New homes have been a key part of this remarkable regeneration. Tens of thousands of new affordable and private properties have been built as a direct result of the Olympics.
With the international spotlight on London and a record number of visitors, developers are in overdrive, launching new schemes, opening show homes and designer marketing suites.
Many new homes for sale or rent are on the doorstep of the 12 main venues in London, making house-hunting easy for anyone attending an event. This includes homes in the Olympic Park itself, and even Trafalgar Square’s first residential development, a boutique scheme of five apartments in the former Canadian Pacific building, being unveiled tomorrow to coincide with the arrival of the Olympic torch. Prices from £5.5 million. Call 020 7235 4555 or visit trafalgarone.co.uk.
When presidents and politicians, spectators and the sporting elite travel from St Pancras on seven-minute Eurostar trains to Friday’s opening ceremony, the first thing they will see as they emerge from Stratford International station is a sleek marketing centre promoting Manhattan Loft Gardens, a 42-storey tower with 248 apartments.
Yet to be built (construction starts after the Games), the tower is designed by SOM, renowned global architects, and is said to equal the best of the 2012 Olympics structures, such as Zaha Hadid’s fabulous aquatics centre.
Sky gardens carved from the building’s form are a modern take on traditional London garden squares, while a triple-height, hotel-like reception lobby links with a piazza to provide an impressive sense of arrival. Interlocking of single-storey and double-height apartments allows for 13 property types, from studios to penthouses. A show apartment is open for viewing. Prices start at £350,000, and homes are available to buy now, off-plan, with completion due in 2016. Visit manhattanloftgardens.co.uk, or call 020 8534 3318.
A new phase of homes has been launched at Stratford Halo, which looms over the main entrance to the Olympic Park. This scheme has 704 homes in five buildings, including penthouses in a 43-storey tower due for completion in 2013. Prices from £212,500, with shared-ownership options available. Call 0808 1182655, or visit genesishomes.org.uk
East Village, the legacy name of the athletes’ village, will have 2,818 homes once retro-fitting is complete. Of these, 1,439 will be private homes for rent on the open market. Visit Greenwich
Waterside Village is the largest Olympics venue after Stratford and will host 34 events in nine sports at three sites. Greenwich Park has the equestrian events and modern pentathlon; the O2 arena has basketball and gymnastics, while Royal Artillery Barracks has shooting.
With its newly conferred Royal Borough status, Greenwich has become a more desirable place to live. The gracious old naval town at the heart of the borough is a Unesco World Heritage Site, while hundreds of new homes are coming to a neglected riverside strip between the town centre and Greenwich Peninsula.
New Capital Quay is a “waterside village” being built in a former dock basin moments from the newly restored Cutty Sark. When complete next year, the development will have 636 homes across 11 blocks, one a landmark tower, plus townhouses. Prices from £275,000. Call Galliard Homes on 020 7620 1500.
Vertex Tower is the latest phase of Greenwich Creekside, overlooking a former industrial waterway. Penthouses with river views have been launched, priced up to £865,000. Call Telford Homes on 020 8694 8186.
Royal Arsenal Riverside, close to the barracks shooting venue, is a former munitions factory with a collection of fine Georgian and Victorian buildings split into flats. Berkeley Homes has launched a new phase, The Warehouse. One-bedroom apartments from £252,500. Call 020 8331 7130.
St John’s Wood
Lord’s Cricket Ground (venue for the archery competition) itself is poised for redevelopment, to be financed by 350 new apartments built on-site above disused Victorian railway tunnels at the Nursery End, by Wellington Road. Construction will start in 2013.
St John’s Wood has been rising fast in value over recent years as more people discover its village-like charm. It is perhaps the nearest thing to suburban bliss in the capital, with a single, upmarket high street around which lies a leafy, unblighted residential enclave. And instead of the green belt there is Regent’s Park, a giant garden on the doorstep. Swish new apartment schemes — not seen since the Sixties — are a fresh trend. The Atrium in Park Road, moments from Lord’s, is a new scheme of 27 large apartments, including duplex penthouses with roof terraces, due for completion next year. Prices from £1.5 million. Call Aston Chase on 020 7724 4724.
Regent’s Courtyard is a scheme of five contemporary-design townhouses in Gloucester Avenue. Prices from £4.6 million. Call Savills on 020 3043 3600.
At Wimbledon, developers are serving up homes to coincide with the Olympic tennis tournament. Wimbledon Hill Park is the area’s biggest development for many years — 94 homes in 25 acres of grounds. The walled estate, formerly Atkinson Morley Hospital, has a mix of traditional and contemporary architectural styles. Family houses with generous entertaining space and roof terraces are priced from £3.5 million. Call Berkeley Homes on 020 8226 2126.
The Exhibition Centre (volleyball tournament) will be redeveloped after the Olympics. Covering 77 acres, it is one of London’s largest projects, aiming to bring 7,500 homes, two million square feet of commercial and retail space and adding 23 acres to the public realm by reclaiming land wasted by the present complex.
The first phase comprises a series of “modern mansion blocks” rising up to 10 storeys. Typical two-bedroom flats will have 900sq ft of space, while townhouses will range up to 2,750sq ft. There are 14 different house types and only a small proportion of homes will be studios (of which Earls Court has many). Values are likely to exceed £1,000 a square foot. To register, visit myearlscourt.com
ExCeL is the venue for Olympic boxing and fencing events and is in one of London’s biggest regeneration zones — a giant tract of land the size of Venice, with 12 miles of waterfront waiting to be transformed into a brand-new district.
More than 10,000 new homes are in the pipeline. Take a look at the awesome urban landscape and decide if you want to live there. Currently it is about 30 per cent cheaper than Canary Wharf.
By 2018 there will be a new Crossrail station at Custom House, plugging the area into London’s main Tube network and providing a direct link to Heathrow. Current developments include Barratt’s Waterside Park. Prices from £214,500. Call 0844 811 4334.