Spotlight on Greenside

Private Property South Africa
Catherine Black

Art Deco properties, shady streets, sprawling greenery and a buzzing strip of restaurants and bars - Greenside is a mini city all of its own.

With its wide pavements, tree-lined streets and grand old properties, Greenside is a serene pocket of Northcliff, Joburg. with old-world charm that’s becoming a rare commodity. “I love the fact that you can still find homes in their original ‘heritage’ condition,” says Greenside resident Lara Hallet.

Originally a farm owned by the Geldenhuys brothers, Greenside became a popular suburb in the 1930s, with most houses built in the Art Deco style of the era. Where properties’ original features have been retained, you’ll find geometric designs, stained glass windowpanes and strip flooring – all Art Deco characteristics. Besides this strong sense of heritage, here are six more reasons why residents love living here.

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It is a walking suburb

“I love Greenside’s beautiful tree-lined streets that make it such an established suburb,” says resident Sarah Futter. While busy Barry Hertzog Road runs down its west side, there are plenty of quieter, shady streets to amble down, so you’ll see plenty of kids on bikes or adults taking a lazy stroll to the shops and restaurants nearby. “We love walking to Trieste for homemade ice cream with our kids in a pram on a Sunday afternoon,” says Lara.

It is perfect for families

“The properties tend to be large in size, with generous gardens that are great for kids and entertaining,” says Lara. The suburb also has plenty of playschools and preschools to choose from, so it’s a short walk or drive for residents to get there and back each day. Besides Greenside Primary and Greenside High within the suburb itself, there’s also a great choice of private schools in the surrounding areas, which is great news if you’re involved in the daily school commute.

It is convenient

With the main Gleneagles strip and the Village Green Shopping Centre on Greenway Road, you don’t have to look far for everyday conveniences. Within these two locations you’ve got easy access to a well-stocked Woolworths, a pet store, a chemist, a hardware store, a PostNet, a home industries store and more. In terms of chain stores, shops like Dischem, Checkers and Pick ‘n’ Pay are all a short drive away in Victory Park and Emmarentia.

It has green spaces

One of Greenside’s most popular attractions is its proximity to the Parkview golf course, which, besides creating a “green lung” adjoining the suburb, also offers a pristine chunk of green space to enjoy – even if you don’t play golf. “We have a walking membership at the golf club,” says Sarah, “so we love walking the course in the late afternoons.” There are also plenty of other outdoor options nearby: Sarah and her husband Kieron love cycling along the spruit and to nearby Emmarentia Dam.

It’s great value for money

Although there are increasing numbers of renovations in the area, many are original properties on good sized stands that offer great value in terms of price per square metre when compared to more “developed” suburbs like Parkhurst. “Greenside is well maintained, but not snobbish” says Lara. At the same time, says Sarah, most residents seem to be house-proud and make an effort to maintain their homes and keep them neat and tidy.

It’s got buzz

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Restaurants on the Greenside strip give you a choice of every kind of food imaginable: get some Thai at Thai Café, authentic sushi from Miyako Sushi, Italian from Topo Gigio, Pizza Del Forno and Andiccio 24, gourmet burgers at Dukes or full vegan at The Greenside Café. If you’re looking for coffee, Vida e Caffe is a favourite with cyclists on a weekend, or you can go for a non-franchised alternative at Trio, which is operational even during load shedding, according to Sarah. Finally, Greenside bars, like The Artisan and The Office, are popular with the younger crowd seeking out Joburg nightlife.

The overwhelming feeling among residents is that Greenside has a relaxed, “lived in” feel that’s welcoming to anyone who chooses to live there, summed up by resident Kieron Futter’s opinion of the suburb as “the unpretentious Parks”. With its tightknit community and a strong residents’ association that has seen initiatives like fibre being installed across the suburb, Greenside offers all the conveniences of modern living while retaining an appreciation for its past.

Try the following restaurants, bars and speciality shops:

  • Duke’s Burgers for hearty gourmet burgers
  • Miyako Sushi for authentic, no-fuss yet delicious sushi
  • Trieste Café for homemade ice cream
  • Trio for artisan coffee
  • The Artisan for a great selection of craft beers
  • The Greenside Café for one of the best vegetarian menus in Joburg
  • Village Fair for chocolate cakes, tarts and biscuits
  • Mammas Shebeen for traditional African fare

Property prices in Greenside

A typical property for sale in Greenside is a four-bedroom house at an average asking price of R3,5m.

  • 93% of properties for sale are houses
  • 7% of properties for sale are flats/apartments, at an average asking price of R2,15m
  • A typical property for rent in Greenside is a three-bedroom house at a monthly asking price of R20,750

Demand

  • Properties for sale in Greenside comprise 3% of the total sale listings in the Northcliff area, and
  • 6% of the total rental listings
  • They receive 4% of the interest (viewings) in properties for sale

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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