WORDS: BETSIE LOOCK-VAN DER MERWE IMAGES: RENE WALKER
The suburb of Hazelwood in Pretoria’s Old East had in recent years been given a new lease on life thanks to some difficult but much-needed developments and upgrades to its business and leisure areas.
This charming little suburb is located just across the road from the greens of the renowned and historic Pretoria Country Club. It’s neighbour to prestigious Old East suburbs like Waterkloof, Menlo Park and Maroelana. The suburb is flanked by the Hatfield/Brooklyn hub to its northwest and Menlyn/ Menlyn Maine to its southeast.
These nodes have experienced tremendous regeneration over the past decade and are rapidly transforming into mixed-use precincts characterised by an exuberant and trendy work-live-play milieu. Being just about in the middle of these nodes, Hazelwood didn’t stay behind. Initial projects in Hazelwood mainly comprised The Club lifestyle and retail centre which included many new restaurants. The Club project, developed by the prominent Atterbury Property, was extended to The Club precinct, which today includes office premises, a mega-gym, a state-of-the-art surgical centre, prestigious advocate chambers, and a residential component.
The “new” demand to live in this perked-up neighbourhood with its central location resulted in the erection of several other residential developments suited to the sophisticated needs of an ultra-modern society.
This year The Village, an alfresco-style space with many delightful restaurants, and The Club joined efforts to further streamline the work-live-play scenario. It culminated in the formation of the Old East Precinct in the new Hazelwood.
According to property developers this precinct can best be described as Pretoria’s first “surban” space which refers to the contemporary mix of urban and suburban districts in which residents and visitors stroll around leisurely, visit restaurants and cafes, work and live.
Hazelwood’s other key attraction is also its comfortable location within a few minutes from the N1 highway and main arteries in Pretoria East giving motorists easy access to other suburbs, the central business district of Pretoria, and other venues in the greater Gauteng.
Residential properties in the market in the “new” Hazelwood mainly comprise luxury living, lock-up-and-go, executive-style apartments catering to a surban lifestyle. The key words here are security, exclusivity; ultra-modern; clean lines; integrated appliances such as fridges, freezers, gas stoves, built in braais; pre-paid utilities; partly solar, and connectivity like Wi-Fi and fibre.
There are a variety of apartments available in these developments, ranging from bachelors’ units to two-and three-bedroom units and even hotel-style penthouses. The price tag in Hazelwood starts at around R2m.
There are several beautifully renovated family homes with all the extras on the market as well. One can expect to pay between R3m and R7m. Some of them are suitable for development and higher-density housing. A few pieces of vacant land for this purpose is also available.
Even though there’s a high demand to live in Hazelwood, it’s a relatively small geographical area and residents with kids of school-going age commonly make use of schools located in neighbouring suburbs like Brooklyn, Waterkloof, Alphen Park and Menlo Park.
Nearby public primary schools of excellent standing include Laerskool Menlo Park, Glenstantia Primary in Waterkloof Glen, Laerskool Lynnwood, Brooklyn Primary, Waterkloof Primary and Laerskool Pretoria-Oos in Brooklyn.
In terms of high schools, Silver Oaks International High School is situated in Hazelwood and offers independent tuition in the University of Cambridge’s syllabus, while there are many highly regarded public high schools located in neighbouring suburbs. These include Pro Arte Alphen Park (specialisation for the arts), Hoërskool Menlo Park, The Glen High School in Waterkloof Glen, Pretoria Boys High School, Pretoria Girls High School as well as Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool and Afrikaans Hoër Meisieskool Pretoria.
Of late Hazelwood has often been dubbed Pretoria’s new restaurant hotspot, and justly so. At the heart of this new hangout are the ever popular The Village restaurant hub linked with the contemporary The Club development. Patrons particularly enjoy the open-air street cafe ambiance, lively vibe, and walkability of the area. This hub is made up of an enormous variety of restaurants, bistros, cafes, pubs, coffee shops and all sorts of eateries.
Another plus for Hazelwood is its centrality to the city’s top entertainment venues like Brooklyn Mall with its many movie theatres and art nouveau cinemas; Menlyn Park Shopping Centre with, among others, its food court, comprehensive games arcade, movie theatres, gokarts and kids’ entertainment; and Menlyn Maine’s central square with its upper-class restaurants, Sun Arena live performance venue and casino.
For those preferring a little greenery beneath their feet, Hazelwood is equally close to an abundance of parks and reserves that can be explored. These include Struben Dam Bird Sanctuary, Lynnwood Glen; Pretoria National Botanical Garden, Brummeria; Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary, Nieuw Muckleneuk; Jan Cilliers Park, Groenkloof; and Faerie Glen Nature Reserve, Faerie Glen.
I love living in Hazelwood. It feels like our own little village in the heart of the big city. LILY MCCLAGLAN, RESIDENT
- Stay 2 Live, Hazelwood: comfortable, neat self-catering
- Firwood Lodge, Hazelwood: four-star luxury B&B
- 2a Quiver Tree, Menlo Park: upmarket, self-catering
- 55 On Dely, Maroelana: immaculate B&B
- Purple Trumpet Guest House, Waterkloof: super-luxury guesthouse
- Cape Connection, Maroelana: lifestyle and boutique centre
- The Club Centre, Hazelwood: upmarket lifestyle centre
- The Village, Hazelwood: a selection of restaurants
- Brooklyn Mall, Brooklyn: abundance of retail therapy around the corner
- Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, Menlyn: a few minutes’ drive away
- Oze Café and Bistro: authentic Portuguese cuisine
- Hinterland: no compromise on steak
- Central Restaurant: popular for meeting and dining with friends
- Brunch Street: cafe and deli
- 23 on Hazelwood: trendy street cafe
- Khaleo: breakfast, lunch and beautiful confectionery