Pack your trunk

Ruth Bloom­field finds new Zone 1 star­chi­tect flats in Ele­phant and Cas­tle that young Lon­don­ers can buy for £112,500

London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - First-time Buyers -

A£ 3 bil­lion makeover is fi­nally turn­ing one of the cap­i­tal’s ugli­est duck­lings into a good-look­ing swan. Ele­phant and Cas­tle has lost its scary cen­tral round­about and the Hey­gate hous­ing es­tate, their grim bru­tal­ism re­placed by the sleek new Ele­phant Park de­vel­op­ment.

In the next few years “The Ele­phant” will also get a new town cen­tre and shop­ping cen­tre, plus new cam­puses for Lon­don Col­lege of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Lon­don South Bank Univer­sity.

Af­ford­able hous­ing has not been for­got­ten in this whole­sale re­de­vel­op­ment of SE11. Peabody hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion is this month un­veil­ing its con­tri­bu­tion — a se­lec­tion of one- and two-bed­room flats for first-time buy­ers in Castilla, a 45-storey tower.

Prices start at £112,500 for a 25 per cent share of a one-bed­room flat. Buy­ers will need a min­i­mum de­posit of £11,250, and monthly costs will in­clude rent of £773, ser­vice charge at £215 and mort­gage pay­ments es­ti­mated at £599.

Two-bed­room flats start at £143,750 for a 25 per cent share. Buy­ers will need a de­posit of £14,375, and monthly costs in­clud­ing rent, ser­vice charge and mort­gage add up to just un­der £2,000.

De­signed by star­chi­tect Richard Rogers with later mod­i­fi­ca­tions by Axis Ar­chi­tects, Castilla is des­tined to be one of Ele­phant & Cas­tle’s ar­chi­tec­tural and cul­tural land­marks. The £97 mil­lion oc­tag­o­nal tower is di­vided into tri­an­gu­lar-shaped flats, and its roofline is dot­ted with com­mu­nal roof gar­dens.

As well as al­most 460 homes the build­ing will have a new South­wark Play­house theatre and a café, which will add to Ele­phant and Cas­tle’s bur­geon­ing sta­tus as a desti­na­tion. It al­ready has Mer­cato Metropoli­tano, a heady pop-up with Ital­ian bars, cafés, and food stalls; lively bars such as La Barra, and the chance to sam­ple au­then­tic Pol­ish food at Ma­muska! There are ar­ti­sanal cafés, and when the re­booted Ele­phant and Cas­tle shop­ping cen­tre re­opens the area will have a full re­tail com­ple­ment.

Al­ready this lo­ca­tion can barely be bet­tered for com­mut­ing. Ele­phant and Cas­tle is in Zone 1 with Bak­er­loo and North­ern line ser­vices less than five min­utes’ walk away from Castilla. On Tube strike days it is an easy walk to the South Bank and Bor­ough, and a fea­si­ble one to the West End three miles away, or the mile-and-a-half to the City.

Visit peabodysales.co.uk

From £112,500: a 25 per cent share of a flat in Castilla, a 45-storey tower with com­mu­nal roof gar­dens at re­gen­er­at­ing Ele­phant and Cas­tle in SE11; be­low left, an apart­ment in­te­rior; be­low right, Castilla will also have a new theatre and a café

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