Parktown Properties

Parktown is one of the oldest, mainly residential suburbs of Johannesburg and is situated between Westcliff and Saxonwold, suburbs of roughly the same vintage. It is an area of approximately a 100kms² with the M1 on its northern boundary, Jan Smuts Avenue on its western side, Houghton Drive on its eastern and Empire Road on its southern extreme. Today the face of Parktown property region has changed considerably and it comprises 3 important nodes, the first being the area adjacent to Jan Smuts Avenue up to the ridge, the second being a central node and the third, an office node, which is itself split into 3 distinct precincts i.e. the old downtown, the green or leafy part and a much newer part, mainly around the Sunnyside Park Hotel including the Isle of Houghton

 

Excellent access is afforded from the M1 in every direction, from Jan Smuts Avenue, Houghton Drive and Empire Road.

Parktown has enjoyed a long, colourful and fascinating history dating back to the early 1890’s when its earliest pioneers, the “Randlords”, the Mining Magnates, the entrepreneurs and the architects of that period chose Parktown with its magnificent, panoramic views to the Magaliesberg and over the green Sachsonwald as the suburb in which they would build their extravagant, baronial mansions to entertain on the most lavish scale. The township of Parktown was established with gates and even its own streetlights. Some of these homes still stand today.

The period of Parktown history from 1895 through to the early 1920’s is richly embroidered with Parktown residents being involved in political uprisings, a defeat for them with Jameson at Paardekraal, Johannesburg Stockmarket plummeting, war breaking out in 1899, Lord Milner and the British moving into Sunnyside Park, The magnates returning to a new dawn in Parktown, the miners’ strike in 1907, the 1910 Union of South Africa, the Great War and ultimately in 1922, guns fired from the Parktown Ridge onto striking miners in Vrededorp.

Today, while Parktown property is essentially a mix of turn of the century homes, national monuments, businesses and institutions where the emphasis is on health, medical and education, it remains one of Johannesburg’s elite suburbs. The suburb is accessible, attractive and steeped in history. From a purely physical point of view Parktown property enjoys excellent upkeep with homes in sound structural condition and neighbourhoods well maintained even though they are old. The area enjoys exceptionally high owner investment with good property values being maintained. There is high confidence in future value and therefore good resale reputation. From a social point of view, Parktown enjoys a high social status, with upper income levels prevalent and the area is generally dominated by established large families on large properties.

As described, Parktown property comprises homes that are large, stately with some Victorian, some English Edwardian and then the eclectic blend of Cape Dutch and European elements using local materials.

Development opportunities are extremely limited with the only natural expansion being the area around the Isle of Houghton. For businesses not requiring the same prestige as a Sandton address, Parktown offers an excellent location, convenience, accessibility and competitive rentals particularly in the downtown or older part. New Parktown which offers the latest state of the art accommodation commands higher rentals than the older, but even these are far more competitive than the Sandton area for example.

Most of the major banks are represented in downtown Parktown but retail is mainly restricted to a few convenient stores and restaurants that support the business community. There are however major shopping centers in Killarney and Rosebank and one could go to Braamfontein. Most of Parktown is on bus, taxi and commuter routes for companies drawing staff from other parts of Johannesburg

Parktown is blessed with having a wide selection of sporting, recreation, fitness and entertainment facilities within its own precincts or situated very close by. It has a selection of some of the best schools in Africa and numerous institutions of higher learning, the arts and culture. Some of the best hospitals, medical schools and clinics are located within the neighbourhood. There are central places of worship, interest areas and green parkland in which to spend leisure time.

Highlights which occur in Parktown or in the immediate vicinity are:

EDUCATION

Primary Schools

  • Deutsche Internationale Schule (German)
  • King Edward Preparatory
  • McAuley House Convent
  • Parkview Primary
  • Rand Meisieskool
  • Roseneath Primary
  • Saxonwold  Primary
  • St Francis Vuleca
  • St Johns Preparatory
  • St Catherines
  • The Ridge School

 High Schools

  • Deutsche Internationale Schule (German)
  • St Johns College
  • King Edward
  • Parktown Boys HIgh
  • Parktown Girls High
  • McAuley House Convent
  • Parktown Convent
  • Roedean Girls
  • Rand Meisieskool

 Tertiary

  • Wits Graduate Business School
  • Wits Medical School
  • Wits Dental School
  • National School of the Arts
  • Johannesburg Art Foundation
  • Johannesburg College of Education
  • Johannesburg University
  • Wits Technicon – Business Management

SHOPPING CENTRES:  

  • Killarney Mall
  • Rosebank Mall
  • Milpark Galleries
  • Parkview/Parkhurst/Melville (Boutiques)

SPORT FACILITIES  

  • Marks Park
  • Houghton Golf Club
  • Killarney Golf Club
  • Transvaal Automobile Club
  • Frans Brown Park
  • Jan Hofmeyer Sports Ground
  • Fernhead Park
  • Zoo Lake Sports Club
  • Johannesburg University Sports Fields
  • Old Edwardians

PARKS  

  • Herman Eckstein Park
  • Dale Lace Park
  • George Hay Park
  • Frank Brown Park
  • Pieter Roos Park
  • Jan van Riebeeck  Park

LIBRARIES  

  • Brenthurst Africana
  • Killarney

CINEMA COMPLEXES  

  • Killarney Mall
  • Rosebank Mall

MEDICARE  

  • Millpark Hospital
  • Rosebank Clinic
  • Brenthurst Clinic
  • Johannesburg Hospital
  • The Kenridge Hospital
  • The Park Lane Clinic

PLACES OF WORSHIP  

  • Roman Catholic Church Parktown, Parkview and Rosebank
  • Jewish – Great Park Houghton Estate 
  • Jewish – Reform (Beit Emanuel)  
  • Mosque – West Street Houghton Isle 
  • Anglican – St Georges Parktown

HEALTH AND FITNESS CENTRES

  • Virgin – Melrose Arch
  • Virgin – Old Eds
  • Planet Fitness – Rosebank
  • Wanderers Mega Club

MAJOR BUSINESS CENTRES / BUSINESSES  

  • Downtown Parktown
  • Leafy Parktown
  • New Parktown
  • Dorbyl
  • BP
  • SA Beverages
  • Hannover Re-Insurance
  • Mines Pension Fund
  • Goldfields
  • Hollandia Insurance Company

PLACES OF INTEREST / ENTERTAINMENT 

  • Emmarentia Dam
  • Johannesburg Zoo
  • The Planetarium
  • SA Museum of Military History
  • Zoo Lake
  •  Hunterian Museum
  • Adler Museum of Medicine
  • The Wilds
  • Linder Auditorium
  • Parktown and Westcliff Heritage Trust – Historical Tours to famous houses and gardens in Parktown

Although much of Parktown property is regarded as a little conservative, formal and possibly a bit dated, for those who live there, it represents a symbol of their most valuable investment, likely to be passed from family generation to generation.