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PRETORIA: Our insider’s guide to Brooklyn

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Brooklyn is a peaceful, beautiful suburb with excellent schools, houses on large stands, and good access to the rest of Pretoria

Brooklyn offers a diversified property portfolio, which means it is popular with an equally assorted residential demographic, ranging from high-income earners to students at university.

The housing stock includes a selection of large full-title homes on sizeable stands, newer freehold properties on smaller stands and a relatively limited number of sectional title duets and townhouses, says Corli van Heerden of Seeff Pretoria East.

“This suburb also offers old-world charm and character. Many of the homes retain well-maintained, original parquet floors and pressed ceilings.” Homes in Brooklyn are still slightly more expensive than those in the rest of Pretoria’s Old East.

The suburb is close to top schools, universities, main routes and hosts upmarket malls and medical facilities, while having easy access to advocates’ chambers and several retirement homes.

“Some of South Africa’s top schools, universities and colleges are either in Brooklyn or are close by, says Van Heerden. The good schools are a powerful draw for buyers. Most residents stay until their children go through university as the sought-after University of Pretoria is on Brooklyn’s doorstep.

“Homeowners tend to stay in Brooklyn much longer than in other areas and eventually choose to retire here if possible,” says Van Heerden, citing amenities such as the nearby Pretoria Country Club where resident retirees can pursue various sporting pastimes or play a round of golf.

Brooklyn is a beautiful suburb in what is known as the Old East of Pretoria. – Corli van Heerden, estate agent, Seeff Pretoria East Picture: Supplied

From an investment perspective, Brooklyn is attractive, thanks to the sizeable number of student flats which can generate constant rental income owing to the assured demand. Property values have also been appreciating steadily in Brooklyn, despite a slowing down in total sales units over the past couple of months, says Van Heerden.

Ongoing commercial and residential developments in the vicinity also augur well for property values in the area. Van Heerden cites a raft of new developments in the Menlo Park/ Hazelwood locale, a bustling hub increasingly popular for its trendy restaurants and food markets.

The new mixed-use Loftus Park scheme that abuts Loftus Versfeld Rugby Stadium and is within walking distance of Brooklyn offers amenities including a gym, shops, restaurants and an office park.

The suburb’s natural beauty is a strong attraction. Picture: John Makoni

Van Heerden says the notable increase in new, high-rise student accommodation blocks around the University of Pretoria as well as residential property developments for young professionals – for whom easy access to a Gautrain service in nearby Hatfield is a prominent attraction – have been restricted to the main arteries of the suburb. Brooklyn is also noteworthy for its natural beauty especially around October when the jacarandas are in bloom.

The suburb was established in 1902 and named after surveyor James Brook. Property valuations here are well above those for Hatfield and slightly less than those for Bailey’s Muckleneuk and Waterkloof.

Estelle Schoeman’s favourite places to eat

I work in Brooklyn and plan to move there soon. It’s peaceful, safe, beautiful and convenient. Shops are within walking distance with three main shopping centres within a 1km radius: Cherry Lane, Brooklyn Mall and Waterkloof Centre. I live about 15 minutes away from work. – Resident Estelle Schoeman Picture: Supplied

1 Crawdaddy’s

Lovely and quite affordable, including their fish dishes. 02 Brooklyn Piazza, Middle Street, Brooklyn. 012 460 0889

2 Capeesh

They serve awesome Italian cuisine. I dine there quite often. Cnr Middle and Fehrsen streets, Cherry Lane Centre, Brooklyn. 012 346 1932

3 Kream

They have nice cuisine and are upmarket. They also do great seafood meals. 283 Dey Street, Brooklyn. 012 346 4642

Crawdaddy’s. Picture: John Makoni

4 The Blue Crane

It has an extensive menu and the bird reserve has birdlife to watch while you eat. It’s a good place to take the kids. 156 Melk Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk. 012 460 7615 

5 Signature Restaurant

Great cocktails, suitable for groups. 153 Olivier Street, Brooklyn. 012 941 1277

6 Moo Moo

Fine cocktails; is cosy; and good for groups. 31 Middle Street, Brooklyn. 012 346 8888

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