Braamfontein’s urban lifestyle offering is on the rise – and The Exchange is at the heart of it

18February, 2019

“New Braamfontein” offers residents and visitors a wealth of cultural and social experiences.

Braamfontein is fast becoming an unrivalled lifestyle destination and fantastic place to invest in property. It offers an exciting mix of modern and retro apartments, along with bustling inner-city streets and entertainment. It has easy access to some of Johannesburg’s best schools, campuses and is surrounded by leading private and government businesses, including banks, hospitals, the SABC and an emerging Tshimologong tech district in the CBD.

The Exchange is an exciting new residential development in the heart of it all. The developers believed that the location held unique potential with it being on the doorstep of the CBD and in the historical part of the city, with students and business people alike enjoying its eclectic offerings.

Their instincts proved correct, and since the development was launched, the area has been evolving into ‘New Braamfontein’, which has something for everyone and offers a unique slice of Joburg life for residents.

Braamfontein is a cultural heartland, with limitless opportunities to learn and be entertained. The Neighbourgoods Market on Saturday mornings is the ultimate artisanal food destination, while the nearby 44 Stanley precinct has some of the best indie shopping & lifestyle offerings in the city.

At the centre of it all, there are restaurants like Love Food Kitchen, for a varying seasonal weekday lunch and breakfast menu, the Orbit Jazz Club & Bistro for fine dining and even finer sounds, and newcomer Artivist bar, eatery and gallery that is making waves on the Joburg social scene.

Coffee lovers can get their fix at Post and Double Shot, while late-night party people can get their jol on at the enduring Kitchners, Great Dane, The Living Room or Republic of 94.

If art and culture is more your scene, you will be spoilt for choice with the Wits Art Museum (WAM) showcasing traditional and contemporary African art, the Kalashnikovv Gallery, with contemporary South African exhibits, and the Joburg branch of the Stevenson Gallery, with its focus on contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora.

To get to know the area a little better, you can also opt to do one of the many tours available in the area – which will offer you secret insights to rooftop gardens & urban farming, graffiti or urban photography.

Exchange lofts, the oldest communications hub in Johannesburg

The surge of development in Braamfontein is less about gentrification and more about integration, and many carefully thought-out projects aim to provide opportunities for residents and businesspeople. One such initiative, enthusiastically supported by The Exchange, is Streets Alive, which aims to enhance the safety and appeal of the streets of Braamfontein. The plan incorporates three phases, the first of which is to encourage the use of pedestrian areas by upgrading the pavements, installing pedestrian lighting, erecting signage, putting in street furniture and planting trees and other plants to green the area. Phase two and three will involve the upgrade of existing council assets, including the Vrededorp Swimming Pool and the Public Park and sports area.

This initiative will bring about regeneration of the broader area and benefit the community of the suburb as well. Exchange residents, who will be part of that community, already have the opportunity to take part in a vibrant inner-city lifestyle. This opportunity will be augmented by walkable streets and usable public spaces right on their doorstep.

To find out what the experience of living in Braamfontein is like, one need do no more than ask a resident of The Exchange. All of them speak of how much they love the combination of the retro industrial space, with modern fittings, and speak of the ease of access to just about anywhere they need to get to in Joburg. Residents range from university students to financial advisors working right on The Exchange’s doorstep to the stretches of Hyde Park.

“It’s close to everything that I love, from the university to 44 Stanley to Melville. You can explore anything and everything, with Fordsburg and Newtown just down the road. It’s a lively and vibey place to live,” says Skhumbuzo Makwasa (Entrepreneur & Student).

Claire Lord (Café Owner), another Exchange resident, adds that she loves being halfway between the northern and southern suburbs of Joburg, close to Parkhurst and Greenside. “It just has the best of everything right at your fingertips. And sometimes there’s a really great party happening here. But you can also get away from it all – there’s real serenity in terms of the surroundings.”

All the residents speak of how affordable The Exchange is, giving them abundant space at a fraction of the cost of similar apartments further north.

Paultre Desrosiers (USA Expat & Entrepreneur) comes home to cook and stream videos using The Exchange’s high-speed internet access (in all units). “I chose to live here because of the value. It’s almost twice the amount of space for the price. And it’s a brand-new product.”

Chris Van (Investment Advisor & Screenplay Writer) says that he was one of the first residents to move in, and he just loves coming home to relax in his apartment, having a drink and playing music. He also loves being in vibrant Braamfontein. “This is the heart of the city and a microcosm of the country. I enjoy being a part of the real Johannesburg.”

Ndalama Ndhambi (Medical Student at WITS) agrees, saying that he believes Braamfontein is a vibrant area waiting to grow. “I’m glad that I was here from the get-go, before the area grew into the perfect place for students and young executives to stay.”

It’s clear that those who live in The Exchange love being there, for everything that it has to offer, as well as for its location in the heart of vibey, growing Braamfontein. The residents are as diverse as the broader community, and are proud to be a part of something exciting and original. The landscape of Braamfontein might be changing in the coming years, but the great value and innovative thinking that makes The Exchange what it is will always stay the same.