The historical suburb of Arcadia has matured into a bustling, cosmopolitan neighbourhood.
Lying on the doorstep of the Union Buildings against Meintjieskop, one of the farms where Pretoria was established in 1855, the suburb of Arcadia in Pretoria Central has matured into a cosmopolitan neighbourhood boasting a union of old world charm and modern-day progression.
Arcadia has the bustling inner city as its western neighbour and sprawls eastwards alongside the terraced gardens of the Union Buildings and Mahlamba Ndlopfu, the presidential residence, to quiet and serene leafy streets.
This part of Arcadia contains many architectural treasures of an era gone by: graceful Victorian homes with pressed ceilings and yellowwood floors. Several of these have been turned into business premises or guest houses full of character. Being home to a large number of embassies and foreign missions, Arcadia is also known for its many hotels and superb restaurants.
The western part mostly comprises multistorey apartment blocks varying from compact student accommodation to sizeable structures with three or more bedrooms, and posh modern units catering for the higher end of the market.
Dr Bambie Heiberg, an estate principal active in the area for 25 years, says property prices in the suburb are reasonable. “Investor and private residents are bound to see a high return on their invested capital.”
Resident Mareda Mphaphuli says he loves living in this “tranquil neighbourhood which caters for both young and old. The large number of embassies in the area makes it easy to spot and meet dignitaries from around the world and also assist in making Arcadia a safe area to live in.”
Leisure activities he enjoys in the area are the Pretoria Art Museum, the Union Buildings gardens where he and his family regularly picnic and the Sterland Cinema “which is my spot for date nights with my wife.”
Arcadia has plenty amenities, most residences are walking distance away from the pharmacy, supermarket or a hospital
Mareda Mphaphuli, resident
- Arcadia Primary School
- Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool
- Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool
- Pretoria High School For Girls
- Pretoria Technical High School
- Hatfield Gautrain Station is a stone’s throw away.
- Many BRT bus stations are located within a short walking distance.
- The N1 and N4 freeways are a few kilometres away.
- Many main roads like Stanza Bopape Street, Pretorius Street, Steve Biko Street and Francis Baard Street run through the suburb.
Medical facilities nearby:
- Mediclinic Muelmed Hospital
- Mediclinic Heart Hospital
- Netcare Femina Hospital
- Steve Biko Academic Hospital
Take a trip through Pretoria in this amazing video:
Estate agent commantary on Arcadia
What do you love about Arcadia?
One thing that stands out about the suburb of Arcadia is the serene atmosphere that prevails; it’s an ideal escape from its busy surrounds like Sunnyside and Pretoria Central. This suburban bliss-centric community, apart from boasting a host of excellent amenities, prides itself in institutions of quality health care like the Pretoria Eye Institute and the Heart Hospital. I also just love the large trees and parks in Arcadia. The working- and middle-class living together in harmony is a true testament to the great vibe in this part of town.
Arcadia in a nutshell?
Arcadia is known for its beautiful historical buildings, embassies, hotels and its property investment opportunities are in both the freehold erf and sectional title buildings. This suburb is ideally located for easy access to main routes, highways, the University of Pretoria and the Hatfield Gautrain Station. The main thoroughfare is Park Street. Landmarks on Park Street are the Pretoria Art Museum in its mid-century modernist building; the Gerard Moerdyk Restaurant, which serves traditional African food in a house built in 1920 by this famous architect (Gerard Moerdyk); as well as Loftus Versfeld Stadium where local and international rugby and soccer matches are played.
Best things about the area for residents/buyers?
Arcadia is one of the quietest and most underestimated residential areas offering excellent value for money. The suburb is growing tremendously in popularity. The beautiful, wide Jacaranda-lined streets make Arcadia a picturesque suburb with breathtakingly beautiful Victorian homes – many of them designed by the architect of the Union Buildings, Sir Herbert Baker. The very active neighbourhood watch and Arcadia Residents and Ratepayers Association contribute to the fact that local residents are very happy and content here. The high visibility of several diplomatic and ministerial homes and offices in Arcadia also adds to the excellent safety of the neighbourhood.
Dr Bambie Heiberg: Principal, Heiberg Estates
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.