Jozi’s Cultural Extravaganza

Private Property South Africa
Antoinette McDonald

Mosey down to the Rosebank Rooftop Market on a Sunday arvie anytime between 9am and 5pm and indulge in the artistic explosion that sums up this suburb. This is the stuff that cosmopolitan weekends are made of: 600 stalls, live music, tasty treats, fine art, photography, hats, bags, and literature. Colorful and creative, welcome to the uber funky, ever so retro, urban chic community that sits on the doorstep of central Jozi.

There are many reasons to love Rosebank. It’s central – close to major roads, minutes from the highways, near to the airport, bordering on the fantastic Johannesburg zoo, and not too far from the beautiful Zoo Lake. The area also sports pedestrians which is refreshing for a Gauteng suburb. Rosebankers love to walk their streets and this contributes to the buzz in the ‘burb. Live entertainment at The Zone, Rosebank

One of the area’s biggest bonuses has to be its generous dollop of all things artistic. World-class galleries seem to flourish in Rosebank. Think Everard Read on Jellicoe Avenue or Goodman Gallery on Jan Smuts, where you can pick up local and international sculptures, ceramics, prints, beadwork, landscapes or portraits. David Krut Art Resources on Jam Smuts is also worth a visit and then there’s the art movie house at Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank Mall.

Rosebank is one of the oldest and best-loved suburbs in Johannesburg. These days, the main roads in the area are a maze of detours and dusty construction sites. But, there’s light at the end of the Gautrain tunnel. Much of the activity is due to this highly anticipated transport machine, which is sure to give Rosebank a boost and send property prices through the roof. Speaking of which, the property market in Rosebank isn’t doing too bad at the moment.

According to Lightstone, 86% of what’s on offer in Rosebank is in sectional title schemes. Since 2004, sectional schemes in the area have performed well. What sold for R385K five years ago fetches in the region of R901k these days. The freehold property market in Rosebank has also seen tremendous growth. In fact, return on investment has been prolific. Homes that were on the market for R1,6m in 2004 are now worth R3,1m. And judging by Deeds Office data, the market in Rosebank is buoyant. This year 12 palatial homes in Rosebank have changed hands.

Rob and Kirsty Maud have lived in Rosebank for the past two years. In 1999 their home sold for R700K. Ten years down the line and the municipal value of their house is in the region of R3,2m – it has more than quadrupled.

The Mauds describe the area as a lovely neighborhood where people stroll with prams, take jogs or walk the dogs down delightful tree-lined avenues.

“For us, Rosebank has this amazing eclectic atmosphere: from the up- market suburbia of Dunkeld, Saxonwold and Parkview, with their elegant homes and gorgeous gardens, to the buzz and motion of the African Craft Market, The Zone and The Rosebank CBD.”

Rosebank’s trendiest amenity The Mauds are mad about the cultural melting pot that is Rosebank.

“Rosebank has the urban energy of many other International suburbs or cities, and yet it’s intrinsically African. It’s a place where a young family with small children can enjoy a property with a lovely garden and spacious rooms, but can stroll into the Rosebank CBD for a bite out.

“We love the atmosphere of buzzing cafés, the selection of great shops, top-notch restaurants, bookshops and art and craft exhibits. It’s also a spot where young professionals can remodel an old-style apartment and live in the heart of this cosmopolitan urban centre; where top brands of the world are sold, and you can meet with friends over coffee at some of the best coffee shops around.”

On the downside, the Mauds aren’t too charmed about the congestion and traffic jams caused by the construction of the Gautrain.

“There are also concerns in the community that high- rise apartments will be built around Rosebank in the future, possibly detracting from the suburban feel and community that has developed here over the years.”

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