Fourways Gardens Residential Estate5th Apr 2017
The Garden of Eden of Estates
Five million people reside in gated communities today. These consist of over 6750 organized communitues. Estates and sectional title schemed account for over 16.7% of developed land in South Africa. Fourways Gardens was the very first estate conceptualised and built in South Africa in 1983 and it has literally revolutionised the way we live today.
In 1983, Angloprop, an affiliate of the Anglo American Company, built Fourways Gardens Estate on the northern outskirts of the City of Gold, Johannesburg. In those days family and friends found visiting their loved ones in Fourways Gardens cumbersome due to long distances and referred to them as living out in the bush. Today, the district of Fourways is the fastest growing commercial and residential hub in northern Sandton.
It is roughly as far as one can go in the city before metropolitan Johannesburg dissolves into rolling hills and game farms. Locals are spoilt for choice with the many centres, restaurants and the Monte Casino Resort with its array of entertainment options and activities available. A state-of-the -art hospital located within five minutes’ drive makes for peace of mind. For family field trips the easily accessible Cradle of Humankind and Hartbeespoort Dam are within thirty minutes driving distance. In fact, the river that runs through the Fourways Gardens Estate, which is a branch of the Jukskei River, runs all the way to Hartbeespoort Dam.
The area of Fourways is rich in history. Before the district was called Fourways, the Eriksen family built the Cape Dutch style Norscot House on this game farm in the early 1920’s. Over the years the land and large home was sold off piece by piece and the remainder was eventually given to the City Council of Johannesburg in the 1970’s. The mansion now serves the community as Norscot Manor Recreation Centre and is definitely worth a visit for its superb art deco finishes. Named after the four-way stop where William Nicol Drive and Witkoppen Road meet, take a detour to the Lonehill Koppie before visiting Fourways Gardens Estate, where urban legend goes that years ago alarmed residents had the area declared a nature reserve in a hurry, as rumour had it that an American bought the very topmost rock of the Lonehill Koppie and this was how they prevented him from removing said rock to American soil. Aptly named The Garden of Eden of estates, the lush gardens, plant life and beautiful verges really are a spectacular sight.
Well established homes, most of which have a non-imposing street front, superbly blend into their surroundings. This estate does not have specific aesthetic guidelines, rather home owners are asked to follow an aesthetic flow which creates a traditional suburban feel. One gets the idea that the homes were designed more around family comfort and living rather than around a flashy exterior facade. The beautiful gardens create a wonderful sense of tranquillity. As many as three generations have lived and still live on the estate, which is unique in any environment. Often Grandparents would have settled here in the eighties, with their children following suit after getting married and starting their own families. There are six such families where all three generations currently still live on the estate and many more of two generations living together. The family unit, old world values and overall quality of living are what is at the core of this estate’s ethos. Parents have a choice of endorsed educational facilities in the area, ranging from private to highly reputable government schools. Of the 940 stands on this estate, only three are vacant, with two of these currently under construction. One cluster development and one townhouse complex also add to the variety of living arrangements on offer. Interestingly the streets of this estate are still owned and maintained by the Johannesburg Road Agency and do not belong to the estate itself.
Adjacent to the estate, a proclaimed and protected conservation area lies on the remains of early mine activities. This area is home to blue cranes, leopard shell tortoises and two spotted eagle owls. The estate arranges occasional hikes through this area where residents can come closer to nature. In conjunction with the Johannesburg Zoo, after a successful four year environmental programme, the blue cranes were released into this reserve.
Another achievement for the estate was when the two spotted eagle owls, in partnership with Eco Solutions, were introduced to this natural habitat area. Spotted eagle owls are usually territorial but immediately took to their new home, and became accustomed to the residents within a very short period of time. The estate is justifiably very proud of what they have accomplished with these animals and the reserve, as these projects have created awareness amongst the residents regarding wildlife and animal conservation. Back on the estate itself, birdlife is abundant. Fourways Gardens Estate is truly a bird lovers dream.
The estate has recently undergone renovations and upgrades, where the clubhouse with restaurant, bar and children’s playground area act as hub for entertainment and the hall is available for hire for private functions. For sports enthusiasts there are tennis courts, basket balls hoops, cricket nets and soccer nets. Many open parks, dams with ducks and walkways, further draw residents outdoors, once again proving that this estate was designed with the family in mind. The estate management have a dedicated team that involve their residents in regular fun filled events held on the estate.
A very successful security model in place has ensured that the residents can live a stress free life and sleep soundly at night. Fourways Gardens is currently researching the various options available for faster connection and communication and plans to roll out with a suitable program soon. However, communication with the outside world feels like the last priority when strolling around the streets of this estate. The tranquil setting is what these residents have opted for, as a way to be removed from the bustle of corporate Johannesburg, a place where they can come home to connect with nature and themselves once more.
Fourways Gardens is a true gem of an estate that is sure to win you over when you visit. The Garden of Eden of estates where it all began. A great leader and showcase for the rest to follow full of character and charm. We can see why residents decide to stay.
– First gated community / estate established in 1983
– Area declared a nature reserve in order to save the Lonehill Koppie
– 940 stands, 1 townhouse complex and 1 cluster home development
– Stands average size 900m² – 1700m²
– Rich in bird and plant life, home to two spotted eagle owls
Within a radius of approximately 4 kms around Fourways Gardens Residential Estate one would find the following:
Agora Shopping Centre
Broadacres Shopping Centre
Fourways Crossing Shopping Centre
Leaping Frog Shopping Centre
Douglasdale Police Station
Golf course and golf driving range
Primary and Secondary private and government schools