“Live, work, play” has become the mantra for many of the new secure lifestyle estates around Cape Town.
Century City really does allow its residents to live that dream in a central urban setting that embraces nature at its heart, in the wetland reserve of Intaka Island. Canals wind around the development from this wildlife hub, so a short boat trip past reeds and birdlife can be part of your daily commute.
This ambitious development has taken many years to build, with Canal Walk shopping mall and the glossy office buildings being the most visible aspect for the rest of the Mother City. Behind that public face a growing variety of secure residential complexes are the backbone of the community. “Century City is continually evolving,” says Fred Grunewald, who has lived in the area for 15 years. “The developers regularly meet with stakeholders, so you feel that you can contribute to the growth based on your input.” Recent years have seen the addition of a day hospital, sports facilities and schools, with Curro adding the first two grades of its new high school in 2017.
The new Convention Centre development next to Ratanga Junction includes an outdoor precinct called The Square, adding value for residents and visitors with five cool new eateries, including Tiger’s Milk and Punjab Wok. The open communal space is ideal for events – the monthly Natural Goods Market (usually held in the grassy Central Park next to Intaka Island) held its first summer night market here in December.
Underpinning this sense of community and the freedom to walk, run or even paddle to work, is the multilayered security. Not only does each residential complex have its own internal security, there is CCTV and number plate recognition in all the public areas. The MyCiTi bus now extends through the suburb, and there is easy access onto main road arteries and it takes 15 minutes to get to the airport or the CBD.
These are exciting times for residents as Century City is coming into its own. The sense of a vibrant community is growing by leaps and bounds and people are embracing this vision of a “city within a city”. Literally everything can be found on your doorstep and the enhanced security offers a safe and secure environment.
Fred Grunewald, resident
Best in food:
- Tiger’s Milk: for cocktails, craft beers and tasty bar food
- Knife: for a contemporary steakhouse vibe
- Punjab Wok: for authentic Indian and Thai food
- Crave: for healthy cafe fare and a canal view
- The Towers Restaurant: for elegant dining
- Cafe Frank: for brunch and bistro lunches
Things to do:
- Visit Intaka Island for bird-watching in beautiful natural surroundings.
- Visit Central Park for markets, an open air cinema and sports happenings.
- Join Century City Canoe Club to paddle the 7km of canals.
- Get pampered at Life Day Spa.
- Take part in a park run on Saturday mornings.
- Curro Century City
- Abbotts College
- Abeille Ruche School
- Endeavour Educare Centre
Take a trip through Cape Town's Western Seaboard in this spectacular video:
Estate agent Q&A on Century City
How would you spend a free day in the area?
I would start off the day with a leisurely breakfast at one of the stunning new eateries in the recently opened Century City Square, before heading over to Intaka Island – the jewel in the crown of Century City – to commune with nature for an hour or two. From there I would catch a boat ride to Canal Walk to indulge in some retail therapy, after that finishing off the day with a pamper spoil at the Life Day Spa at the African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel followed by an evening cocktail on the patio of the Century City Hotel.
Maggie Rowley: Marketing and communications manager, Rabie Property Group
Favourite weekend things to do in the area?
Century City is a nice suburb to live in with lots of fun activities to do during the weekends. The Saturday morning parkrun (or walk) is always the best way to kick-start the weekend from The Oval, and canoeing on the canal is also lots of fun. To get the adrenalin pumping, consider the rides at Ratanga Junction, which is open during school holidays. The Intaka Island Tour is always very informative about birds and wildlife, and to top it all off shopping at Canal Walk, one of the biggest malls in Africa, is very rewarding.
What are the best things about the area for families?
The residential complexes vary, but all have access control, which means once you are inside, whether it is a garden complex or an apartment building, you are safe from external intruders. Families can live in freestanding houses with gardens, within easy reach of newly built Curro Century City school. Entertainment and shopping is available at Canal Walk mall. Running tracks, cycling, bird-watching and even pampering at a spa are a few of the offerings. You never need to leave the area and many people live and work there, but it is also centrally located for the CBD, Milnerton, Table View and even the Southern Suburbs.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.