Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Boutique developer Taylor Wimpey Central London launches its next project at the nexus of London's great regenerations.精品發展商Taylor Wimpey Central London最新項目在倫敦核心活化區登場。

Squarefoot - - CONTENTS 目錄 - TEXT BY ELIZABETH KERR PHOTOS COURTESY OF TAYLOR WIMPEY CENTRAL LONDON

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Here's a new concept: the London Midcity. Yet another emerging submarket for London to sell to locals and international investors alike, the newly christened Midcity has quickly become a hub for residential development. Anchored by the new Elizabeth Line, otherwise known as Crossrail, opening any minute now, Knight Frank research explained that the “Midcity is one of a handful of locations in London where regeneration and transport upgrades have created new demand and underpinned residential market performance in recent years.” Eight major developments delivering over 2,000 homes within the next five years have guaranteed Midcity a place on investors' radar as well.

Middle Ground

So what is Midcity? Loosely defined, it is the residential location spanning central London east and west from roughly Moorgate to the West End, and north and south from just below Islington to (almost) the Thames. The area is home to tech giants (Google Campus, Expedia), international finance (Deutschebank, Deloitte), schools (London School of Economics, King's College), culture (British Museum, the theatre district) and connections to the rest of the UK (Euston Station) and neighbouring Europe (the Eurostar at St Pancras), with the new Farringdon Crossrail station at the heart of it all. Throw into the mix developments by Lodha, Berkeley Group and Helical and it's easy to understand why Midcity prices have been outperforming those of Prime Central London by over 30% since 2015.

“This regeneration is going to transform the whole area. It's said that this is the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle,” begins Darren Mccormack, sales and marketing director at Taylor Wimpey Central London, which has already started The Denizen and has the newly launched Postmark on the way. “You've got King's Cross, the City, the West End, the South Bank and this will connect them all together.”

TWCL purchased the 129-year-old flagship site, the old Royal Mail Mount Pleasant Mail Centre in 2017, and promptly set out converting the 2.5-hectare site into its next residential project. Aptly named Postmark in honour of the building, still in use, that once processed all the city's communications, served as a comms hub during the Second World War, and defined its crucial postal zones (you have this building to thank for the vaunted SW1), the project will actively embrace the area's heritage. “The Postal Museum comments on the history of the area. At one point they used to process four million pieces of mail each day, and they still have an underground mail rail line. It's actually really interesting. It's been open for 130 years and is very iconic in London,” explains Mccormack. “Londoners know the site because it's the central post office. It's where the Royal Mail postcodes come from—the dividing line between east and west. And Postmark is really tapping into that heritage.”

Letter Perfect

The four-phase Postmark will straddle both WC1 and EC1 postcodes and supply a total of 681 studio to three-bedroom apartments as well as retail, food and beverage and public space to the area. While the majority of the big ticket placemaking and open spaces are set for the forthcoming East Central 1 in the near future, “the first phase is normally the best for pricing,” says Mccormack. For now, that's West Central 1, which will offer 151 flats across a 13-storey medium-rise tower designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, the architects behind the regeneration of Television Centre in White City (the other three phases will have different architects). WC1 will be completed with a full complement of amenities, including a state-of-the-art fitness centre, private cinema, residents' lounge, function room, rooftop terrace and co-working space.

Conran + Partners (of Knight Dragon's Greenwich Peninsula, Mandarin Bar + Grill) took their interior design concept for WC1 from the area's postal legacy, creating an aesthetic the studio calls a fusion of two iconic postcodes. Customised grid residents' mailboxes recall the original sorting station's pigeonholes, and exposed concrete, herringbone-patterned wood flooring and the kind of swivel stools postal workers used make for subtle design grace notes. Individual apartments will be outfitted in an East or West palette.

The Central post office is where the Royal Mail postcodes come from— the dividing line between east and west. Postmark is really tapping into that heritage.

“The West is refined and polished and quite sensual, with a dark blue kitchen, and the East is edgier and industrial, more minimal with light kitchens,” Mccormack describes. Postmark also boasts many of the little details that buyers are more frequently demanding: a ground-floor gym bathed in energising natural light rather than something tucked in a dark basement; integrated dining tables and breakfast bars in kitchens; wine storage and spice racks; bespoke configuration and cabinetry; five-star hotel-style bathrooms; materials including engineered timber, satin stainless steel; and 24-hour concierge service. As is becoming more standard and expected, Postmark will feature several green initiatives, among them a green roof fitted with solar panels whose power will go back to the landlord. “Some people sell it off but we'll be using it for some of the building's public spaces and to reduce service charges for residents,” notes Mccormack.

Ranging from 424 to 1,821 square feet, with gardens, terraces or balconies (or no outdoor space) depending on the placement, flats in Postmark's inaugural West Central 1 begin at £670,000 (HK$6.9 million) and the property is scheduled for total completion in 2024. For more details refer to taylorwimpeycentrallondon.co.uk.

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