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PRETORIA: Our insider’s guide to Arcadia

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Arcadia is hard to beat as it is within walking distance of Pretoria Central, has a variety of residential options from large stand-alone properties to sectional title homes and is in the shadow of South Africa’s centre of administration, the Union B

Demand for residential property is exceptionally high in Arcadia owing to its centrality for both residential and business purposes, says property consultant Nester Masango of Lisdogan Properties.

For one, Arcadia is virtually on Pretoria Central’s doorstep, is close to plenty of work and learning centres and is also relatively affordable. “A lot of people buying the houses are converting them into offices, doctor’s rooms or embassies as it has become a notable business suburb. The newly-employed and young working professionals always find it ideal to start off in Arcadia,” says Masango.

If you feel like it, you can foot it to work in town from this suburb, which lies in the shadow of the Union Buildings. “It is well situated near all the amenities, main roads, the city centre as well as most government buildings, where the majority of residents work,” says Masango.

There’s huge demand for sectional titles because people believe Arcadia is quieter. Most
sectional title units in Arcadia are still in good shape. – Nester Masango, property consultant, Lisdogan Properties
Picture: Supplied

“A flat would not stay in the market for more than a month. Houses are also in high demand as business people are waiting to grab as soon as a house comes on the market.

“Many homes have been turned into guest houses.” When one adds the real estate market here is always active, Arcadia is a great neighbourhood to invest in, argues Masango, who singles out the student market as a further incentive for owning a property in Arcadia.

“Investors buy houses and convert them into communes for the students who attend Tshwane University of Technology and some smaller colleges,” says Masango. “I’d put the student accommodation market at 10%.

“These students prefer to find accommodation in Arcadia as it is cheaper than city dwelling and also within walking distance of their schools.” Arcadia has a good security reputation, is not congested and is, therefore, a lot quieter than the city proper and areas such as Sunnyside, says Masango.

“There’s a huge demand for sectional titles because Arcadia is quieter. Most sectional title units in Arcadia are still in good shape.” The freehold homes are older, but occupy stands of more than 1 000m², making it easy to convert them into offices and they enjoy ample parking.

Masango says the municipality has been granting business and office rights to meet this need. For its part, Arcadia’s CBD has an exciting history and pulses with a spirit of community.

Catherine Keyworth, of Arcadia City Improvement District (CID), can take you on a tour of the area, pointing out granite flagstones dating back to the era of Paul Kruger. She says Hotel 224 in Francis Baard Street is built on land that previously belonged to Kruger which he bequeathed to a daughter on her marriage. On occasion, you can also catch Mamelodi Sundowns celebrating at the local Southern Sun Hotel, says Keyworth.


Allen Joss’s favourite places and things to do

I’ve been chairman of the Arcadia City Improvement District (CID) for the past 12 or so years. It’s a dynamic area full of pleasant memories. When we were growing up, most of the businesses east of Lion Bridge were family-owned. Some, like Buchel Hardware, still
exist. My family has been here since 1929, when my late father bought property here. Our name is well-known in the automotive business. – Allen Joss, resident
 Picture: Supplied

1 Southern Sun Hotel

Back in the day it was the Hellenic Hotel as it was owned by a family of Greek origin. It’s seen many changes over the years. Corner Steve Biko Road and Pretorius Street, Arcadia. 012 444 5500

Picture: Supplied

2 Union Buildings

It’s a great landmark situated at the northern end of Arcadia, where I used to enjoy walking about 50 years ago. Government Avenue, Pretoria. 012 300 5278 

3 Sterland Mall

This is my favourite place to watch movies and afterwards eat at one of the restaurants. Pretorius Street and Steve Biko Road, Arcadia. 0622662089

4 Caledonian Stadium

This historic stadium was the home ground of Arcadia United, of which I was a fan. I wasn’t a soccer player though; I played rugby. 469 Pretorius Street, Arcadia

5 Pretoria Art Museum

Contains a collection built up since the 1930s. Wessels Street, Arcadia. 012 358 6750

6 Loftus Versfeld

International sporting venue, home of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union. 416 Kirkness Street, Arcadia. 012 420 0700

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