Canary Wharf banks on Crossrail to bring it community life
Dominated by flats, the majority of them high-rise and not really right for families, Canary Wharf is not a naturally nurturing place. Derelict docklands until the late Eighties, this Tower Hamlets location is first and foremost a business district, packed with 16 million square feet of offices and shops to serve the 100,000 people who work in the area. Residential development has been something of an afterthought and largely dedicated to meeting the midweek needs of local workers.
But this is changing and to the surprise of many, Canary Wharf is not unaffordable. According to Rightmove, average prices for the area hover around £530,000 for a flat — near enough the London average. Terrace properties cost an average £678,142 with semi-detached homes going for somewhere in the region of £858,400. Prices in the area are similar to nearby Isle of Dogs at £531,078 and cheaper than Millwall, at £575,119. But the Crossrail route — the Elizabeth or “Lizzie” line — is the game changer.
LIZZIE’S ON ITS WAY
The local property market will benefit from the opening of the Canary Wharf Crossrail stop next year, which will take journey times into Liverpool Street down from 22 minutes to just six, while the 33-minute run to Paddington will be slashed to 17, and trains to Heathrow airport will take just 39 minutes instead of the current 55. Add this to existing transport links including the Jubilee line and the DLR and you are looking at one of the best-connected areas in the capital — but it needs homeowners to give it a real sense of community.
The issue of injecting life at weekends is being addressed. A calendar of events with a weekend focus is helping to provide some interest for local residents and is also drawing in a crowd from beyond the area. Community groups are curating more on-site artwork and exhibitions, and with the Museum of London Docklands, community activities at Crossrail Place Roof Garden above the new Canary Wharf Crossrail station, an ice skating rink in winter and open-air events and food markets in summer, that all-important weekend buzz is certainly heading in the right direction.
WHAT’S FOR SALE?
As for new-build homes, at one end of the spectrum you have One Park Drive, a 58-storey tower by Tate Modern Switch House architects Herzog & de Meuron. Prices start from £575,000 for a studio, £750,000 for a one-bedroom flat, just over £1 million for a twobedroom flat and £1.6 million for a three-bedroom flat.
Prices at the South Quay Plaza scheme by Berkeley Homes start at £770,000. At Manhattan Plaza and Horizons, both by Telford Homes, prices start at £699,750 for a two-bedroom flat and £1.4 million for a penthouse respectively. Mount Anvil’s last remaining apartment at Dollar Bay is a penthouse, at £3.5 million.
Prices at Lansbury Square, a Bellway Homes scheme, start from £387,995 for a one-bedroom apartment and £494,995 for a two-bedroom flat. Bellway’s two- bedroom flats at its Dockside scheme start at £769,995.
flats at South Quay Plaza, a 68-storey tower; above right, a Horizons penthouse costs £1.4m; above, Manhattan Plaza flats are priced from £699,750
Game changer: Canary Wharf Crossrail sits below Crossrail Place shops, eateries and roof garden. Journey times to central London and Heathrow will shrink next year