The last 80 vacant residential stands on the well-established and exclusive Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate are now available for purchase.
“This is a not-to-be-repeated opportunity for buyers to acquire an exclusive, just-released site and build their dream home in one of Gauteng’s most sought after lifestyle estates, in a suburb which, according to Lightstone, enjoys elevated status as the most expensive suburb in the province,” says Peet Strauss, Pam Golding Properties development manager for Johannesburg.
“With a natural urban migration to the west of Johannesburg increasingly evident, Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate, with its unparalleled lifestyle and easy access to Lanseria Airport, has high appeal for affluent home buyers seeking secure and elite estate living.”
With an average house value of R11.2 million, Blair Atholl in Tshwane Municipality tops other upmarket suburbs such as Westcliff (R10.5 million) and Dunkeld (R9.3 million), as well as Wierda Valley in Sandton (R9.2 million), Sandhurst (R9.1 million) and Inanda (R7.2 million), notes Strauss.
For 30 years the estate was home to renowned South African golfing legend, Gary Player, who purchased the farm in the early 1980s on auction via Christies before turning it into one of South Africa’s most beautiful farms.
Says Strauss: “Fast forward to 2018 and, while the Players now live in Plettenberg Bay, Blair Atholl has continued to attract discerning home buyers who include numerous captains of industry, successful business executives and entrepreneurs, all looking for a secure and highly attractive and convenient lifestyle for their families, coupled with a sound property investment.
“With only 80 stands available, this is certainly the best time to buy with significant capital growth projected as supply diminishes. “In the Gauteng market in general, last year (2017) saw an increase in the demand for – and sale of – vacant stands, a trend which we believe will continue for the foreseeable future, particularly in exclusive estates such as Blair Atholl.”
Generously sized between 2 542sqm and 5 607sqm, the stands are priced from R1.565 million to R3 million. The estate is bordered by the Cradle of Humankind to the West and the Renosterspruit Nature Conservatory to the North, providing spectacularly scenic views within a uniquely tranquil African ambience, peacefully removed from the noise and bustle of city life.
Adds Strauss: “Blair Atholl is one of Gauteng’s hidden gems, offering generously proportioned stands conveniently close to the city yet in a serene, countryside setting. Amenities include an enviable equestrian centre for horse lovers as well as the Gary Player designed golf course.”
Sandra Gordon, Pam Golding Properties senior research analyst, notes that the estate has not only been identified as the most expensive suburb in Gauteng, it is also home to the sixth most expensive street in the province. “Buyers are attracted to the estate because of its secure lifestyle offerings with a focus on family and a sense of connected communities,” she says.
Life at Blair Atholl
Paul Marks, General Manager and Director of Golf at Blair Atholl concurs: “Only 2.5km from Lanseria International Airport and a short drive to Fourways, Blair Atholl is a highly sought after, low density residential golf and equestrian estate, family orientated with a strong community culture, and offering an unrivalled country lifestyle.
“The sheer beauty and space of the estate is reminiscent of countryside living – with various small wildlife to boot - while residents enjoy world class facilities including a highly rated 18-hole golf course, Gary Player Fitness Centre, equestrian centre, mountain biking, running and walking trails, fishing, birdwatching, restaurants, tennis and squash courts and a spa, all making for an unrivalled country lifestyle. Also on hand are good schools such as Montessori School, Curro School Monaghan, HeronBridge College and Dainfern College, among others.”
Running through the estate, which is densely populated with century-old indigenous trees and bush, is the Crocodile River, abundant with fish and bird life and with a number of rapids along part of the 6.5km stretch.
Says Marks: “You can spend hours fishing for Yellow Fish, Florida and Black Bass, Carp and Barbel or viewing small game such as Springbok, Impala, Kudu, Waterbuck and Nyala, which all adds up to an unforgettable living experience.”
Thoroughbred horses have long been associated with Blair Atholl, giving rise to the ongoing equestrian component and amenities. The stables and paddocks are a focal point on the estate, situated along the main boulevard where horses are able to frolic during the day.
Marks adds: “Blair Atholl has a proud history as home to some of South Africa’s great racing and polo horses. Picture the scene, driving home alongside the paddocks and horses, after a hectic day at the office.
“With a total of 329 stands in the estate, 152 homes have been completed. With the release of the remaining 80 stands, the estate is set for an exciting future with includes restaurant upgrades and enhancements to the natural environment within the estate. In addition, improvements are planned for the golf course, with the blessing of Jeff Lawrence, the President of the Gary Player Golf Course Design.”
The Gary Player signature design golf course is the third longest in the world and, at 7 500 metres, is also the third longest in South Africa. Player recently played golf with residents and invited guests as part of a re-launch of the estate.
While currently the golf course is only open to residents, a number of corporate days per year see it open to the public by invitation.
Quick facts on Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate
• Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate is now over 10 years (2017 was end of development stage) • For 30 years was home to SA golfing legend, Gary Player • Blair Atholl occupies over 600ha of land • 329 stands of which 152 homes have been completed • 80 exclusive stands released selling between R1.565 million – R3 million • 23km of mountain bike trails • +40 000 trees planted since it was established • Availability of small game • The Gary Player Signature Golf Course is the third longest in SA
Blair Atholl History
The 18th century in South Africa was characterised by the immigration of Europeans to the interior – a movement of people which became known as the “Great Trek”. Paul Kruger joined the migration at the age of 10. When he became leader of the Transvaal, he allocated the farm Vlakfontein to one of his relatives. The rights of the irrigation furrow that spans across Blair Atholl today were allocated by Paul Kruger himself. The furrow is reminiscent of the irrigation canals found in Stellenbosch and Swellemdam. Measuring over 5 kilometres, it is a wonderful feature of a bygone era.
In the 19th century, the Ornstein dynasty bought the farm from Anna Elizabeth Zirkia Jacoba Erasmus. Over many years the Ornsteins planted fauna transported by ox wagon from the Government forestry at Hartbeespoort to Vlakfontein. Legend has it that one could ride for a whole day in the shade provided by the trees planted by the Ornsteins.
Sir Rod Douglas
In 1946 Annie Dorothy Douglas (born Tweedy) bought the farm and the property was named Blair Atholl. The property’s current name Blair Atholl was christened by Rod Douglas after they bought the farm. Rod Douglas was a decorated army Colonel who fought in World War 1. The title “Sir” was bestowed on the Colonel after he was knighted by King George XI of England. In 1947, the King paid a visit to the farm and as a gesture of goodwill to Sir Rod Douglas and to continue his tradition of planting oak trees during his travels, he planted an English Oak Tree at Blair Atholl. The Tree can still be seen today and was accepted as a national heritage site by the Simon van der Stel Foundation. At Blair Atholl, Sir Rod Douglas developed a penchant for breeding Jersey Cows. Over the years he cultivated his expertise in the breeding of Derrylin Jersey Cows and was handsomely rewarded with many prizes for breeding the best Jersey Cows in the country. Incidentally, Blair Atholl Jersey Cows won every competition they were entered into.
The Goodman’s and Horses
The Goodman’s acquired the farm in the mid-1960s. The Albu and Goodman families shared a great love for horses thus giving rise to the Equestrian element which has become an integral part of the Blair Atholl legacy. Georgina bred show and race horses and set up two polo fields at Blair Atholl for her family. When Allan started to play polo she tended to his polo ponies. Allan Goodman and his brother Derek were both Springbok Polo Players who played for South Africa in 1968.
Blair Atholl’s most famous equine resident was Peralta, who retired here as a stud stallion. Peralta was one of the best sprinters of the time in South Africa and was bred by Derek Goodman, who owned the Summer Hills stud in Mooirivier. Georgina loved Blair Atholl. This way aptly demonstrated in the early 1970s when Georgina made headlines after she flung herself in front of graders to stop them from building Lanseria International Airport. She did not succeed, but did manage to get the airport to change their flight patterns, preventing aircrafts from flying directly over Blair Atholl.
The Pushkin House Memorial (The dollhouse)
This quaint, exquisite dollhouse was built by Georgina Albu’s father in memory of his late father Sir Paul Albu.
Gary and Vivienne Player
Over the 20 years that the Player family have lived at Blair Atholl, they have not only retained the beauty of the property, but have also further developed the stables and paddocks which both now form a focal part of the farm. Gary’s love for horses is well known, his Stud Farm is presently home to some of South Africa’s finest Thoroughbreds. The farm spans over 10,000 acres near Colesberg in the heart of the great Karoo the stomping ground since 1883 of world record equine athletes.
When it comes to talking about “home” in the fuller sense of the word, Gary’s heart remains in Africa. In the early 1960s Gary and Vivienne had viewed the property and loved it. However, they decided not to acquire it. As fate would have it, the Players would get a second chance to purchase Blair Atholl on auction from Christies in the early 1980s. And this time, they wasted no time in acquiring the property.
Marc, their oldest son, was charged with building the homes and restoring the farm to its former glory. By the end of the 1980s he had transformed Blair Atholl into one of the most beautiful farms in South Africa. Dr. Ian Player, Gary’s elder brother, a world renowned conservationist was the senior ranger in charge of Operation Rhino, the most successful translocation in conservation history. It is not hard to imagine that, if Gary had not had such a golfing talent, he might well have made a similar commitment to the land in Africa.
Having been the Player’s family home for so long and a place that they loved dearly, the decision to sell Blair Atholl was a very difficult one. Gary always dreamed of developing the farm into a premier residential and golfing estate and knowing the terrain so well, he had been designing an awesome golf course in his mind over the past 20 years. Gary desperately wanted to remain involved by retaining a family home at the Blair Atholl and to design what will be his most passionate golf course – his home course.
Blair Atholl is a low density estate, a championship golf course, nature reserve, equestrian facilities, state-of-the-art security, 2.5km from Lanseria International Airport and a mere 15 minutes from Fourways. It is a family orientated estate with a strong culture of community. Blair Atholl is bordered by the Cradle of Humankind to the West and the Renosterspruit Nature Conservatory to the North, ensuring wonderful views and an African country feeling for the future. Continue the heritage and tradition of Blair Atholl.
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