Doornfontein is the latest in a series of Johannesburg districts setting out to replace the image of ‘urban decay’ with one that appeals to the sophisticated young urbanite. Previously derelict and uninhabitable, areas like Doornfontein are cleaning up and making way for a new wave of city dwellers.
Doornfontein is set to join the ranks of Maboneng and Braamfontein as one of the city’s most popular destinations to study, live, work and play – with the objective of developers in the area bringing the three districts to ultimately blend together.
Local businesses are leading the way for investment into the management and upgrade of public spaces with district managers Specialised Area and Improvement Districts (SAID) predicting that the area will benefit greatly from the various projects in progress.
“The New Doornfontein Improvement District (NDID) is growing at a rapid pace,” says Charl Jooste, spokesperson at SAID. “The decision to turn the area into an improvement district has seen a number of upgrade measures, such as 24-hour security patrol vehicles and clean-up projects within the area.”
A new school and several residential developments are also underway, following the completion Respublica’s newly developed student residence, Saratoga Village, earlier this year.
“At Respublica, we chose Doornfontein as the site for both our residences because it offers easy access to the local University of Johannesburg campus, while offering the security that students need to focus on their studies,” says Craig McMurray, CEO of Respublica. “However, it is still within easy access of major student recreation and entertainment hubs, with public transport in the area making it easy for students to get around.”
City residents are flocking to Doornfontein, eager to experience the a district that is safe and accessible, while maintaining its rustic industrial charm. One of the businesses investing in enhancing Doornfontein’s public spaces is Propertuity, the company behind Maboneng’s rejuvenation, with the company having commissioned several large-scale murals across buildings and along a section of the Joe Slovo Drive bridge.
Doornfontein’s appeal is growing; with the development of public facilities and infrastructure, investment into nurturing the growth of cultural capital and the influx of trendy, young people to the area, Doornfontein is the new kid making a mark on Johannesburg’s urban landscape.