From gritty industrial area to thriving creative hub – here is why you should visit Cape Town’s East City Precinct and surrounds.
“The East City Precinct and surrounds are undergoing a miraculous revival,” says Jeff Kleu, co-developer of the Harri, a 39-unit studio/penthouse apartment development, going up on Harrington Street in the thriving East City Precinct between the CBD and District Six.
A first of its kind for this previously gritty industrial-commercial area, The Harri combines residential living under one roof with co-working offices to create “co-living” space.
East City Precinct – The Design District
Last year, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) identified the area as having the highest overall occupancy rate (97%) of all four of its city precincts. A R75 million hotel opened there in 2019, following three other commercial and retail developments in 2017. Two further residential mixed-use developments are also planned for 2020.
Known as the “Design District” the East City Precinct is a trendy vibrant area close to the CBD. It has fast become a haven for the curious creative and is home to some of the best art studios, coffee shops, hipster hotspots, and artisanal bakeries.
One of these is Charly’s Bakery, a family-run business with a huge following that has been a fixture in the area for thirty years. Owner Jacqui Beiss says, “People love this area, and love discovering new places in it. Tourists love coming here. And such lekker things are happening here, like unique little businesses as opposed to big corporates. I love it here.”
Other notable eateries, shops, galleries and theatres in the area include New York Bagels, Haas Collective, Harrington Bootlegger Coffee shop, JC Brasserie, Lekker Vegan Harrington, Nude Foods, The Electric, The Raptor Room, The Fugard Theatre and the world-famous District Six Museum.
Looking at the East City Precinct it comes as no surprise that Kleu and co-developer Steven Lampert, both of the property-development company Sepia and Silk, have decided to set up shop here.
“Because of our proximity to a fashionable entertainment and retail scene, as well as how we’ve merged micro-apartment living with pristine co-working office spaces to create a co-living environment, The Harri is very appealing to many professionals working for established creative, technology and design firms in the area, as well as visitors wanting a different inner-city tourism experience,” says Kleu.
Scheduled for completion in October 2020, the 32 studio apartments vary in size from 24 to 49 sqm. The crown jewels of The Harri are the seven two-storey penthouse apartments, varying in size from 87 to 117 sqm all of which complete with a rooftop terrace and uninterrupted views of Table Bay and Table Mountain.
The Harri’s onsite amenities include wifi, a concierge, a housekeeping service, a laundry room, 24-hour access-controlled security, innovative storage units, vehicle and bicycle parking, and a restaurant on the ground floor.
Co-Living and Co-Working Spaces
The co-living and co-working spaces, opposite the residential side of the building, include fireplace lounges, TV rooms with large smart TVs and access to Netflix, open-plan kitchenette/dining areas, a rooftop terrace with a gas braai and mini-bar, and slick and contemporary co-working offices.
Gardens Shopping Centre, Virgin Active Wembley Square and the MyCiti bus stop on Roeland Street are all within a few minutes’ walk of The Harri.
“Our residents, whether they’re owner-occupiers or visitors, will naturally want to step out and enjoy the bars, artisanal bakeries and beautiful galleries in the East City Precinct,” says Kleu.
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