TECH GIANTS LEAD THE WAY
Other tech giants are reshaping the property map. Google is expanding by 3,000 staff its European HQ at King’s Cross, while Facebook, Snap and Instagram have relocated to Fitzrovia.
King’s Cross is one of the lower-priced Zone 1 districts. Though it is relative, for a new two-bedroom flat costs just under £1 million. Argent, developer of the new King’s Cross Central business district, says at the outset one of the key regeneration concepts was a “livework-play triangle” integrating homes, offices and leisure in one place.
It has been so successful that town planners across the globe use it as a model for urban renewal projects. Other developers are riding on the coat IT TAKES architect Ben Edgley 20 minutes to walk to his office at The Biscuit Factory, a small business “village” in Bermondsey.
Edgley, 31, set up Architects (conformarchitects. com) a year ago and moved from Canary Wharf to a rented flat in Rotherhithe.
“Being able to walk to work was high priority. Not just for the convenience, but to save money to help us save a deposit to buy,” says Edgley, pictured with Michelle, 27, his partner, who works for Mulberry. “I love the walk to work, and it’s a great way to organise your thoughts. My quickest route is alongside railway tracks, quite industrial and raw, but a hugely interesting urban landscape, and full of surprises. All sorts of businesses — florists, breweries, theatre studios — use arches along the way. If I fancy a change, I take a detour through Southwark Park, which is green and calming.”
His practice is based at the former Peek Frean factory, famous for Garibaldi and Bourbon biscuits, being redeveloped by business space provider Workspace and posh property company Grosvenor. More than 800 homes will be built at the site alongside offices and studios.
While a home in Zone 1 is beyond the budget of most buyers, there are still relatively good-value parts of Zone 2 within a 30-minute walk of London’s main employment districts.
Zone 2 starts at the car congestion charge boundary and stretches to Acton in the west, Archway in the north, Poplar in the east and Brixton in the south. Many of the areas have average prices below £500,000.
Start your search just outside the congestion charge zone and explore Whitechapel, Shadwell, Haggerston, Bethnal Green, Lambeth, Camberwell, Kilburn, Kennington, Rotherhithe, Stockwell, New Cross and Nunhead.
Hackney’s heartland has the advantage of being equidistant to the Square Mile and Canary Wharf, with canal paths providing a car-free conduit for those who jog or walk to work. The district also has a flourishing live-work sector that creates a unique character. WeWork, now London’s biggest provider of co-working office spaces, has made a beeline for this area.
A former industrial zone bordering London Fields has been turned into a hipster haven of designer homes and workspaces, ateliers, a craft beer premises, vinyl music shop, artisan
two-bedroom flats with balconies and communal gardens at Corio, Bermondsey (01883 787 120)