Real es­tate

Chi­nese devel­oper Dalian Wanda de­buts its swanky River Tower apart­ments in Lon­don— com­plete with plush karaoke bar

Hong Kong Tatler - - Life -

Chi­nese devel­oper Dalian Wanda de­buts its swanky River Tower apart­ments in Lon­don

If the name Dalian Wanda is start­ing to ring more bells these days, it might be be­cause the Main­land Chi­nese con­glom­er­ate has been ac­quir­ing a tro­phy-load of prime branded la­bels, such as su­pery­acht­maker Sun­seeker (the craft of choice for James Bond and Li Ka-shing) in 2013. The group, chaired by Wang Jian­lin­—cur­rently Asia’s rich­est man, with a net worth es­ti­mated at about US$38 bil­lion—is also muscling in on the Lon­don prop­erty scene. From geopol­i­tics to the geo-prop­er­tied, the new age of 21stcen­tury pioneers is upon us—and it’s evolv­ing at break­neck speed.

Wit­ness Wanda One, the UK sub­sidiary of China’s lead­ing real es­tate devel­oper, now re­leas­ing its first apart­ments in River Tower at the land­mark One Nine Elms re­gen­er­a­tion site in Lon­don, stretch­ing along the Thames be­tween Vaux­hall and Battersea. The tower is the sec­ond of its kind and con­nects to a fives­tar ho­tel (Wanda’s first out­side China) that the devel­oper has been con­struct­ing on the same site. Fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful launch of City Tower in 2014, the 161-me­tre River Tower has been de­signed by worl­drenowned ar­chi­tec­tural prac­tice Kohn Ped­er­sen Fox As­so­ci­ates and boasts 103 pri­vate apart­ments, rang­ing from one-bed­room flats to deluxe pen­t­house du­plexes. Prices will start from US$2 mil­lion. The first re­lease com­prises 77 ex­clu­sive one-, two-, and three-bed­room apart­ments, with in­te­ri­ors by United De­sign Part­ner­ship.

Those liv­ing in River Tower ben­e­fit from ac­cess to the pri­vate res­i­dents’ lounge on the 19th floor as well as a res­i­dents’ ob­ser­va­tion deck on the 42nd. In ad­di­tion, all res­i­dents will have full ac­cess to the Wanda Vista Ho­tel Lon­don’s fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing the fully equipped gym, spa, swimming pool, and nu­mer­ous restau­rants and bars. They will also be able to or­der room ser­vice to their apart­ments, and

have ex­clu­sive ac­cess to their own concierge and but­ler ser­vice.

“The apart­ments have a di­rect link to the ho­tel—no other group has done this yet in Lon­don,” says Tim Gawthorn, sales and mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor at Wanda One (UK). “This is an im­por­tant mile­stone for Wanda as we pre­pare to launch the sec­ond phase of the One Nine Elms de­vel­op­ment,” he adds. “We recog­nise that res­i­dents at One Nine Elms de­mand five-star ser­vice as part of their lifestyle choice, and have there­fore worked closely with the Wanda Vista Ho­tel Lon­don to en­sure that all those liv­ing in this latest phase can en­joy the added ex­tras this de­vel­op­ment has to of­fer.”

In a re­cent re­port, May­fair es­tate agent Wetherell ex­plains that it is get­ting harder to dis­tin­guish be­tween ho­tels and apart­ments in these build­ings, with the de­sign and ex­pe­ri­ence merg­ing into one. “Branded res­i­dences are be­gin­ning to pen­e­trate the mar­ket,” says man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Peter Wetherell. “These are stun­ning prop­er­ties at­tached to some of Lon­don’s high­est-pro­file re­de­vel­op­ments. They of­fer the ul­ti­mate in syn­ergy—ul­tra-lux­ury ho­tels, with an ad­di­tional wing or sec­tion of pri­vate sale or ser­viced apart­ments.”

The ameni­ties at River Tower in­clude a lux­ury karaoke bar—a sig­na­ture Wanda prod­uct—open to ho­tel guests and res­i­dents, and for pri­vate hire. It’s lit­tle won­der, per­haps, given Wang’s pen­chant for en­ter­tain­ment. His group also owns US cin­ema chain AMC, has plans to open an amuse­ment park in Main­land China to ri­val Dis­ney­land and Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios, and holds a 20 per cent stake in Span­ish football club Atlético Madrid, which the group bought for US$52 mil­lion in Jan­uary. The fol­low­ing month, it bought Swiss sports mar­ket­ing firm In­front Sports & Media for US$1.9 bil­lion, which holds broad­cast­ing rights to global sport­ing events such as football’s World Cup.

Cen­trally lo­cated, the One Nine Elms de­vel­op­ment en­joys a va­ri­ety of di­rect na­tional and in­ter­na­tional trans­port links, con­nect­ing res­i­dents to the West End in 10 min­utes, Ca­nary Wharf in 24 min­utes, City Air­port in 36 min­utes and Heathrow Air­port in 54 min­utes. The land­mark de­vel­op­ment, which will soon be­come one of Western Europe’s tallest residential projects, is due for com­ple­tion in 2018.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to oneni­neelms.com

Lon­don call­ing

From top: River Tower is set to be­come one of Western Europe’s tallest residential projects; the 77 apart­ments will boast views over the River Thames

city slick­ers

Res­i­dents will have full ac­cess to the Wanda Vista Ho­tel Lon­don fa­cil­i­ties and will be able to or­der room ser­vice to their apart­ments

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