World-class Riverlands precinct set to enhance Cape Town’s urban landscape | Everything Property

World-class Riverlands precinct set to enhance Cape Town’s urban landscape

Riverlands precinct

Sunbird is Signatura’s soon-to-be launched residential development in the Riverlands precinct. As the node matures, excellent capital growth prospects are expected says developer John Rabie.


Sunbird is Signatura’s soon-to-be launched residential development in the Riverlands precinct. As the node matures, excellent capital growth prospects are expected says developer John Rabie.

The first residential development in Cape Town’s expansive Riverlands precinct has been confirmed. With legal matters regarding planning approval now settled, the 14-hectare area previously known as The River Club will house Sunbird, Signatura’s first residential project in this mixed-use precinct.

Development is proceeding at pace, and once complete, Sunbird will comprise 270 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, each with a balcony or terrace, many of which will have eye-catching views of Devil’s Peak, Lion’s Head, Table Bay, or the Hottentots Holland Mountains.

Other add-ons for residents of this eight-storey, twin-towered building designed by the award-winning Vivid Architects will be access to a landscaped sun deck with swimming pool; a well-equipped gym and laundry. A generator will power the building through load-shedding, and connectivity will be available through pre-installed, high-speed WiFi. For peace of mind, Sunbird will also have a manned reception desk, in addition to the 24-hour security which will be operational throughout the precinct.

In terms of size, studio apartments will average 33m² and start at R1,4 million; one-bedroom apartments will average 47m² and start from R2,1 million; while two-bedroom apartments averaging 65m² will be priced from R2,8 million.

Sunbird is anticipated to offer residents a lifestyle of convenience and quality, and investors a high-earning real estate asset with good capital growth potential.


Centrally located in relation to the greater Cape Town metropole, and with quick access to both the N1 and N2 highways, the substantial Riverlands project will comprise 150 000m² of development bulk spread across offices (±105 000m²), retail (± 15 000m²) and residential (± 30 000m²) components. Phase One of the development has seen the construction of the headquarters of an international corporation in a campus of office buildings. Another 15,000m² of additional offices for other commercial tenants are now under construction.

Founder and chairman of Signatura, and co-founder of the Rabie Property Group, John Rabie, says “Signatura is thrilled to announce the launch of a major new residential development within the Riverlands mixed-use precinct. The 14-hectare site, on the banks of the rehabilitated Liesbeek River, will incorporate the headquarters of a major US corporation where over six thousand people will be employed, a new shopping centre anchored by a premium supermarket, riverside restaurants and coffee shops, a two-hectare Eco Park, and a First Nations Heritage Centre to celebrate the culture of the Khoi and San people.”

In his view, “There is absolutely no doubt that this is the most important mega-development Cape Town has seen in decades. Riverlands is going to be a world-class precinct and a major new attraction in the Cape Town area. It will fundamentally enhance the urban landscape of the Mother City.”


This prime locale is situated less than 10 minutes from Cape Town’s CBD. The extension of Berkley Road to Liesbeek Parkway, via a new bridge over the Black River, will link the precinct directly to the M5 express way. Coupled with the upgrading of the Liesbeek Parkway, this new east-west traffic route will ensure convenient access to Riverlands from the city’s CBD, the V&A Waterfront, the Southern, Northern and Atlantic Seaboard suburbs, Century City, and Cape Town International Airport. The precinct will be serviced by the My Citi bus service, and is in close proximity to the Observatory train station.

In light of the myriad of features Riverlands has to offer, significant investment returns are expected. “Given its exceptional location, the on-site work opportunities and the fantastic amenities in this world-class precinct, early investors in Riverlands are virtually assured a significant return on their rental properties,” says Rabie, “especially if they take advantage of the Airbnb-friendly, short-term letting allowed in Sunbird by approved operators, and the Section 13 sex tax incentives for purchasers of five or more units.

“Strong long-term rental demand is also to be expected from tenants attracted by the exceptional lifestyle advantages of this pristine new area, many of whom will be working in the precinct. And there are excellent capital growth prospects as the node matures, and as the semigration dynamic continues to underpin increasing demand for well-located real estate in well-run municipalities.”

“Early news of the launch has elicited an unprecedented response from our subscriber database, and we expect brisk sales at our launch later this year,” he adds.


Another feature of the Riverlands hub will be a niche retail centre spanning approximately 12,000m². The concept behind Riverlands Mall is to the creation of a lifestyle convenience shopping experience that encompasses a premium South African supermarket brand combined with a curation of restaurants, coffee shops, specialist stores and convenience shopping.

Many of the eateries will spill out onto a deck overlooking the Liesbeek River, or onto a tree-lined public square. Construction has already commenced and these phases are due for completion at the end of 2024.


A notable aspect of the overall development is that great emphasis is being placed on restoring the natural environment. To achieve this the concrete walls of the Liesbeek canal are being removed to recreate a natural riverine ecosystem. The planting of specific indigenous vegetation will also improve the ecological environment and create a habitat for the return of endemic fauna to the site, including the Western leopard toad and indigenous fish species. In keeping, Sunbird has also been named after one of the iconic birds that is hoped will inhabit the indigenous landscaping of the area.

Ultimately, the precinct will comprise 65% open landscaped spaces, including a 2-hectare Eco Park, and running and cycling paths of approximately 6 kilometres around the perimeter and through the precinct.

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