The changing face of Joburg CBD

Gone are the days when the ideal upmarket Johannesburg home had a tennis court, swimming pool and vast, landscaped gardens. A new breed of developers known as ‘urbanists’ are ushering in a residential revolution in the Joburg CBD (Central Business District) that is turning past housing trends on their heads and transforming the once-shunned location into hot properties.
Rebirth of the inner city

In the early 2000s, a new mayor, Amos Masondo, armed with a new vision and generous public funds, started to transform the CBD after congestion – coupled with the official disinterest – precipitated the inner city’s transformation from empire showpiece to urban slum, eventually home not only to South African migrants but also to refugees, asylum seekers and would-be entrepreneurs from all over the continent. Pockets of space were cleaned up and made safe. Investment flowed into the area for the first time in three decades.

The blueprint for Johannesburg’s regeneration can be found in “Joburg 2030”, a near-utopian plan written in 2002 that envisions a city where crime is a faint memory, a service-based economy thrives, public transport is smooth, government is clean and efficient, and all its citizens are highly skilled, enjoying a quality of life on a par with London, San Francisco or Tokyo.

Although dreams often differ from reality, over the past decade and a few years, Johannesburg authorities – spear-headed by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) – have demonstrated a commitment to redevelop and provide services to the inner city.

Its first move was building the Nelson Mandela Bridge, spanning a railway yard to link Newtown with Braamfontein, another downtown district. This was followed by a brand new Constitutional Court, home to the highest court in South Africa, on the site of an old prison fort, completed in 2004, and projects in the Newtown neighbourhood.

Residential Revolution in the CBD

Security considerations and the advent of disposable living are fuelling the new trends, which are attracting property investors and young home buyers in droves. The main attraction is the cosmopolitan ambience, good security and lock-up-and-go lifestyle. However, there are several other reasons why this revolution has become so successful:

  • Urban renewal projects are developed around the central master plan of a city which creates a wonderful solution for employers. Residents can work, live and play in one area without the hassle and cost associated with transport and traffic.
  • There is an increasing swing to downsize due to rising property prices and cost of rates, taxes and maintenance.
  • Johannesburg CBD is home to many large corporate and head-offices, employing large numbers.
  • As housing affordability is reducing year by year, buyers are forced to purchase or rent smaller properties to match their disposable income.
  • Situated close to major transport nodes, Johannesburg CBD allows the freedom and cost-save associated with transport.
  • The Johannesburg Inner City area swells to over 1 million people each weekday, and more and more people are looking to rent in the inner city area, rather than having to commute to it – as 10% of the entire population of Gauteng commute to the inner city daily.

As with property trends in the CBD, this is being driven by rapidly changing urban lifestyles. City people are generally spending less of their disposable income on their gardens, and more on lifestyle-oriented activities such as gym memberships, health services and eating out.

Investing in an upmarket apartment at The Franklin

We don’t just offer you luxury apartments with stunning views of the city skyline, but an experience of the changing face of Joburg CBD. We are surrounded by the finest theatres, restaurants, nightlife and corporate head offices – making us the premier address to live in the city.

Our spacious and beautifully appointed apartments comprise all the amenities and comforts of modern life, including 24/7 security, secure parking, a gym and interiors that are rich with high-end fixtures and finishes that put The Franklin in a class of its own.

Now, who would want to say no to that?