Overview

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Braamfontein Braamfontein has been a part of Johannesburg since 1886, the year the city was established. Back then, Braamfontein was a farm where people lived and worked, and there was a strong sense of community.

Situated north of the city centre, over time the area developed into an important commercial and economic node of Johannesburg, housing a vibrant business district, the seat of local government and various educational institutions and business corporations.

Then, between the late 1980s and early 2000s, the area went through a period of urban decay causing an exodus of institutions and businesses to more affluent areas. It became degraded and run down, but was fortunate in that its vacancy rates remained some of the lowest in the inner city, even during the worst of these times.

In 2002, the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) and the City council embarked on a R13-million regeneration programme for the area, realising how important the location and function of Braamfontein was to the local economy.

Useful links

The Nelson Mandela Bridge

The Nelson Mandela Bridge links Braamfontein with Newtown. Opened in 2003, this 259m-long cable stayed bridge is a landmark offering easy access into Newtown. Read more

Since then, the JDA has spent more than R55-million on the precinct, renewing the area as a centre of business, entertainment and education.

There has also been significant private sector investment in the precinct, with almost R4-billion spent by investors and developers over the last seven years, resulting in rental rates and land values increasing, and vacancy rates dropping below 10 percent.

Braamfontein remains the fourth-largest node for office space in the city of Johannesburg and is home to a number of South African-based multinational corporations as well as one of the country’s premier educational institutions, the University of the Witwatersrand.

It is on a par with other prime office nodes such as Sandton and Melrose Arch. The area, of more than 428 000m2, is now a mixed-use node consisting not only of A- and B-grade office space, but also with a strong residential component, offering both loft and executive-style apartments and budget accommodation.

Today, the success of this regeneration project can be seen in the beautiful tree-lined streetscapes, public art, and safe, well-lit open spaces. The area has become a vibrant social space again, with coffee shops and small restaurants offering daytime entertainment; and at night the precinct is quiet, safe and clean, the result of its active city improvement district, which ensures quality urban management, safety and marketing remain in place.

Read more about Braamfontein