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R250 million for a penthouse on Sandton’s richest square mile

Housed in the nearly completed tallest building in Africa, the mixed-use Leonardo, is a showstopper penthouse suite that will set you back a cool R250 million - making it South Africa’s most expensive sectional title property.

The 234m-high Leonardo, walking distance from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), will boast with 254 apartments, office space, shops and restaurants.

Female-led architecture team

The 55-storey building is a mere 5 meters taller than the previous record holder, the Carlton Centre, which has dominated the Johannesburg skyline since 1973. The building was designed by South African firm Co-Arc International Architects and is being developed by the Legacy Group and Nedbank.

An interesting fact about the team of architects that managed the construction is that it is female-led, with nine of the 11 positions performed by women. This unusual fact -- the South African Institute of Architects in the Eastern Cape estimates that only 21% of the country's registered architects are women -- went unnoticed until a photo was taken late in the project.

Patrick McInerney, director at Co-Arc International Architects, said he hopes the Leonardo will offer a "beacon of hope" for architecture and development on the continent.

Sandton CBD’s increase in residential building

While Sandton has seen an increase in residential buildings finding space in the business node, the Leonardo with its inhouse Montessori pre-school and room service, will definitely outdo any other residence in the ultramodern area.

Legacy Group chairman Bart Dorrestein has said that they want to give a complete lifestyle in one building. 

“So if you have kids, or if you work in the building, you can bring your kids to school. You’ll be working upstairs or nearby, and can have lunch with your kid. You’ll be able to spend the morning driving in with your kid to work; and take them home in the afternoon,” he said.

On level seven, visitors and residents will have access to The Leonardo’s recreational facilities; including the Aurum Restaurant, the Spa and the Octo Bar.

Most expensive sectional title property

The building will also house a three-storey penthouse apartment measuring 3 000 m², with an under-roof area and 1 100m² of rooftop gardens. It will undoubtedly be the “most sought-after home in Africa.”

The Leonardo Suite will offer 360-degree views of Sandton and Johannesburg. On a clear day, one would be able to see O.R. Tambo International Airport, as well as the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria.

The four-bedroom suite comes complete with a cinema room, a rim-flow pool, and a dedicated lift that goes from the ground floor up the 55th floor.

Dorrenstein says the lift will take less than 60 seconds to reach the top. Interested buyers can prepare to pay up to R250m for the Leonardo Suite; making it South Africa’s most expensive sectional title property.

Hotel magnate Sol Kerzner’s One&Only development at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, where a penthouse was sold for around R110 million in 2008, currently holds the title.

Interesting facts

  • R3 Billion investment
  • 56 Floors in total, including ground floor
  • 234m high
  • Building area 125 500m²
  • Concrete:
    • In the building – 55 763m³
    • Weight – 139 407t = 19 915 male African elephants, if walking trunk to tail, will fill the road from The Leonardo to Sun City
  • Steelwork: Total on project 9 170t
  • External tiling total area of Dekton: 12 986m2
  • Glazing total area 28 064m2
  • Electrical: LV wiring 410 000m
  • LV Cable 10 500m
  • MV Cable 1 300m
  • Busbar: approximately 552m
  • Fibre 80 000m
  • 1 251 Parking spaces
  • 6 050 steps to get to the top of the building
  • 1m wide rainwater collection on the side of the building




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