Ca­nary Wharf banks on Cross­rail to bring it com­mu­nity life

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - New Homes -

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.


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.


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.

From £770,000:

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

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