Up until 1981, Midrand was known as Halfway House and was the midway point between the region’s two major hubs, namely Pretoria and Johannesburg. Very little is left of the sprawling farms and smallholdings that once characterised this area. Where once only a few corporate head offices stuck out across the horizon, the area is now awash with commercial properties, warehouses, hotels, conference venues and suburbs, with continued construction bringing even more bustle and business to the area.
Most notably, the Mall of Africa that will be the continent’s largest mall (over 300 shops) will join the N1 Business Park and International Business Gateway as one of the most prestigious commercial developments in Midrand. Construction is under way of what is to become the most sought-after urban structure to the northern region of Gauteng, known as Waterfall City. The development, due to open in April 2016, will act as the central hub for retail, offices, conference and recreational amenities, residential and city parking and will bring renewed interest and investment to Midrand.
Additional job opportunities bring more workforce, which will further uplift the surrounding suburbs and attract new residential areas for the middle- to high-income groups. The Midrand Graduate Institute offers a number of university degrees and the area has many schools and pre-schools. Landmarks include South Africa’s largest conference facility, Gallager Estate, and a recently constructed mosque. The area is also home to a host of corporate headquarters, large-scale industries, African Union’s Pan-African Parliament, Kyalami Motor Racing Circuit, Grand Central Airport, large-scale shopping centres, elite suburbs and the South African Lipizzaners riding academy.
It is this resurgence in the area that was the final deciding factor for Guy Stehlik, CEO of BON Hotels, to take on the hotel business ownership and management of the old Constantia Hotel, which has been renamed BON Hotel Midrand. “I am confident about the hotel’s renewed success given the area’s improved status, accessibility, surrounding amenities, improved services and facilities, and affordability,” says Stehlik.
The hotel, one of the first conference venues in the area, enjoyed a thriving business in the 80s and 90s and many will have fond memories of Viva España, the traditional Spanish restaurant (right down to the lampshades), located on the property. BON Hotel Midrand is fast becoming the conference venue of choice again for corporates in the area, added to which its convenient location in proximity to the main highways and the Gautrain makes it a viable option too for companies further afield. O R Tambo is only 25 minutes away for incoming delegates and it is also a convenient venue for breakaways or overflows from Gallager Estate.
The city is fairly modern, having experienced much growth over the last 10 years and with much more to come. “Midrand is gaining ground once again and is the city to watch,” says Stehlik, re-affirming his decision to invest in the potential of BON Hotel Midrand.