If you want to surround yourself with trendoids and creative types, and live close to two major universities and a wide range of eating and entertainment choices, Melville is the suburb for you
Students, artists, hipsters and others whose sense of the world leans towards the bohemian or cosmopolitan will certainly find in Melville a place to call home, owing to the well-established neighbourhood’s propensity to inspire and fortify those of a free-spirited disposition.
Established 120 years ago, Melville is as old as Joburg itself and wears its centurion status with a lightness of dignity that appeals to both young and old.
Sarah Keatley, head of property management at Frankie Bell’s, describes Melville as a unique and well-situated suburb, with a rich history appealing to a unique selection of Joburg society.
“Melville attracts creatives and eclectics due to its youthful culture and vibey art scene. Melville is also central to the Joburg and Rosebank CBDs, major highways for easy access in and around Joburg, and major rapid transport systems such as the Rea Vaya bus system,” says Keatley.
The suburb is perfectly located close to the University of Johannesburg and Wits University, making it ideal for students, says Keatley, who cites the neighbourhood’s variety of restaurants and proximity to popular centres such as 44 Stanley and Campus Square, as well as numerous Joburg rejuvenation projects, not to mention museums, craft shops, artisanal food markets and other attractions.
A suburb that enjoys the kind of convenience that Melville does will no doubt be a sought-after location. Keatley says the neighbourhood’s popularity and centrality means it sells at a premium in relation to surrounding areas.
“Generally speaking, Melville is expensive for younger people wanting to live in the area, but it is full of potential for anyone looking for properties to renovate. Demand for student accommodation is high and the return on investment is sound.”
Many investors buy with a view to satisfying the demand for student accommodation.
The bulk of the market stock consists of free-standing houses, some with heritage status. One such property in 4th Avenue is reportedly one of the Top 100 buildings in the country. The home recently sold for a record R5million.
“Homes are generally older, larger and well built with the advantage of big rooms.
Home interiors tend to have original pressed ceilings and wooden floors with picturesque verandas and smaller gardens. Some are on Melville Ridge, affording spectacular views over Parkview Golf Course and Joburg. These homes sell for a bit more.
“Property values increase the closer they are to shops and restaurants in central Melville, but decrease in value the closer you get to the University of Johannesburg,” says Keatley.
Of the surrounding suburbs, Melville is rated just below Auckland Park but above Richmond.
Clyde Terry’s places of interest and things to do
An intimate coffee shop where most items are home-made and natural. It is packed at weekends. 75 4th Avenue, Melville. 072 369 5834
2 Love Me So
They have a variety of healthy foods and are one of my favourites. 63 4th Avenue, Melville. 060 717 6728
A unique shop which has been in the area for years, and which offers vintage clothing; 7th Street, Melville. 011 726 7905
4 27 Boxes
Established as a requisitioned area for residents, it now has an entertainment area with jungle gyms after upgrades. 75 4th Avenue, Melville. 0860 109 237
5 NCW Restaurant
Casual and suitable for groups. 46 Main Road, Melville. 011 482 1998
6 The Great Eastern Food Bar
Asian cuisine. Outside seating with views. 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville. 011 482 2910