Milpark, Johannesburg

In the heart of former Industria is an emerging district known as Milpark, wedged in between Melville to the west, and Parktown to the east of it.

It lies east of Auckland Park, with Empire Road cutting through its heart, just north of the University of Johannesburg's campus, and The Film, Design and Performance Academy (AFDA). Officially Milpark lies within the jurisdiction of Braamfontein.

It's best known for 44 Stanley Avenue, just south of Empire Road, the 'walled, post-industrial low-rise space with interlinking courtyards' in a series of disused industrial 1930s buildings.

44 Stanley, as Lonely Planet so aptly puts it, is 'the antithesis of consumer tack and a blueprint for future mall development'. Shaded arcades, courtyards filled with trees, beautiful architecture and a collection of eateries and eclectic shops to match makes it one of the most trendy spots in town.

Like the Maboneng precinct and the regeneration of Braamfontein, 44 Stanley is a renegotiation of space. The collection of buildings is home to 25 boutiques, restaurants and creative studios that lie around connecting courtyards. It's where Johannesburg likes to lunch.

Developments like these are a new phenomenon in Johannesburg. They're hugely popular. The fact that they lie in amongst derelict, low-income urban settings only adds to their appeal – Johannesburg is reclaiming the city.

The Rea Vaya Milpark bus stop is only a short walk from 44 Stanley, making it easily accessible. The 18 km bus route includes stops in Soweto, Pennyville, Highgate, Stanley Avenue, Kingsway, Empire Road, Parktown and Braamfontein.

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