Attacq, the owner of one of the country’s largest shopping centres, Mall of Africa and the newly built PwC office tower, is branching into residential property with a R1.2bn high-rise apartment development called Ellipse Waterfall.

The new residential development will be situated in the heart of Waterfall City, which forms part of the greater Waterfall node. To date Attacq has either developed or sold about 600,000m² of developable land.

CEO Melt Hamman said the Waterfall precinct had become the fastest- growing mixed-use node since planning for it began in 2008. 

The precinct’s “impressive growth” had made a strong case for a residential component to be added in the central city section of the node. Attacq, which owned a number of developments and large tracts of land in the precinct, has  rights to build 4,000 units over time.

Ellipse Waterfall, which would include 590 apartments and would be built in two phases was the first residential development that would be created by Attacq in the Waterfall City part of the precinct, in a partnership with Tricolt.

There are a number of other residential developments on the outskirts of the node already, such as Waterfall Estate which serves retirees and Balwin Properties’ sectional title development, Polofields.

Attacq’s head of developments, Giles Pendleton, said the company wanted to bring its own residential assets to Waterfall for a number of years but was waiting for the opportune time to do so.

"Waterfall includes Waterfall City, which is the main work and play portion of the precinct. It includes the mall and numerous offices. We haven’t developed any residential property in this urban core to date and we believe we have reached a good time to start. Tricolt is a well-suited partner for this," he said.

Tricolt, which is run by entrepreneur Tim Kloeck, has completed “highly rated developments such as The Houghton, Serengeti Lifestyle Estate and Eye of Africa golf estate”.

The development will consist of four towers, the Newton, Kepler, Da Vinci and Galileo, and its first phase is set to be completed by 2021.

Residents will be able to select from executive one-bedroom apartments starting from 44m² to flagship three-bedroom duplex penthouses, offering up to 327m² of living space, including private rooftop gardens and heated pools. Prices will range from R1.49m to R12m.

Kloeck said Ellipse Waterfall offered an attractive value proposition. “Valued at R1.2bn, and located in the heart of Waterfall city, Ellipse Waterfall will provide secure, lock-up-and-go type convenience whether bought as a home or buy-to-let investment,” he said.

Anchor Stockbrokers analyst Pranita Daya said adding a residential component enhanced Attacq’s offering.

“It makes sense in terms of Attacq’s strategy within the Waterfall precinct. The apartments will feed footfall to Mall of Africa and also benefit from new large-scale office developments like PwC’s and Deloitte’s new offices.The profits from the development might also assist in decreasing Attacq’s debt levels,” she said.

Craig Smith, head of research at Anchor, said Attacq was taking a cautious approach in terms of the roll-out of housing in Waterfall.

“This is a sensible approach in the current environment especially considering other residential developments under way in the node,” he said.

Pendleton said while Ellipse Waterfall catered for customers looking for luxury high-rise living products, which competed with new products in Sandton, Menlyn and Rosebank, Attacq would roll out more affordable housing in time.

“We always envisaged a variety of residential in Waterfall. We aren’t building an elitist city, which is why we will gradually release different developments which appeal to people of varied LSM [living standard measures] groups,” he said.

Since converting to an income-paying real estate investment trust in May, Attacq has focused on developing in the Waterfall precinct, and is trying to exit Eastern Europe and other markets.