Irene at a glance
Steeped in history and tradition, the suburb of Irene offers a synergy of urban and rural living, reminiscent of an English village but with a distinct flavour of its own. Originally proclaimed in 1902, the Irene of today features modern roads interspersed with narrow lanes and often lined with walls built from local rock. Homes are upmarket and range from vintage to ultra-modern, with extensive, well-established gardens rich in trees and birdlife.
In more recent times, Irene has been entirely fenced off and transformed into a boomed area now known as the Irene Security Estate, a move which made it possible to preserve and maintain the rural charm and tranquility of the original Irene. The Irene Landowners' Association (ILA) is responsible for the Irene security scheme, which includes the perimeter electric fence, security patrols and security posts at the entrances to the boomed area. In exchange for a small levy, Irene residents can live in a safe and secure environment, and all are encouraged to join the ILA.
Although Irene has universal appeal, it is especially popular with young families as it offers a secure environment for raising children, with large gardens and safe streets to play or ride a bike. The Irene Oval is a popular recreational spot where children can meet up with their friends, and families can enjoy picnics and walk the dog. For this reason, Irene properties are highly sought after, and only a handful appear on the market each year.
In recent years Irene has expanded due to the development of a number of upmarket security estates within the municipal boundaries of Irene, but outside the boomed area. These include Cornwall Hill Country Estate, Irene Farm Villages and Southdowns Residential Estate, each with its own niche, demographics and distinctive character.
Irene boasts excellent schools, including Irene Primary School, Cornwall College and Southdowns College. Top-notch medical facilities are available at the Highveld and Southdowns medical centres, amongst others. Unitas, South Africa's largest private hospital, is a ten-minute drive away.
Situated between the R21 and N1 highways, Irene is ideally positioned for easy access to most of Gauteng, including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Krugersdorp, Lanseria Airport, Kempton Park and OR Tambo International. For a more relaxed daily commute, the Gautrain offers a convenient alternative to reach both Johannesburg and Pretoria, with the Centurion station situated approximately 5km from Irene. The Gautrain shuttle-bus route between the station and Southdowns touches on the outskirts of the Irene boomed area. If you're travelling further afield, the Gautrain service to OR Tambo airport places South Africa and the entire globe at your doorstep!
Landmarks in the area include the Smuts House Museum, and the Irene Concentration Camp Cemetery dating from the Second Anglo-Boer War. Irene Dairy Farm is another local attraction deserving of mention, an operational dairy farm that has been in continuous production for more than a century, complete with restaurants and deli. The nearby Rietvlei Nature Reserve is another popular destination for those who enjoy the outdoors, with game-viewing, fishing, hiking and biking trails on offer.
For the shopping enthusiast, the area is rich in shopping malls, including Centurion Mall, Irene Village Mall, Eco Park Lifestyle Centre, and Southdowns Centre. For the gourmet, an abundance of restaurants and eateries cater to all tastes.
For those enjoying a more active lifestyle, the area boasts top-end Planet Fitness and Virgin Active gyms, and an assortment of sports clubs including the Irene Villagers Cricket Club. The Irene Country Club boasts an 18-hole golf course and facilities for numerous other sporting disciplines, as does the Centurion Country Club. Supersport Park, the home of the Titans cricketing team, hosts both domestic and international-level cricketing events.
In conclusion, the property market in Irene Security Estate is stable and mature, and although properties here are not cheap, the total cost of ownership in Irene compares very favourably to other security estates. If you're shopping for a new home, be sure to give serious consideration to buying in Irene!