Lazola Nyerere Kubukeli named this beautifully restored mixed-use development in East London after his late grandfather. Welcome to C.Z Kubs.
In March 2019, Kubukeli saw an advertisement on Property24 for a building at 266 Oxford Street in Belgravia, East London. He contacted an agent and went to view the property, put in an offer and was told that his offer had been accepted. Unfortunately, the agent never provided him with a signed offer to purchase, and a week later Kubukeli was told the property had been sold to someone else.
Having invested in a feasibility study, as the building was rundown and there were no building plans for the property, he was extremely disappointed. “I decided I wouldn’t look for another property for a while,” he says.
Then, in September of the same year, a new team of real estate agents presented Kubukeli with another property for consideration, but he still had his heart set on 266 Oxford and told them so at the viewing. It turned out the property was back on the market, and Kubukeli sent in another offer of R6.8 million immediately – R400 000 less than his first offer. This time, the sale went through smoothly and on 26 March 2020 the transfer of the property went through.
“The Transfer came through on the day that hard lockdown was announced.” Kubukeli laughs, recognizing the irony. “Luckily from January we had started doing a bit of demolition work, since I opted for occupational rent from January. We had to delay the start of construction to June, which was extremely nerve-wracking. We started going at it hard when the construction sector reopened, because we had to make bond payments and because I wanted to catch up the lost time. I was here personally until late at night to get the property completed.”
TUHF has been involved in the refurbishment of C.Z Kubs since inception of the project. “In 2018, I did SAPOA’s Property Development Programme at UCT and that’s where I found out about TUHF,” Kubukeli says. “At the time I was told they didn’t have a presence in the Eastern Cape, but when I started doing my research in January 2019, I found out they had an office in PE and I approached them.”
Working with his own architect, the original building at 266 Oxford – a four story mixed-use building consisting of 15 residential units and three retail spaces – was reconfigured and refurbished to comprise 46 apartments and seven retail stores downstairs. C.Z Kubs offers two 3-bed units at R7 000 per month, eight 2-bed units at R5 500 per month and 36 1-bed bachelor studios at R3 900 per month.
He adds, “Ask questions and get advice from people who know a bit about the market and about property development, like TUHF. Your first deal can so easily be your last deal. Be informed before you take the plunge.”