Bedfordview: where the old fits in seamlessly with the new

Bedfordview, with its leafy environment and village atmosphere is one of Johannesburg’s oldest and most sought after residential suburbs, attracting a broad cross-section of South Africans, says Ken Woollcott, manager of the Pam Golding Properties Bedfordview office. Here older architecture fits seamlessly with the new and modern, and people from all walks of life rub shoulders.


 
Woollcott, who has more than 30 years experience in the real estate sector, says that this upmarket area, which falls under the Ekurhuleni Municipality, remains a popular option among those seeking to buy or rent homes. “The reasons for this are not hard to find,” he adds. “The suburb is surrounded by ancient hills that protect it from the elements allowing trees to grow taller and gardens and lawns to grow lusher. The area is therefore an attractive one with a wonderful small-town atmosphere, yet it is also situated near the very heart of Johannesburg’s road and transport infrastructure,” continues Woollcott. “It also offers a wide variety of residential property options to suit diverse needs and budgets.”
 
According to Woollcott lifestyles in the suburb range from imposing mansions, which can fetch up to R20 million, to more modest family homes, which are marketed in the region of R2 million. While there are still a number of grand old homes in Bedfordview they share the area with cluster and townhouse estates, which offer residents the convenience of a lock up and go lifestyle. Woollcott says there are also some spacious older blocks of flats where units, depending on their condition and location, can fetch R800 000 or more.
 
In 1853 the farm ‘Elands Vontyn’ was proclaimed and it remained the property of the government until 1867 when it was granted to GPL Van Der Linden, whose family went on to subdivide the land into smaller farms. A British cavalry camp was based on the Elandsfontein farm between 1900 and 1902 and it is said that cavalry troopers planted the oak trees that are such a feature of the suburb today. One of the farms in the region was named Bedford, and, because of the fine views it offered, the area soon became known as “Bedford View”. The area was promulgated as a residential township in October 1946.


 
Greater Bedfordview is made up of a number of additional suburbs including Essexwold, St Andrews, Morning Hill, Bedford Gardens, Bedford Park and others. It is situated very close to the N3 and N12 freeways and the giant Gillooly’s interchange, giving commuters easy access to the greater city of Johannesburg. The suburb is also a mere 10 minutes from the airport making it an ideal base for business people who travel regularly.
 
According to Pam Golding Properties agent Enza Dippenaar, the people of Johannesburg are increasingly looking for convenience of location and a suburb such as Bedfordview offers precisely this. “Not only are Bedfordview residents situated close to the major transportation routes but they have all the amenities they need right here in the suburb, which has developed very rapidly in recent years,” observes Dippenaar. “There are fine shopping facilities and numerous young parents are attracted to the area by the many outstanding schools that are close by. Bedfordview is also home to a number office blocks and places of worship, allowing residents to live, work and play right here in the suburb.”
 
Dippenaar adds that there is a good mix of quality public and private schools in the area including St Benedicts Boys’ School, St Andrews Girl’s School, Bedfordview Primary School, Leeuenhof School, Saheti School, Bishop Bavin, Redham House and Bedfordview Christian School.
 
The myriad of malls and entertainment centres in the area offer a wide selection of shopping outlets, restaurants, boutiques and cinemas. They include the extensive Eastgate mall, which is home to some 300 stores; the recently refurbished Bedford Centre; Bedford Village; Village View Shopping Centre and Key West Entertainment Centre, to name just a few. For those seeking tranquillity and quiet, a picnic at Gillooly’s Farm is very appealing. Here you and your family can relax, walk your dog and take in glorious views of Kensington Valley.
 
“Bedfordview is an area where generations of families have been known to settle, from older, more established individuals to young families starting out,” notes Woollcott. “Many people who have lived in the area come to love it and either never leave or return later in their lives. Bedfordview is able to offer residents a total lifestyle experience and I believe that the property market here has a great future,” he concludes.
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