Nine months after launching The Harri, a new 48-unit apartment block and mixed-use property development going up at 75 Harrington Street in Cape Town’s East City Precinct, only 16 of 42 studio apartments and two of the six loft apartments are still available for sale.

“We sold right through lockdown,” says Jeff Kleu, co-developer with Steven Lampert, both of property-development company Sepia and Silk. “We sold to investors wanting to buy to rent, parents buying an apartment for their student kids or a holiday flat, and to locals as well as Zimbabwean, German and USA nationals.”

The Harri’s units start at between R1 299 995 for a studio apartment and R2 499 995 for a two-storey loft apartment. The development, which is optimally located in the heart of Cape Town’s design district, offers a blend of apartment living with open-plan, tastefully furnished co-living and co-working space, and includes fireplace lounges, a TV room with a large smart TV and access to Netflix, three dedicated Zoom (video chat) rooms, a rooftop terrace with a gas braai and mini-bar area, and hotel-grade amenities like wifi, a concierge, a housekeeping service, and 24-hour security.

The Harri studio apartment
The Harri studio apartment

Right now it’s a buyers’ market, Kleu notes. “Since we launched, interest rates have dropped from 10,25% to 7%,” he says.

Harrington Street has been at the heart of much of the recent revival of the East City, which was previously a gritty industrial-commercial area. Major developments here include the upgrading of the Cape Town City Hall at a cost of R27 million, The Old Granary at R31 million, the purchase of the Nicro head office on Harrington Street by a European company, Groupe SOS, for R30 million, and the opening last year of a R75-million five-star boutique hotel on Church Square.

Sandra Gordon, research economist for Cape Town’s Central City Improvement District, points out that while development activity was initially concentrated at the lower end of Harrington Street, developers have shifted their attention to the area above 50 Harrington Street, and she cites as examples both The Harri and 84 Harrington Street. “Numerous applications submitted to the City suggest that a variety of new retail and food outlets are set to open their doors, which will cement the East City’s reputation as a trendy precinct that sees people flock to the area at the weekend,” she adds.

Kleu notes that the magnetism of the area lies in its revival of old historic buildings in beautiful retail stores, galleries, artisanal bakeries, restaurants and bars, as well as its proximity to Gardens Shopping Centre, Virgin Active Wembley Square, and several MyCiti bus stops. For Joburgers or foreigners, the fact that it’s only a few minutes’ drive from Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront and the Atlantic Seaboard’s “golden mile” beaches, adds to the appeal of the area.