Residential Estate Industry Journal 4 - Page 14

RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY REVIEWS ZIMBALI COASTAL RESORT The first prime beachfront sites were put on the market for sale at Zimbali Coastal Resort in 1996, signalling the establishment of a development that would act as a catalyst for significant investment into KwaZulu Natal’s North Coast property market. Launched by property developer Tongaat Hulett Developments, the vision was to create a quality-of-life development with an ethos of living in harmony with nature. The estate’s homeowners’ association, ZEMA (Zimbali Estate Management Association), with General Manager, Sarika Somai-Sewpersad at the helm, has come a very long way since its initial development stages. With the rapid success of property sales over the past 21 years, ZEMA now boasts a membership of 1,368 levy-paying property owners, made up of an approximately 87 percent residential (including 227 holiday rental properties) and 13 percent hotel membership. The total levies, less the hotel component, are 1166 levies, of which approximately 420 homes are owned by families that live permanently on the estate, with a further 241 long-term lease houses, as opposed to purchasing property as an the peak season, Zimbali sees 6,000 people investment home, is largely attributed to the on the estate on average per day at any altering demographic within the surrounding one given time. area of the Dolphin Coast and Ballito, brought about by access to amenities such as quality schools and shopping centres. the levy base is derived from one levy being The estate’s growth in residence called for hotel guests are in residence at the hotel, a need to develop the facilities offered on they have access to all of the member the estate. Taking into account the trend of promoting a healthy lifestyle, identified by means of a members survey, a decision was reached to construct a fully equipped gym which caters to 61 people at any given time. The positive outcome from the survey contributed to the overall achievement of the facility which cascaded towards upgrading the estate’s Bushbuck Club, now equipped with a number of sporting facilities such as cricket pitches, squash courts, a soccer field and tennis courts. Looking at the trend to enhance facilities for children, and the wear and tear experienced on the natural grass due to the impact of high foot traffic in this area, ZEMA decided to install AstroTurf at the playground, which immediately enhanced the facility. The estate’s nodal point, the Valley of the Pools, was constructed to provide members making an approximate figure of 57 percent with an opportunity to experience the occupancy. beach from the safety of the estate. This This is a vast contrast to the percentage ratio of the membership who permanently resided in Zimbali in the initial years, which was ± 10% at inception to 20% in the first 10 years. The change in occupancy, PAGE 12 The 13 percent contribution of the hotels to popular facility was upgraded in 2014 with paid for every 2.5 bedrooms. While the facilities on the estate as the hotel is a levy-paying member, which creates a new dimension for security. The golf course is also open to hotel guests, who pay visitor rates in order to make use of it. ZEMA has recently purchased the golf course properties from the original developer and now leases the property to Zimbali Country Club, which remains a separate entity to ZEMA although the two entities work very closely with one another. There are three methods by which members pay levies to ZEMA, being an upfront payment for 12 months, which receives a five percent discount, comprising 18 percent of their levy base, a debit order system, comprising 38 percent, and the balance being EFT or other payment methods, being 44 percent. In foresight of the overwhelming response by owners to short-term lease their homes, ZEMA approved a short-term booking policy the addition of a sea-facing viewing deck for members and set up a Welcome Centre and an enhanced restaurant, and, due to at the ZEMA office, which is situated outside its popularity, is currently undergoing a the estate and provides ease of access for further upgrade to increase the foot traffic guests. In total Zimbali has 227 listed rental capacity of this facility. At the height of properties. A short-term rental booking fee