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PRETORIA: Our insider’s guide to Menlo Park

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It's close to fast-growing Menlyn, its shopping hub and main routes, and many schools

Demand for property in Menlo Park will keep growing for the foreseeable future as it is a well sought-after neighbourhood to the east of Pretoria. This is to be expected as Menlo Park is close to Menlyn, which in recent years has been one of the fastest growth areas in Tshwane.

“It is situated near the N1, close to major shopping malls, excellent primary and secondary schools, University of Pretoria and Varsity College, and within easy reach of the CBD,” says Liezl Janse van Rensburg of Apple Property. Rita Fitzgerald, her Apple Property partner in Menlo Park, agrees University of Pretoria is a strong factor in property trends in Menlo Park, given its nearness to the prestigious institution.

Reasonably priced properties still sell within a short period, even in these trying economic times. – Liezl Janse van Rensburg, Apple Property Picture: Supplied

Among those most likely to choose the suburb are young professionals, families with small children and families with university-attending teenagers as well as independent students. These are well-served by Menlo Park’s qualities, which include an attractive location and a tranquil, typical suburban feel, which augurs well for raising a young or growing family, says Fitzgerald.

She says a few embassies are based in the suburb. As can be expected, there are big family homes on large stands. Some have been renovated, but others are in need of an upgrade and are prime targets for modernising or a makeover. “Menlo Park is unrivalled because there are lots of developments in the area.

“Developers are buying the larger stands and subdividing them into smaller units, which are popular with young professionals and students,” says Janse van Rensburg. She says most smaller properties range in size from 65m² to 250m². The market stock includes developments, covering freehold houses, apartments, townhouses and clusters in security complexes.

Menlo Park’s property trends can thus be seen as a reflection of the rising demands in accommodation, as the commercial complement in adjacent Menlyn continues to grow. Statistics from Lightstone show 162 properties changed hands in the suburb for the year ending in October.

“One cannot make a mistake buying in Menlo Park because there is a high demand for properties, a wide range to choose from and a great return on your investment,” says Janse van Rensburg. Fitzgerald agrees: “Investors get an excellent return on their investment.

“This is also because there has been an escalation in prices of all properties in Menlo Park, and it would, therefore, be a great investment to buy in this area.” Both agents say reasonably priced properties still sell within a short period, even in these trying economic times.

Also noteworthy is that Menlo Park is an upmarket suburb which borders other upmarket suburbs. This can only be good for property values. Maroelana is slightly more affordable, while Lynnwood is more expensive. 

Retha Pansegrouw’s  favourite places and things to do

I moved to Menlo Park because of the nice selection of schools and so my daughter could attend Laerskool Menlo Park. It is a long-term plan to be based here for the next 20 years so she can also possibly attend Hoërskool Menlo Park and University of Pretoria. I’d recommend Menlo Park to other young families because it is close to the highway, many shopping centres and is convenient. – Retha Pansegrouw and daughter, residents. Picture: Supplied

1 Crawdaddy’s

I like taking my family to this great restaurant, which I can also recommend for special occasions, such as birthdays. I usually order prawns. Waterglen Shopping Centre, Garsfontein Road and January Masilela Drive, Waterkloof Glen. 0129931333

2 Modern Italian Kitchen

Vegetarian options and cosy. Thomas Edison Street and 13th Street, Menlo Park. 0123465370

3 Hillcrest Boulevard

This is ideal for quick shopping as it is small. There’s a Woolworths, a pharmacy and other outlets for convenient shopping. Hillcrest Boulevard Centre, 361 Lynnwood Road, Hatfield, 0123623261

4 Capital Craft

I don’t drink alcohol, but like taking my brother there when he visits. They have great food and a good selection of craft beers. Shop 20, Greenlyn Village Centre, corner Thomas Edison and 12th Street East, Menlo Park. 0124248601

Capital Craft has a wide variety of craft beers and excellent food. Picture: John Makoni

5 Bounce

I like taking my daughter there for the trampolines and obstacle courses. She can jump, climb and run. Menlyn Maine, Amarand Avenue, Waterkloof Glen. 0129421117 

6 Zest Bistro

Great ambience and cosy. 13 Thomas Edison Street, Menlo Park. 0124600275


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