community club house. Sibaya is the latest feather in their cap and is made up of 13 three storey, free standing, detached townhouses each with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Like Sitari the complex has a swimming pool, private gym and a clubhouse. SIbaya is positioned as a high end townhouse development, offering a standard of living comparable to a freestanding home, but with the additional privilege of lock up and go convenience.
All three Estates have outstanding security with electric perimeter fences and a single access gate which is manned and guarded 24 hours a day, as well as backup electricity and water supplies. They all have fully fitted kitchens with stoves, ovens, microwaves, fridges and washing machines. The units at Sibaya are available to rent unfurnished or partly furnished with lounge and dining room suites, beds, curtains, large screen TVs and all the essentials clients need apart from their personal linen and cutlery and crockery. There’s also ZOL internet connectivity and DStv.
The concept is similar to modern, up-market, move-in-ready housing estates in Sandton (Johannesburg) or in cities in the USA like Miami. They’re ideal for young couples, older people looking to downsize, diplomats or corporate executives who are here in Zimbabwe for limited assignments. The excellent security and the community feel makes for a perfect lock-up-and-go option.
All three projects were developed by Troika Design Workshop alongside KS Trust. The three projects bear some similar design signatures. The exteriors are mostly low maintenance facebrick with bright coloured painted plaster details to identify different units, loads of doors and windows for natural light, balconies off the upper floors, fairly steeply sloping Chromadek roofs and loads of exotic palm trees in the communal landscaped areas. Shared paved access roads are illuminated by solar powered streetlamps.
Interiors at the three Estates are largely open plan on the ground floor with the kitchen, dining room and lounge all interleading. Kitchens have top of the range appliances for convenience, and a touch of luxury, and the open plan spaces lead out to private, secluded gardens. There’s a separate exterior door leading from the ground floor service area so domestic staff can have their own entryway without disturbing the residents. Scullery and laundry areas are separate from the main kitchen and entertaining areas.
The bathrooms have high end, low maintenance finishes and the bedrooms have built in wardrobes for storage. All three projects have balconies for outdoor living. At Sibaya the first floor bedrooms have doors opening out to the expansive balconies while on the top floor, designed to be the children’s rooms, access is restricted to a single door from the shared pyjama lounge for safety reasons.
Phillip Kudzayi, Partner at Troika Design Workshop outlined their development philosophy in connection with the various townhouse developments. Land and space within the City limits, with easy access to places of employment and shopping facilities, is becoming more restricted as our urban populations continue to swell. Fifty or sixty years ago a suburban home set on a one or two acre plot was the middle class norm when both domestic staff and up keep costs were affordable. These days the costs of maintaining a huge garden and an older house are becoming prohibitive, so much so that what was once a middle class home is now an urban luxury.
The urban population density grows each year and housing options need to follow suit. Good quality, high density housing alternatives place less pressure on the existing infrastructure and services. Currently the City of Harare is struggling – and failing – to provide basic services like water and sewerage reticulation, garbage collection, road upkeep, street lighting and other basic services. Denser and less spread out housing options, in theory, make more economic sense.
As our lifestyle choices evolve towards more high density urban living our housing options need to follow suit. People need to live closer to their places of employment and we need the convenience of local shopping and entertainment options. We need to have schools, health services and other facilities catering to the community within easy travelling distance. Newlands provides all the convenience of inner city living and still manages to maintain a quiet, leafy suburban atmosphere where parents can feel that their families are safe from the hazards of city life.
Often both parents are working and there’s little time left over for home and garden maintenance and the endless need for continuous upkeep. Sibaya Private Estate offers a very attractive solution – homes that are easy to maintain, excellent security within a community set up, shared facilities (like the swimming pool, gym and clubhouse) and small gardens that don’t take too much time or cost too much to look after but still offer the outdoor living experience.
Communal spaces are maintained by the Estate and the rental option means that any plumbing, electrical or other issues are taken care of by the body corporate. For people who travel a lot the lockup-and-go convenience is very attractive, knowing that your home and your possessions are safe and secure.
Grand Homes is a subsidiary of local property development company KS Trust and is involved in the construction and management of many residential and commercial properties around Zimbabwe.
112 Nelson Mandela Avenue, Harare.
Troika Design Workshop (TDW) is a construction consulting collaboration offering multidisciplinary built environment services including construction management, architecture, quantity surveying and structural engineering services.
9 Maiden Drive, Newlands, Harare.
08677 008 490
-text by Michael Nott
-photos by Structure and Design
-plans and renders courtesy of Troika Design Workshop