A mile with style that’s shaking up the capital
the back of Liverpool Street station – which sits alongside Principal Tower, the first fully residential building in London designed by the world acclaimed architecture firm Foster + Partners, completing in 2019. The bronze, softly curved, 50-storey collection of apartments and duplex penthouses – a joint venture between Brookfield Property Partners, W1 Developments and Concord Pacific – will offer spectacular views of the capital from £960,000.
According to Christopher Murray of W1 Developments, more than two thirds of the 301 apartments have already been sold off-plan to a range of buyers. “Around 40 per cent are from Europe and the UK, 20 per cent from North America and 30 per cent from the Middle and Far East,” he says. “Many are looking to take advantage of the preferential exchange rates.”
Average property prices around Principal Place have risen by 89 per cent since 2007 to £588,200, research from Countrywide and the Land Registry shows. Last year, one in 10 homes sold in the area was a new build, and so far this year seven per cent of homes went for more than £1million. “Ten years ago, property prices were an average of £200 to £300 per sq ft, now it’s around £1,000 per sq ft compared with £2,000 in the West End,” says Ali.
The number of independent shops is also high at 77 per cent, compared with just five per cent in London as a whole. Henry Smith of the developer Aitch Group says: “Trendy coffee shops and pop-ups open in the same week as a high-end hotel or restaurant, which speaks volumes about the area’s wide-ranging appeal.” According to Countrywide, lettings agencies are the most likely businesses to open, keen to benefit from tenants drawn to the thirdlargest technology cluster in the world after San Francisco and New York. “We’ve seen exceptional rental demand in recently completed developments, and the excitement and urgency to rent will only increase with luxury new developments such as The Atlas completing in 2019,” says Neil Short of JLL.
The no man’s land of yore is already long forgotten. “High-end lifestyle brands such as Barry’s Bootcamp and The Curtain, New York hotelier Michael Achenbaum’s hotel and private club, have arrived,” says Jenna Buck from local estate agent Easthaus. Restaurants such as the Michelin-starred Galvin brothers’ La Chapelle, Ottolenghi Spitalfields and The Ivy City Garden are already on the doorstep for new residents, while designer hotels such as Nobu, M by Montcalm, Shoreditch House and The Courthouse will double their visitors in the next two years, says Short. Despite this, there’s still a high-end element missing from this part of town. “This side of London is missing a luxury department store such as such as Selfridges and an established upmarket retail thoroughfare like Sloane Street,” says Andrew Kafkaris of Bruton Street Management.
There are plenty of options in the area for interested buyers. Studios at The Stage, a 37-floor mixed-use development just behind Principal Tower on the historic site of Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre, start from £685,000. On selected flats, Galliard Homes will pay the three per cent stamp duty premium for buy-to-let investors. Up the road towards Hoxton, the Long & Waterson scheme has homes available from £695,000.
Those opting for a more low-rise lifestyle will find purpose-built apartments and commercial conversions tucked down nearby back streets. Foxtons is selling a three-bedroom apartment in Christina Street with an outdoor terrace for £1.1 million, while a split-level, two-bedroom apartment on busier Commercial Street is listed with Marsh & Parsons for £975,000.
It’s not just what’s indoors that counts. Developers are keen to keep new residents engaged with each other and the surrounding community as it evolves. Principal Tower has an online community where residents can share interests, jobs or social events. Its amenities include a gym, spa, screening room, lap pool and 24-hour concierge – and, of course, the city is at your fingertips. As Ali puts it, “Being so close to the financial district, the area was bound to take off.”
A three-bedroom flat in Christina Street, above, is for sale with Foxtons for £1.1 million; available homes at Long & Waterson, below, start from £675,000
Homes at Principal Tower, main, which is the first fully residential building in London by Foster + Partners and is due to complete in 2019, start from £960,000