The Leonard — Africa’s tallest building finally launches

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The Leonardo, Africa’s tallest building finally opened its doors to the public after several months of teasing. The Leonardo, Africa’s tallest building finally opened its doors to the public after several months of teasing.

The Leonardo, Africa’s tallest building finally opened its doors last week Tuesday, after several months of teasing.

Developed by Legacy Group and Nedbank, The Leonardo is a 234m skyscraper within walking distance of the JSE, the headquarters of some of Africa’s and SA’s biggest companies and Sandton City Mall.

The building is not yet completed – but you can already see what it will cost to rent a room there, with prices that ranges in value from R5,573 a night to R9,360 a night’s stay.

Legacy Hotels & Resorts CEO & Chairman Bart Dorrestein said all the offices in The Leonardo are purchased and 90% of the apartments are sold.

"Our owners are scheduled to take occupation on a phased basis commencing March 2020," he said.

The completed building is due to have around 260 apartments, including a three-floor penthouse suite at the top measuring nearly 3,000 square metres, known as The Leonardo suite. It has an asking price for of about R250 million but it has yet to sell.

At nearly R10,000 a night, that superior apartment is one of the most expensive places to stay in Johannesburg. Only ten accommodation establishments had more expensive rooms, out of 1,033 in the Johannesburg area listed on the website.

Those ten are:

  • The Michelangelo Towers in Sandton, R65,000
  • The Saxon Hotel in Sandton, R58,680
  • The Houghton Hotel, R54,400
  • The Radisson Blue Hotel Sandton, R44,285
  • Sandton Sun, R29,880
  • The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel in Sandton, R26,100
  • The Davinci Suites in Sandton, R25,120
  • The Four Seasons Hotel at The Westcliff, R15,645
  • The Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton, R12,940
  • And the James 9 in Melrose Estate, R11,000.

In the immediate vicinity of the new skyscraper you can pay as little as R844 to stay at the Signature Lux Hotel, or splurge out for a room at the Garden Court Sandton for R1,305.

The Leonard project suffered delays, however, which have become a source of conflict between Aveng and The Legacy Group.

In January this year, the developer removed Aveng from contract, but the construction firm maintains that the building was "practically complete at the point of termination" and has taken the matter to the adjudicator.

The building features a landscaped garden, restaurants, a bar, a crèche, a gym and a spa which will be linked by shuttle lifts directly into the parking garage.

Legacy development already bought 10 floors in the building where they plan to establish a luxury hotel in the future.

Designed by Johannesburg’s Co-Arc International Architects, the Leonardo supersedes the Carlton Centre as the tallest building on the continent. The 222m Carlton Centre in the city centre opened in 1972 as a hotel owned by Anglo American and now serves as the headquarters of Transnet.

Of Africa’s 10 tallest buildings, four are in Johannesburg, three in Dar es Salaam, two in Nairobi and one in Lagos. Construction of the 314m Pinnacle Tower in Nairobi has stalled


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