The heart of Hatfield gets fit for the future

Expansive redevelopment plans are set to revitalise this popular district.

Pretoria’s Hatfield Square is at the heart of an exciting new development that will inject new life into the popular student district. The new mixed-use precinct will include a state-of-the-art student residences, retail and leisure facilities, all located around a cosmopolitan piazza where people from all walks of life can gather and socialise.

The revitalisation of this district is a project developed by the Respublica Student Living property fund, a joint venture between Respublica and Redefine Properties. Their vision is to make the district an area of choice for Pretoria’s student community to live, study and play, building on its status as one of the city’s most-loved precincts.

“We know how much Pretoria’s student community love this part of the city, and we’re working hard to make it even more of a student hub for another 2,200 students in the coming years,” says Craig McMurray, CEO of Respublica.

“Sensitive to the history of Hatfield Square and its role in Pretoria’s student lifestyle, Respublica plans on retaining the original square for public enjoyment by developing a revitalised lifestyle offering surrounding a piazza that integrates the student community into Hatfield’s fabric,” he says.

The redevelopment of Hatfield Square will take place over the next two years in a two-phased approach, according to Mike Ruttell, Executive Director: Development at Redefine Properties. “Demolition has already commenced, and the first phase of construction will be complete by the end of 2016. The second phase will be ready for occupation by the end of 2017,” he says.

While the precinct will focus on meeting the needs of students at large, it also provides a rejuvenated public space. The surrounding community, and the resident students, will enjoy a vibrant social meeting place that offers restaurants, convenience stores and coffee shops.

“We’re excited to be working with a select group of retailers to ensure that the precinct supports students’ lifestyles and academic needs. I am convinced students will be very excited about the offering we have planned to return the square to being the social hub of Hatfield.” says McMurray.

Respublica residences typically include canteens, recreation rooms, gyms, computer rooms and study spaces, making sure that there’s a space to do anything that students need to, whether it’s socialising, studying, or keeping fit and healthy. They also offer access to WiFi and an integrated residence life programme, to help students adjust to the responsibilities of independence and tertiary education.

Respublica’s portfolio of residences includes Saratoga Village and The Fields in Doornfontein, which provide accommodation for University of Johannesburg, Central Johannesburg College and University of the Witwatersrand students. In Pretoria, West City, Urban Nest accommodate students from TUT and UP, as well as from various other colleges in the area. In February 2016, Eastwood Village, Respublica’s newest 538 bed development in Arcadia, will open its doors to students.