City of London: new homes

The top six floors of The Heron - the City's largest new homes development - are currently being released, with sky-high views and price tags to match.
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one-bedroom flat on the 17th floor of The Heron in Silk Street, EC2The largest new homes development for many years is The Heron – not to be confused with the Heron Tower – in Silk Street adjacent to the Barbican. This 36-storey mixed-use building contains five floors of new facilities, including a 600-seat concert hall for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, 285 flats and a residents’ club. Over 93 per cent of the flats are now sold, but the top six floors have been held back until now. The price starts at around £1,200 per square foot but rises for flats higher up the tower.

The Panoramic Collection on the 31st to 34th floors has 12 lateral flats and one duplex, with prices ranging from £3.6 million to £5.25 million. The two duplex penthouses on the 35th and 36th floors will be launched in September 2013.

Office to residential conversions are not common in the City as unlike many other areas of London, office space is more valuable than residential space. Roman House, between London Wall and the Barbican, is the exception. Here, Berkeley Homes is converting an architecturally important office building with views over a section of ancient Roman wall into 90 flats. Prices start at £705,000 for a studio and three penthouses are available with prices starting at £2.75 million. A show home will open before Christmas and first residents will move in at the end of 2014. Jon Hall, sales and marketing director of Berkeley Homes, doesn’t rule out doing more residential developments in the City.

The Candy Brothers’ company CPC has recently won planning permission for the site of the old Tate and Lyle Building overlooking the river Thames close to the Millennium bridge. The site which the brothers bought for £34 million will have 165 flats in 11-storeys with stunning views over the Tate Modern.

The Smithfield area, home to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, or Barts as it is now known, and the country’s largest meat market, is on the verge of massive regeneration. Developer, Helical Bar, has a joint venture scheme Barts Square that has recently received planning permission for a mixed-use development of offices, shops and 215 new homes in a number of redundant hospital buildings in Little Britain and Bartholomew Close.

More controversially, though, and in the teeth of stiff opposition from heritage groups supported by some high profile objectors including writer Alan Bennett, investment group Henderson Global Investors has recently received planning permission for the redevelopment on Farringdon Road and Charterhouse Street of Smithfield’s central market building which has been empty for over 10 years and growing ever more derelict. The office development includes retaining the Victorian façade and a new food market to rival Borough Market but protestors want the historic interior retained as well.

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