Ricochet News

Cohen Property Developments wins Greyvensteins Attorneys Developer of the Year Award

Dec 6, 2016
Cohen Property Developments wins Greyvensteins Attorneys Developer of the Year Award

Cohen Property Developments, which has built more than 3 000 residential units in and around Port Elizabeth in the last 13 years, has just been awarded the Greyvensteins Attorneys Developer of the Year Award.

The award, presented for the first time this year, recognises the contribution of a development company, not only in terms of the number and value of units built but also factors such as job creation, community input and its legal and financial integrity, says Cor van Deventer, a director of Greyvensteins Attorneys, which is a member of the national Phatshoane Henny Group of Associated Firms. 

Recognised as Port Elizabeth’s leading developer at the Greyvensteins Gala Event on 24 November at the Tramways Building, a glittering gathering of the highest achievers in the local real estate industry, Cohen Property Developments was launched by brothers Aaron and Stanley Cohen in 2003.  Now the largest developer in Port Elizabeth, the company is currently working on 75 units on a daily basis, says co-director Aaron Cohen.

Accepting the award from Greyvensteins directors Liesel Greyvenstein and Cor van Deventer at the black tie event, Cohen said it signified not only the attainment of a long–held dream but also an ongoing commitment to Port Elizabeth.  Cohen, whose grandfather Daniel Cohen was also a developer, says developing is in their blood and that they measure their success beyond the financial aspect.  “For us it’s about building the future.”

The company, which brought the duet concept to Port Elizabeth during the property market slump in 2008, is working on a number of new developments in popular, family-orientated suburbs throughout the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan area, including Parson’s Ridge, Pinelands, Mount Pleasant, Fairview and Kamma Heights. It will also be launching a new flagship development in Salisbury Park early in 2017.

Focusing on entry level and middle market affordability, it has made upmarket home ownership possible for thousands of families wanting quality designs and finishes without the usual hefty price tags, says Van Deventer, adding that in so doing, it had also established a strong and growing investor following, with business buyers from across South Africa snapping up their product.

Priced from under R700 000 to around R1,5 million, the units offer the best value for money anywhere in Port Elizabeth, avers Van Deventer. 

“And with the resale value averaging around 12 percent year on year, they’re providing an excellent return on investment (ROI) for investors. So typically, if you were to buy a unit at a launch price of R720 000, in all probability you’d sell it for R764 000 before transfer has even taken place. Alternatively you could expect a healthy rental return of about R7 200 a month,” he says.

Another value-add is Cohen’s undertaking to provide tenants for investor buyers at no extra cost. Explains Aaron Cohen: “As part of our service, we will select tenants from our waiting list”

Asked what the secret of their success is, Cohen said it was a combination of factors. 

“Firstly, we offer an attractive product at a very competitive price.  Comparing apples with apples, our units are the most affordable new homes available in the Port Elizabeth property market today.”

Further, says Cohen, they are extremely flexible with architectural design and finishes. 

“No matter how big or small, we believe a home is a family’s castle, so we make it possible for clients to choose their own architectural styles and sizes as well as flooring, fittings and colour schemes.  We impose as few limitations as possible.”

As part of its signature turnkey package, the company also makes financing easy and accessible. 

“We are approved by all the major banks and have a dedicated bond consultant to advise clients on affordability and assist them with completing the documentation. What’s more, there’s no risk to buyers since we don’t require a deposit and in many instances they will be able to secure 100 percent bonds,” he explains.

Also key to their success is their commitment to protecting their purchasers’ investments by assisting in the establishment of Neighbourhood Watches in the areas they’re developing. 

“We have a hands-on, ongoing interest that lasts beyond the sales,” he says, adding that crime has dropped by an average of 80 percent in all the suburbs in which the company has been involved. 

Van Deventer also lauds the company for much-needed job creation in the Bay.  At any given time, he says, it directly and indirectly employs around 1 000 workers, from builders to service suppliers.

“The feedback we’ve received from their purchasers is excellent and we’re proud to be associated with a company of this calibre,” he concludes.

Caption (left to right): Delana Van der Bergh, Ian Clements, Aaron Cohen, Stanley Cohen and Arno Thompson after the Greyvensteins Attorneys Developer of the Year Award was presented to Cohen Property Developments.