Hackney’s Kings Crescent of the Nineties was a forbidding sort of place to live, but today it is seen as a model for successful council estate regeneration — so much so that London Mayor Sadiq Khan donned hard hat and tabard to visit last year during a crucial pre-election interview on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.
Khan praised the ongoing project to renovate and regenerate the crumbling old estate, creating almost 800 modern homes.
Its dismal concrete towers have been blown away — literally, with dynamite — and replaced with lower-rise blocks designed around courtyard gardens.
Kings Crescent has been redesigned by the award-winning Karakusevic Carson Architects, very much the go-to practice nowadays for estate regeneration.
Its approach is refreshingly ungimmicky with blocks set around courtyards and proper, defined streets that stitch the previously marooned estate into the surrounding area. Landscaped gardens are set within the courtyards and between the blocks, and the materials used are unfussy but quality: solid brick and timber.
Inside, the flats are simple, with white gloss kitchens, wood floors and either a private terrace or balcony.
Another crucial factor in a successful estate regeneration is creating a mix of different kinds of people: old, young, rich, poor, singles and families. Kings Crescent will still contain social housing, as well as private homes for sale.
And, as a middle ground, there will be shared-ownership properties aimed at first-time buyers priced out of Hackney’s housing ladder, but too well off to qualify for local authority housing. This month, Currell has launched 36 shared-ownership flats priced from less than £100,000, which will be ready to move into later this year.
The first thing to say about the rebooted Kings Crescent is that its location is amazing. It sits right beside Clissold Park, one of London’s loveliest neighbourhood parks and the gateway to the cafés and shops of villagey Stoke Newington.
The closest station is Finsbury Park, a half-mile walk away, and an area with its own increasingly excellent range of pubs and bars, from old favourites such as The Faltering Fullback to new arrivals like Season Kitchen.
For culture vultures, the Park Theatre is earning rave reviews as one of London’s newest off West End theatres (and it has a great bar/café too).
Mainline services from Finsbury Park (Zone 2) to King’s Cross take six minutes, and you can be at Moorgate in 14 minutes. There are also Victoria line services, and if you need the Piccadilly line, Arsenal station is a 10- to 15-minute walk.
Prices at King’s Crescent start at £98,750 for a 25 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat, with a full market value of £395,000. Buyers will need to pay a monthly rent of £679 plus a service charge of £125, as well as mortgage repayments.
Two-bedroom flats start at £120,000 for a 25 per cent share, with costs including rent of £825 and service charge of £125. There are also three- bedroom flats, priced from £160,000, again for a 25 per cent share. Rent will be charged at £1,100pcm, and the service charge is £175.