Douw Steyn is a local enigma, who quietly developed a 2 000-acre, multi-billion rand, lifestyle estate in the heart of Johannesburg. Let’s put this size into perspective: Steyn City is six times the size of Sandton City, four times the size of Monaco, and 2,5 times the size of Central Park in New York.

Steyn City, developed in collaboration with Steyn City Properties CEO, Giuseppe Plumari, is referred to as a “lifestyle estate” as it encompasses all the elements necessary of a self-sustaining city within a city. Residential, commercial, retail, schooling, leisure – all these segments of everyday life will be available to residents who invest in their portion of the City.

I was one of the select few to be invited to the launch of the estate, which took place late last week. What struck me first was the pristine beauty of the estate, from the manicured landscapes to the tightly-controlled construction taking place in pockets of land.

Gardens of eden

The landscape is exquisite, with half of the estate being constructed to resemble a wooded parkland embracing local flora, with 500 000 indigenous trees already planted, and 1,5 million still to come. Stinkwood, wild olive trees and bushwillows are being grown from seedlings in the on-site nursery and propogation laboratory, and are busy rooting themselves in the “nature culture” of the estate.

These we saw while doing a golf-cart tour of the estate, and are part of the landscape architecture created by Patrick Watson – who incidentally laid out the gardens of the Lost City at Sun City.

Healthy body, healthy mind

Part of the lifestyle estate, is the open-air gym equipment, which is dotted in amongst the trees and rolling lawns, so you can keep your body fit while enjoying the benefits of the outdoors. If gyming is not your thing, you can enjoy activities such as horse riding, mountain biking, tennis, squash, swimming, bird-watching, and of course, the world-class 18-hole Jack Niclaus golf course.

A host of kids’ play areas, from artistic jungle gyms to a skateboard park, allow the kids to stay fit and healthy as well (and away from the TV), while having fun at the same time.

Art in nature

Talking of art, this is one of the things that I most enjoyed about our tour of the estate. Art integrates into the landscape, and architectural ceramist, Charles Gotthard, was appointed to oversee the creation of environmental sculptures by three local artists. From mosaic walls to stone and metal sculptures, the artistic infusion is fascinating, and gives residents and visitors a very different experience of a lifestyle estate.

Living the dream

You will be spoilt for choice on accommodation at Steyn City, with this mixed-use development allowing prospective residents the option to choose from apartments, cluster homes, and full freestanding properties. And all residential properties will be designed according to the latest green principles.

Community living

Our tour of Steyn City highlighted one thing: a wonderful sense of belonging; where a community will grow in a pure environment that embraces the best of the old-world values and new-world conveniences, from a full WiFi-enabled environment, to all the luxury amenities expected from a world-class estate.

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