Ricochet News

The turnaround of Wedgewood Golf Estate

By Charl Bosch - Sep 2, 2015
The turnaround of Wedgewood Golf Estate

In spite of showing continues growth, the very thought of buying a house on a golfing estate, never mind in a gated security complex, remains a pipe dream for many South Africans wanting to swop the traditional suburban lifestyle for a relaxed sitting somewhere in the countryside.

Having fallen into complete decay after the collapse of its then parent company during the 2008/2009 economic recession, a renewed interest and approach has seen the complete turnaround of Wedgewood Golf and Country Estate.

Situated in the Greenbushes area, Wedgewood, which had its origins in the 1950’s as Port Elizabeth’s only Jewish golfing estate, rapidly grew in popularity as the appeal of golf continued to intensify.

The success of Wedgewood saw it being bought by investment firm Pinnacle Holdings in 2004, where after numerous course and infrastructure upgrades, an estimated 200 plots were sold with the aim of building houses on the property.

“When the recession hit, Pinnacle filed for bankruptcy, which not only resulted in Wedgewood falling into ruin, but left those 200 buyers with plots worth essentially nothing,” Wessel Kriek, CEO of Combined Developments, remembered.

“At the end of 2013, a consortium led by Cardinet Group boss, David Mostert, bought the estate and started carrying out repairs, as well as the building of the current day clubhouse with the target of erecting around 800 houses once development completely finished”.

Approached by Mostert at the end of last year, Kriek, whose company has built a solid reputation in the developing of estates in Cape Town and Johannesburg, immediately signed an agreement for the purchasing of 350 plots. At the time of Business Link Magazine’s visit, around nine houses were in various stages of construction.

Explaining his decision not hesitate when signing for the plots, Kriek stated that a definite contributing factor, had been Wedgewood’s location outside the confines of Port Elizabeth.

“If you look at international trends, which we also noticed applies in Cape Town and Johannesburg, a strong emphasis has been placed on country living,” Kriek said.

“Most people would fancy the idea of living on a farm or own a piece of land. If you take all these factors into account, there is really no better place to live irrespective if you play golf or not. What more, whereas plots in Johannesburg or Cape Town start at around R3-million, a fully built house at Wedgewood starts from R1-million, and I don’t think you can get better value than that”.

Asked about their future plans for Wedgewood, Kriek indicated that a section of the estate would exclusively be reserved for residents over the age 50, while another part would go towards the developing of attractions such as a mountain bike course and jogging track.