Wedgewood back in the swing

Cindy Preller

HER overgrown greens have been restored, pathways cleared and the entrance has been given a fresh coat of paint. After being declared bankrupt in 2009, the Wedgewood Golf and Country Estate in Greenbushes is back in business.

The Western Cape High Court ruled earlier this year that the liquidated golf and country estate be awarded a business rescue to Cardinet Ltd despite Nedbank, the largest creditor, opposing the application.

Acting judge Roseline Nyman said in her judgment that during the early stages of the Wedgewood development in 2008, a total of 191 plots had been sold.

However, in 2009 Wedgewood suffered a “substantial financial setback as a result of the collapse of the Pinnacle Point group of companies, of which Wedgewood is a member and on which it largely relied for its working capital finance. The situation was exacerbated by the general downturn caused by the international economic recession”.

The development came to a complete standstill in 2010.

A former investment banker and a shareholder in the Pinnacle stable saw the value of both the Wedgewood and Romansbaai – located close to Gansbaai in the Western Cape – estates and set up a company, Cardinet, to pursue the business rescue of both these Pinnacle Point developments.

Cardinet director David Mostert said the funding was raised and the business rescue processes lodged, but legal proceedings for Wedgewood took more than a year to complete.

“The total value required for the two business rescues is R32-million, of which a capital injection of R17-million will be going into the Wedgewood development. My partner, Geoff McIver, and I realised the value of these two developments,” Mostert said.

Never giving up on his dream of living in the tranquil surroundings of Wedgewood, the estate’s sales manager David Miller – who is one of the original owners of the plots sold in 2007 and 2008 – said he had been looking for a cash investor since the business went bankrupt.

“We started negotiations with Cardinet in February 2012, and they jumped at the opportunity to develop the estate. The value of the infrastructure which had already been in place since 2009 is today worth R500-million and it includes a sophisticated irrigation sprinkler system, roads, pathways and serviced plots,” Miller said.

The first 100 homes, a club house and a fully operational 18-hole golf course, are planned for completion by the end of the year.

A golf course since 1952, the old layout was redesigned by Golf Data for the purposes of the golf and country estate, but Wedgewood will always stay open to the public.

“Everyone will be able to play golf here. Owners of the homes in the estate will automatically become members. When it is windy, this is the perfect golf course because we are surrounded by big trees that keep out the wind,” he said. A total of 840 plots in the 352ha estate will be developed after which a second phase may include the development of a country village in the remaining 163ha of the estate.

The residential component, which will be designed in an Eastern Cape country style, will start off with two- and three-bedroomed homes of 180m², while the bigger homes will be up to 360m².

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