Another shiny new Docklands address arrives on the map tomorrow with the launch of Harbour Central, pictured — 901 apartments in five towers offering all the essential extras, such as a gym and spa, private cinema, valet parking, library, concierge, cocktail bar and club lounge.
This vertical village close to Canary Wharf is being built on the site of an Audi car showroom, a sprawling low-rise complex that was wasteful of land, and a legacy of the Eighties Docklands renaissance when planners backed ugly light industrial premises as a way of injecting commercial life into the area.
Such first-generation buildings no longer earn their keep in the rapidly appreciating land market, paving the way for smart skyscrapers. More homes are needed for Canary Wharf’s fast-growing working population, which has risen from 8,000 in 1990 to more than 100,000 today and is projected to double by 2025.
This part of Docklands is alternative London. It has more in common with downtown Chicago or Singapore than with Kensington, Putney or Highgate. Average earnings per head are more than £100,000, the highest in the country, and the population is young — 85 per cent are in the 16 to 44 age bracket, predominantly singles and couples, not families.
Galliard, Harbour Central’s developer, has opted for an Art Deco architectural theme to meet the aspirations of this high-salaried catchment. Towers are clad in bronze and glass, and there is a designer entrance lobby. Prices start at £350,000. Call 020 7620 1500