Manhattan Place #1017 before Renovation
(click any picture to get enlargement)

We searched the Cape Town area for a property which met the following :
- Communal building (for security and maintenance reasons)
- Swimming pool, parking bay and well-maintained building
- Loft-style, to make it feel open and spacious
- View of either the Water/Harbor or Mountain
- Within 15 minute walk of downtown (Nicole's workplace)
- Capability for two bedrooms (may have periodic guests)
- Capable of changing or fixing up so we can add "our own flavor"

We found our Cape Town place in a complex called Manhattan Place

View of Manhattan Place
in downtown Cape Town

Our unit is #1017 ....
a top-floor, 3-story loft
Lobby entrance with guard 
(parking on first 2 floors) 

9th-Floor Courtyard Pool (salt-water based!)

The loft is situated on the 10th floor.  The building has residential units on the top two floors and hotel / offices on the other floors.  

All units have entry doors facing the inside courtyard.

Front Door & Windows in  Staircase and Bathrooms

Front Door

Entry Area

Area to the right upon entry and underneath the stairs 

The bathroom is to your left as you come in the door

It currently has few features except for a toilet and sink

This bathroom will get: a new toilet and sink, a shower installed against the back-left wall, and a washer/dryer stacked in a cupboard on the back-right wall.  

This is the right wall area on the first floor.

The loft concept calls for few built-in cabinets and and open floor-plan.

  Because of the close proximity of the stairs to the window area, no furniture will be able to be placed along this wall. 


This is the front window area on the first floor.  It faces north, which is the sunniest during the winter; remember it's in the southern hemisphere!

This area will become a combined living and dining room.  A couch and chairs will go near the window; 
the dining area will be somewhere near the center. 


This is the left wall area on the first floor.  Note the lack of any kitchen cabinetry.

There will be a built-in counter to separate the kitchen and dining area.  The counter will then run against the left wall, extending towards the windows.  This counter will  contain the bar and hold the TV and stereo equipment.

Bricks from old counter

Some of the "challenges" presented to us and the contractor we hired:

Left: The bricks will be removed and new tiles laid.

Right:  We found a solvent  to remove the gunk from some test tiles; it took a lot of scrubbing!

Years of built-up wax layers
(cat hair, dirt and dust all mixed in with the wax)

The kitchen presents a challenge to our creativity

Other "challenges" include: 

Left: The kitchen will get new cabinetry and all new appliances. kitchen combo pic

Right: We tried to remove the paint from the brick walls but had no luck; 
the walls will be re-textured with an earth-coat cover.

This is the "hole" above the kitchen; allows light in.

Left: the "hole" above the kitchen area will be closed by extending the floor to the back wall.  The new floor will allow more storage space on the second floor.

Right: the stairs to the second floor; the first thing you come to a landing ...

The landing has a nice window which overlooks the pool.  It also contains the entrance to the second 
floor bathroom 
(on the brick wall side).

Note: the landing and bath- room floors are heated.

Second Floor Bathroom:
<== Left upon entry
Right upon entry ==>

This bathroom will get new: toilet, sink w/cupboard, medicine cabinet, light, and a shower / bathtub combo.

As you come up from the landing you enter the second floor area and a bright set of windows.

This area will become the bedroom.  We will have two chairs looking out the windows and a bed on the left part of the room.

This is the view from the balcony, which is one of the best selling points of the loft.

Left: The 1st-floor balcony has a similar view, but is wider and will allow a couple of chairs to be placed on it.  

Right: The 2nd-floor balcony is probably too skinny for chairs and will be limited to standing.

This is a view of the 2nd floor right wall.  There is little room for furniture, but a cabinet or small piece could go under the stairs. 

Remember, all white walls will be earth-coat textured.

This is a view of the 2nd floor left wall.  A dresser with mirror will probably be placed against this wall.

The floor is made of nice wood and will get sanded and re-surfaced. 

The floor will be extended back until the brick wall to allow for built-in closets.

Stairs up to the 3rd Floor

The third floor is more narrow than the other floors 
We plan to use this floor  mainly as a study.

Left: We plan to place a bookcase against the brick wall. The square hole leads to the water heater.  The back wall also contains a skylight & small windows.

Right: This front wall also contains small windows.

We will probably place a desk and comfortable chair in the middle of the floor, facing the front windows

The windows will provide light and fresh air. 

We could place a futon against the left wall, so as to provide a possible sleeping place for guests.

The wood floor will also get sanded and re-surfaced.

Overall we liked many aspects of the loft: the layout (1500 sq feet), the "industrial feel" of iron & bricks, the common areas, the high security, the downtown location and the sunny views.  

It will take some creative work, though, to fix up and furnish the place... bit it could be fun .... check back for updates to see how the work is progressing!


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