Back in 1657, four main farms were established by the Dutch on the southern border of the colony, namely Questenberg, Veldhuyzen, Stellenberg and Weltevreden. Today Claremont and Newlands cover what was, originally these farms.
The British took over the colony in 1814. In 1822 a portion of Weltevreden was renamed Claremont. From 1834 to 1838, Sir John Herschel lived at Veldhuyzen and the village developed from this settlement.
The well known Girls school, Herschel, founded in 1922, was named after him. From the 1840's public transport, in the form of horse drawn carriages were used along this route until the opening of the railway to Wynberg in 1864.
This made Claremont property in the area more accessible. The Claremont Town Hall, dates back to 1879, the telephone system was introduced in the early 1880's, and an electric tramway in 1897.
After the Boer war there was a housing boom which resulted in sub-division of the estates. In the 1960's apartheid was enforced and the "Coloreds" were forced to leave the area, resulting in many properties standing empty until the 1970's, when commercial development started along the main road. Arderne Gardens, in the heart of Claremont has been very popular for wedding photographs for many years.
Claremont is a bustling shopping district, the first shopping centre of significance was opened in 1973, Cavendish Square which has since been revamped and offers a shopping experience to rival the best in Cape Town. The Atrium was built a bit later, and is now known as 'Stadium on Main', the link has recently been added between these two commercial hubs.
Most banks have branches in the area. The recent refurbishment of Pick and Pay as well as Virgin Active on the Main Road, have made access to these facilities far easier. A number of the leading brands of motor cars have show rooms along the main road. Several well known corporations and financial service providers have their offices in Claremont.
Schools and Access
Claremont is a desirable suburb in which to own property as there are a number of leading schools within the suburb:
Western Province Preparatory School for Boys
Herschel Girls School
are all located in Claremont, surrounded by residential property. Claremont has easy access to the M3 as well as the M5.
Property in Claremont
Today, Claremont has a wide variety of residential property to choose from. Larger family homes in Upper Claremont, smaller erven in the "Grove" area and townhouse complexes or gated complexes which offer the quintessential "lock up and go" property. Claremont also has a large selection of apartments, over the past couple of years three commercial buildings in the heart of Claremont have been converted into up-market apartments, one being Intaba. Intaba, is a popular up market apartment block which sits next to the Cavendish centre, it was launched in 2004 and has proved to be one of the Southern suburbs most secure return on investments. It consists of Studio Apartments from 1 million through to Penthouse Apartments at over 8 million, it has been an extremely successful Development which Greeff has been privileged to be apart of from the word go!
In the throes of a massive upgrade that will see it benefit from in excess of R1- billion worth of property development, new, planned or currently underway, Claremont is currently making a comeback set to rival that of the inner city itself. Traditionally perceived as a suburb of contradictions, linking the well-heeled side of the Southern Suburbs to the more affordable east, and possessing a central business district where world-class buildings stood side by side with derelict eyesores,
Claremont has long been both the anomaly and the dominant upmarket retail destination of the Southern Suburbs. It's now upping and extending its profile. Skilfully drawing together all the stakeholders in the area - from developers and investors to informal traders the Claremont Improvement District Company (CIDC) has been fundamental in what is termed the ‘Claremont Renaissance.' With extensive studies and proposals (formulated in partnership with the City of Cape Town) finally achieving realisation, the area is fast transforming itself into a vibrant commercial, retail and high-density residential node.
The Claremont regeneration incorporates a full-service spectrum from the redeveloping and rejuvenation of the existing public environment to the creation of new facilities and ‘people friendly' urban spaces. Perhaps the most significant of these changes is the transformation of Main Road into the new Claremont Boulevard. Although, to some degree, the public transport and vehicular section of the road will remain, the intention is to convert this previous ‘disaster area' into an attractive, predominantly pedestrian walkway complete with tree'd areas and brick and cobbled paving.
A section of the suburb is set to become what the CIDC refer to as a place ‘to go to' rather than ‘to go through.' Attractive and well-managed market areas are being created to support the progressive, proactive relocation of informal traders to areas and ‘activity spines' such as those undergoing transformation in Dreyer Street and Newry Square. New public transport interchanges that will link the bus and taxi facilities with the railway station are now well advanced and will greatly relieve the Main Road of its congestion and also provide improved amenities to commuters and traders.
The Claremont Boulevard itself will receive a boost from the R104 million refurbishment of the old Link Shopping Centre (currently underway) by Old Mutual Property Group. The Link will be renamed Cavendish Connect and is set to subscribe to the finely tuned Cavendish retail standards.
The influx of approximately 2000 additional people making their homes in Claremont this year alone, will, it is predicted add more than R70 million to annual retail spending in the precinct. The upgrading of Dreyer Street between Cavendish Centre and the Cavendish Connect) and its informal market, will contribute to what the CIDC term the ‘Four Squares' concept, a proactive greening project - and the making of a far more environmentally friendly destination. This entails the linking of the four major public spaces via pedestrian-friendly landscaped connections.
Dreyer Street is one such connection. Landscape and urban design proposals have also been prepared for each of the entry points to Claremont Central to create a ‘sense of arrival.' These gateways include: Campground, Protea and Main Roads / Main Road and Bowwood-Stanhope Roads / Protea Road and Cavendish Street / Claremont Boulevard and Main Road. In anticipation of the completion of this new environment,
Main Road has seen development come on stream like never before, with expansion advancing into feeder roads. From the launch of the first new residential block, Seven Miles South, and the conversion of the old ABSA bank building, (which also incorporates a new showroom for BMW's Auric Auto), the momentum has continued apace with ‘affordable' residential and mixed use projects abutting the more expensive developments such as the impressive Intaba at the north end of Claremont. The trend is set to continue, creating an urban renewal impact that effectively exceeds any previously seen in other central business districts in SA, and ultimately boosting market value in the area.
Claremont's enviable proximity to schools, UCT, shops, world-class rugby and cricket grounds - coupled with the massive infrastructure enhancement - make for exciting times! The CIDC and those who are embracing its initiatives are breathing new life into the suburb, and creating a better place for all.
There are sports clubs and facilities, close at hand, the Claremont Tennis Club and Celtic Harriers Athletics club situated at the Cricket Oval, opposite the Vineyard Hotel, which in itself is an institution, offering a health spa, restaurant, and beautiful gardens.
The Vineyard is a historical landmark, which was the "Country" house of Lady Anne Barnard and now a much sought after Boutique Hotel, which is very popular with overseas visitors and locals as it is within walking distance of both Newlands Cricket Ground as well as Newlands Rugby Stadium. Medical facilities include Kingsbury Hospital and Claremont Medical Centre. Along Bowood Road, a number of Dental practices are to be found.
Claremont property is the "heart of the Southern Suburbs, with heavy old oak trees and much greenery yet conveniently situated to schools, highways, prime shopping and twenty minutes drive to both the Atlantic and Indian oceans for good surfing and white beaches.