The suburb of Central is the oldest in Port Elizabeth and thanks to the fact that it has been undergoing substantial urban renewal in the past few years, the apartments and houses to let here are increasingly sought-after.
Central is of course close to the business centre of the city, but also boasts some panoramic harbour views and many historic and romantic landmarks dating back to the 1820 Settlers, including the Donkin Reserve, the Pyramid and Light House, the Grand Hotel, City Hall, the Port Elizabeth Library and the Feather Market Centre.
With a mixture of property types and architectural styles, including Cape Dutch, Victorian, Edwardian and Art Nouveau, this was once the city’s wealthiest neighbourhood, but became very run down with many derelict buildings until large-scale upgrading began about 10 years ago as part of the city council’s inner-city renewal initiative.
Read more about the suburb of Central
- R6,800 p/m
- ST JOHNS GATE
- R5,000 p/m
- WINGATE MANSIONS 11
- R15,000 p/m
- MALLORY TRADE 17
Investors were given tax incentives to restore and revamp many of the buildings, security was significantly beefed up and today, it is regarded as one of the most trendy addresses in Port Elizabeth – a suburb that is rich in its diversity of cultures and talents, and a great place for students and young professionals to rent an affordable apartment amid an exciting mix of entrepreneurial businesses, arts and crafts workshops, boutiques, cafes and ethic restaurants.
The area has also regained popularity as a tourist destination, especially since there is now a cruise liner terminal in the nearby harbour.
Those who do rent a home in Central will also find themselves within walking distance of the St George’s Park, which has a public swimming pool as well as a cricket stadium, and also hosts a monthly ‘Art in the Park’ market. The area is also well-served by public transport and the homes to let here also provide convenient access to the Nelson Mandela University campuses in Summerstrand, as well as the city’s most popular beaches, including Kings, Hobie, Humewood and Summerstrand..
Port Elizabeth is renowned for its watersports opportunities, including all kinds of surfing, sailing, skiing and swimming to diving and angling. One can also walk or cycle along the city’s long beachfront, play beach volleyball or shop for local arts and crafts, while other options for weekend fun include the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment complex in Summerstrand, which is also the location of the penguin rehab centre. There is also a reptile park in Humewood, a humpback dolphin trail at Pollock beach and plenty of opportunity to take in magnificent views while eating a meal at one of the city’s excellent beachfront restaurants.
For everyday necessities, there is the Stanford Crossing shopping centre on Russel Road, and a variety of shops along Govan Mbeki Drive, while medical facilities in the area include the Life St George’s private hospital.
Renting a house in Central is also a good option for families, thanks to the wide choice of primary and secondary schools here, as well as tertiary institutions such as the Afda film school and Lilitha nursing college. Schools include the Greenwood, Elsen Academy, St Augustine’s and St George’s primary schools, as well as the Khumbulani, Hill and St George’s high schools.
Properties to let in Central range from rooms and bachelor flats to two and three-bedroom apartments, and from quaint Victorian homes to modern townhouses. Monthly rentals start at around R1800 for student rooms, R2700 for one-bedroom flats and R3200 for two-bedroom options. There are three-bedroom apartments and townhouses to let at rentals ranging from R5000 a month to around R11 000, while house rentals start at around R8000 and range up to about R15 000 a month.