Rosebank: the future Manhattan of Joburg. A good thing?

The future Manhattan of Joburg? 

30 Jellicoe Fluxmans SE cnr Cradock

Well this might be a glamorous by-line but if infrastructure, traffic access, services and occupancy do not meet the supply of the huge number of new buildings going up in Rosebank, it’s going to be another business district snarl-up like Sandton. However it does seem that there is a conscious effort to make the area more pedestrian friendly and to make a green belt from  Tyrwhitt Ave to  Baker Street between Jan Smuts in the west and Oxford in the east.  Plus in keeping with current construction trends, most buildings are being built to a Prime Grade standard to reach a minimum of a 4 Star Green Star rating. 

Rosebank as a village hub 

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. Who remembers the Odeon Cinema on Oxford Rd;  the Belfast clock marking the meeting spot for teenagers on a Saturday afternoon; the Kelvin Grove – the Saturday lunch student hangout place; the OK Bazaars with the internal stairs from the parking lot on the west side giving a birds eye view of the entire ground floor as you descended; and that steakhouse institution – the Golden Spur? All long long gone. Rosebank is unrecognizable even from 3 years ago.

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Map of Rosebank development

A flock of cranes 144 Oxford Rd  August 2018. Source:
Artist’s impression of the Growth Point building 144 Oxford Road when complete

When the Gautrain established a station in Rosebank, it was bound to happen- a huge flurry of development.  While of course I drive to and through Rosebank often – it’s only 3km from Liz at Lancaster – I had not internalized all the demolitions, new buildings and general development.


Office buildings and corporate headquarters 

The media blurb for the Link reads:  “Redefine Properties’ new premium development, Rosebank Link, is set to become Rosebank skyline’s newest icon [now completed October 2018]. Towering an impressive 15 storeys high, the building [consists] of two basement parking levels, a pedestrian walkway with ground floor retail space, a five-level parkade, and eight storeys of rentable office space.”  

The Link  173 Oxford Rd as of August 2018. Source:
Artist’s impression of the Link on Oxford Road (where the Mews used to be)

And the largest and most ambitious of developments is Oxford Park being developed by Intaprop.  Here is an artist’s impression of the full development (300,000 square metres) comprising major new buildings stretching all the way from Jellicoe Ave to Bompas Rd.  It has been proposed that 200,000 square metres be dedicated to offices and ancillary retail, and 100,000 square metres reserved for residential use.  One wonders when supply will finally properly exceed demand.  More on Oxford Park

Artist’s impression of Oxford Park stretching from Jellicoe to Bompas Rd.
Artist’s impression of Phase 1 of Oxford Park, the BPSA building.
Oxford Park Phase 1 Cnr Jellicoe and Oxford Rd. Source: taken August 2018
Oxford Corner with Rosebank Towers ) in the background. SW corner of Jellicoe and Oxford. Source:

Residential developments 

 And with the office developments comes the demand for so-called executive apartments.   


At 20 storeys Park Central 6 Keyes Ave cnr Baker, is set to become ‘the tallest residential building in Rosebank, with 150 luxurious apartments from studios to penthouses’.
The Tyrwhitt is a 12 storey Renprop development comprising predominantly 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. The ground floor coffee shop will encourage a pedestrian culture. Source:
The Median (where the old ABSA building was). Artist’s impression.  NW corner of Tyrhwitt and Cradock
Vantage N-E Cnr Bath and Tyrwhitt.  A Renprop and Grapnel development Source:
The Bolton 2 Sturdee Ave Cnr Bolton. Source:

Shopping and retail 

The stores added to The Rosebank Mall (V4) have expanded the shopping offerings and while it adds to the glitz and glamour it has also, sadly, I think, taken the Mall into the realm of the bland international chic of Sandton City  and every other Joburg Mall sameness. In addition, clearly to control the retail footprint ensuring potential consumers walk the length of the Mall, strategic escalators have been removed. Plus the restaurants and coffee bars are all clustered on the north east making, for example, a quick bite near the movies and parking on the other side of the Mall, very difficult.  There have also been upgrades to The Zone  and The Firs .  

And of course Rosebank still offers the wonderful  Rosebank Sunday Market on the rooftop of the Rosebank Mall

Keyes Art Mile 

It seems there is a major development along Keyes Avenue towards Rosebank Road with every 2nd house having been demolished leaving vacant properties. 

Vacant stands on Keyes Ave Rosebank. Jan Smuts Ave in the background. Source: August 2018
Vacant stand Keyes Ave Rosebank. Will they establish whether the tree is a heritage resource and keep it? Source: August 2018

Watch this space for more major developments in Lower Rosebank. 

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