Hospital homes are one way to keep your bank balance healthy

Shared-ownership flats at a former children's medical centre are among a crop of east London schemes ideal for first-timers.
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Historic Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital in Bethnal Green starts a new life this week with the unveiling of 186 flats behind the original listed Victorian façade.

The much-loved hospital closed in 1996, four years after the late music legend Michael Jackson arrived with Mickey and Minnie Mouse by helicopter to visit sick children. After closure the building was left to rot but has been rescued as part of Mayor Boris Johnson’s affordable homes initiative. Loft-style apartments with 14ft ceiling heights plus shared-ownership flats are part of the mix. Homes range from studios to penthouses. Prices start at £365,000. Call 020 3376 7775.

This being a trendy part of east London, between Columbia Road and Broadway Market, the marketeers have invented a new identity for the site. It is now called Mettle & Poise — more will be revealed at tomorrow’s launch at Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel.

The project is a collaboration between Family Mosaic housing association and construction company Rydon. English Heritage laments demolition of most of the old buildings on site, which during the 20th century evolved from a small 26-bed hospital into a major NHS complex. Two new six-storey apartment blocks are being built behind the historic frontage and completion is due in 2016. Buyers pay a £2,000 reservation fee and put down a 20 per cent deposit, payable in two chunks during the construction period.

East London’s charitable housing roots run deep. St Clement’s, a listed Victorian workhouse in Mile End, is at the heart of a community trust housing project backed by the Mayor. Launching later this year, this project is bringing 252 homes in the affordable £550-£650 per square foot price bracket. To register, call DTZ on  020 3296 2222.

Barts’ five-acre Whitechapel Estate next to Royal London Hospital has also been snapped up for development — a mixed residential and retail scheme with up 550 homes, while Mondrian is a new development on the site of former Mildmay Mission Hospital in Shoreditch. Prices start at £440,000 for one-bedroom flats. Call Genesis on 0800 542 7236.

From £364,955: one-bedroom flats with a private gym and roof garden at New Festival Quarter in Poplar, E14

Peabody housing trust has set up a private sales division and launched several schemes aimed at first-time buyers. Lock Keepers, with 46 apartments alongside Limehouse Cut, the capital’s oldest canal, brings the extra draw of waterside living. 

Built on the site of the former Sunflower Mill, it comprises three new warehouse-style blocks overlooking a lock basin. Two-bedroom apartments start from under £400,000 and shared ownership is available. Another scheme is Merchants Walk, Bow, where prices start at £265,000. Call 020 7922 7211. Circle housing association, which also has a long history in the area, has unveiled Tredegar Place, which takes its name from the Georgian conservation area in Bow. Studios and flats with up to three bedrooms are priced from £230,000, below the stamp duty threshold. Call 0845 223 0000. 

New Festival Quarter in Poplar shares the same postcode as Canary Wharf, E14, and has one-bedroom flats priced from £364,995. Set across four buildings, the scheme has a private gym, 24-hour concierge and residents’ roof garden. Call Bellway on 0845 459 5020. 

The same developer has launched Pembury Circus, 260 homes on the site of a once-notorious council estate in Hackney. Nearby Ridley Road street market is now a cool local hangout. Prices from £244,950. Call 0845 257 6064.

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