More and more are finding the renewed inner metropolis a viable place to live
A combination of City-led urban renewal initiatives and private investments is making Pretoria Central increasingly attractive as a place of residence for mainly young professionals, families and students.
City of Tshwane has in the past couple of years prioritised the regeneration of Pretoria Central as part of efforts to ensure that the city not only becomes affordable to a broader section of the population, but also turns into a safer and more attractive space in which to “live, work and play”.
One of the latest investments in the city is Middestad Mall on the corner of Thabo Sehume and Pretorius streets.
It offers health, fashion, fitness, retail and a host of services for clients seeking a convenient lifestyle offering right in the centre of the city.
The result is that more and more people are finding the inner city a viable place to live and relocating to Pretoria Central either as property owners or tenants in order to be closer to workplaces.
Gregory Ngenzebuhoro of Seeff Pretoria East has been observing this trend for a long while and cites the zone closer to the South African Reserve Bank and the part of the city around Burgers Park as two popular residential destinations of aspiring city dwellers.
“The area around the Reserve Bank is liked by people who work nearby including professionals based at Tshwane District Hospital.
“There are also private sector professionals and small business owners seeking property in this area,” says Ngenzebuhoro, who adds there has generally been a willingness on the part of banks to finance bond repayments for inner city apartments and flats.
“It depends on the quality of the building and of the unit itself. If the financial property report of the building is sound and the property inspector is satisfied then there are hardly any problems to a successful transaction.”
“It all depends on the cost, location and maintenance of the building, and the condition of the relevant unit.”
For an apartment of between 58m² and 68m² one would look at between R400000 and R550000, while apartments between 70m² and 80m² can cost from around R450000 to R600000.”
Students are known to prefer securing accommodation in the vicinity of institutions such as the TUT Pretoria Central campus in Helen Joseph Street. This is an area already famous for hosting many tertiary institutions including Tshwane College, Denver College and Mitchell Technical College.
For Thelo Maja, a restaurateur based in town, the re-emergence of Pretoria Central as a noted residential space has meant a spike in turnover and been a blessing.
“It definitely has been good for us. The more people come in to stay here the better it is for our business,” she says.
Most of Maja’s employees prefer to commute to work from outside the city, but a few are already based in town, closer to their workplace, in an area with all the relevant services.
Thabo Shepape’s favourite places and things to do
1 At Buffet Zone Restaurant
Their cuisine is excitingly varied, from traditional African to European continental. The service is excellent. Shop 1, 28 WF Nkomo Street, Pretoria Central. 012 326 9155
2 Sunnypark Shopping Centre
It’s got restaurants, retail and fashion shops and also hosts an internationally renowned hotel which I frequent. Robert Sobukwe and Greef streets, Sunnyside. 012 341 7556
3 The Blue Room
It’s so welcoming and vibey and they’re also reasonably priced. Cnr Bosman and WF Nkomo streets, Pretoria Central. 012 321 0973
4 Ayepyep Lifestyle Lounge
They host live performances, celebrity DJs and singers. You can also braai there. The bonus is they are open until the small hours. 95 Gerhard Moerdyk Street, Sunnyside. 012 341 9063
5 Church Square
Popular hangout in the city. WF Nkomo Street, Pretoria Central.
6 Burgers Park
Botanical garden and water features. Thabo Sehume and Jacob Maré streets, Pretoria Central.