Rosebank is a modern mini-metropolis located in the trendy northern suburbs of Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, Region B, bounded on the west side by Parkhurst and Parktown North, on the east side by Melrose, and on the north side by Sandhurst. Comprising about 2,000 people in an area of 0.83 sq km (0.32 sq mi), Rosebank is a vibrant neighborhood filled with globally conscious venues for art, entertainment, and high technology. Impressive art deco facades and architecture decorate the city’s buildings. Rosebank is accessible to upscale shopping malls and café districts, making it a very chic place to live and work, and a popular weekend destination.
Rosebank has grown up tremendously since urban development first began here in the early 1900’s. Farmland and orchard estates, like the Rosemill Orchards, were gradually transformed into a somewhat seedy assortment of industrial parks and markets by around 1950. By 1976 development had begun on a R15 million shopping centre on Oxford Road where the Rosebank Mall, the Firs, and Mutual Square are now extremely fashionable shopping areas.
More recently, a wave of uber-modernization has given rise to proud landmarks like the “Gautrain” rapid transit line, the presitigious Zone@Rosebank shopping mall, the popular African Craft Market, and many gorgeous movie theaters, fine restaurants, and electrifying entertainment options. Each summer, the South African Chefs Association (SACA) demonstrates the finest dishes served by its most skillful members at Rosebank’s Rooftop Market on the first Sunday of each month.
All of this is carefully coordinated by The Rosebank Management District to create a world class experience without losing its local cultural flavor and while preserving enough greenery to remind residents that they are still on planet Earth. As a testament to the progress of Rosebank, it has become the host of the AFDA Film Festival and the Everard Read Gallery of commercial fine art. International business is also booming here, as Rosebank has become one of Gauteng’s fastest-growing commercial nodes. A massive business park called the “Bierman” is under construction near the train station to provide 30,000 square meters of office space for companies eager to join in the economic success of the city.
Rosebank enjoys a dry, sunny climate in the summer season dappled with late afternoon thundershowers. The average maximum daytime temperature is 25.6 °C (78.1 °F) in January, dropping to an average maximum of around 16 °C (61 °F) in June. Winter is even sunnier, with mild temperatures during the day and chilly nights of temperatures around 4.1 °C (39.4 °F), with a record low of −8.2 °C (17.2 °F), recorded in 1979.
Despite the density of this area, Rosebank has maintained many trees and small parks in a conscious effort to be eco-friendly. Joburg City Parks has recently planted dozens of trees around town, especially along the eastern border of Oxford Road. A short walk farther towards the east leads to the Killarney Country Club, James and Ethel Gray Park and the Melrose Wild Bird Sanctuary.
Activities and Amenities
Rosebank features a variety of post-modern urban amenities for leisure, shopping, and entertainment, making it a popular destination for the well-to-do. Thousands of tourists and Joburg locals flock here on weekends. The Gautrain rapid transit system connects the underground lines to Rosebank and links directly to OR Tambo Airport, getting there in less than half an hour while traveling up to 160 km/h (100 mph)!
The Roof-Top Market at Rosebank Mall hosts the best flea market in South Africa, with over 500 stalls serving quality clothing, ceramics, art and craft objects, antiques and curios. Every Sunday at the African Craft Market, skilled African artists from around the continent display their masterful handmade fabrics, clothing, jewelers and ceramics from as far away as the Ivory Coast to the Congo. Coca Cola Park Stadium and Wanderers Cricket Ground are only a few kilometers away.
Rosebank has a thriving entertainment menu, including major international productions as well as eclectic street performances year round. The nightlife is concentrated near the Design District, including the 21st Century entertainment venue, SET, called the “leading entertainment & corporate venue in Johannesburg” by TOP Billing. Cinema Nouveau at the Rosebank Mall offers the world’s best independent and art house films on its ten-screen multiplex.
The Nike store in the Zone@Rosebank hosts a Nike Run Club, Kaya FM has a station in the city center, and the city provides regular Public Performances at the Rosebank Street Sessions Venue. The annual Joburg Gay Pride Parade also passes through the streets of Rosebank in October.
Celebrity sightings are common in Rosebank. One of its more established commercial districts is the Rosebank Mews, where the leading modeling and talent agencies have offices. One of the more famous landmarks in town is the Crowne Plaza Johannesburg, or “The Rosebank,” which recently celebrated its 80th birthday with another renovation that adds even more modern splendor to its already rich history.
For an exciting place to own a flat or for a modern shopping and entertainment getaway, Rosebank has enough culture and entertainment to fill any itinerary and satisfy all tastes.