Canary Wharf's new skyscraper apartments
Canary Wharf’s cluster of skyscrapers has a new addition — 45-storey Baltimore Tower, right, one of London’s tallest apartment blocks, with a distinctive barley sugar-twist shape.
Overlooking Millharbour Dock Basin, the tower is being built on the site of the former London Arena, which proved a financial disaster and lasted less than 30 years.
Baltimore Tower, the creation of Chicago-based skyscraper specialist architect Skidmore Owens Merrill, will be an “enduring iconic landmark”, insists developer Galliard.
The tower has 330 apartments priced from £418,950 and has Docklands’ most expensive penthouses, costing up to £6.95 million. Residents will be offered hotel-type services, such as valet parking, and the building will be topped by a sky lounge and members club. Call 020 8418 3730.
Much is being made of the scheme’s so-called lifestyle credentials. The tower is part of a waterfront complex of restaurants and bars, with a crèche and convenience stores, all patrolled by private security. As well as a gym and spa, there is an “urban country club” — The Baltimore Club — offering virtual reality golf and clay pigeon shooting.
Canary Wharf’s housing market has been quietly readjusting since the banking crisis. Property values crashed, then recovered but the area has not experienced the price hikes recently seen in some parts of central London.
The best apartments sell for about £800 to £1,000 a square foot. With improving transport links — Crossrail is on the way — and jobs growth, this is a new era for Canary Wharf.
New apartments in Hounslow overlooking a village green
Hounslow can sometimes appear to be more a suburb of Heathrow than of London. Since it came of age in the Fifties, the town has been inextricably linked to the airport, which is busier than ever and continues to boost local employment and the demand for housing.
Because it has been a better place to work rather than to live, Hounslow is cheap by London standards. There is also the perceived negative effect on prices of pretty constant aircraft noise. The din is not going to go away. However, Hounslow is ready for takeoff. Town-centre regeneration is making a difference for existing residents as well as attracting first-time buyers looking for affordable homes.
The Green is a scheme of 42 apartments in low-rise blocks grouped around a traditional-looking village green. Prices from £187,000. Call United House on 01628 407340.
Soho's new luxury apartments
Soho and Noho are meeting in the middle as the allure of West End homes continues to grow.
Previously, the two locations — on either side of Oxford Street — were distinct neighbourhoods, appealing to different sorts of buyers. Now that boundary is blurring as Oxford Street gets a facelift and new Crossrail stations at Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road have a regenerating impact.
At Soho Square, historic townhouses are reverting to residential after decades in commercial use. Five luxurious apartments are being carved from 10 Soho Square, once a Georgian mansion and used in recent times as offices. The homes will be launched early next year, priced from £2 million. Call Oakmayne Bespoke on 020 7407 3667.
In Berners Street, opposite Noho’s fashionable Sanderson hotel, another listed building, with an art gallery at street level, is being turned into eight flats priced from £1.5 million. Call developer Hurlington for more details, on 020 7183 1177.
Both areas are attracting buyers priced out of Mayfair and Marylebone, according to estate agent Wetherell. Currently, Soho and Fitzrovia are the cheapest West End addresses, with average values of £1,150 a square foot.
New-build apartments in Barnes
Barnes, just across the river from bustling Hammersmith, is a family favourite, offering good schools, pretty houses — from terrace cottages to swanky mansions —interesting shops, good pubs and even a village duck pond.
The area also appeals to downsizers looking for a lock-up-and-leave property, according to estate agent Hamptons International.
Royal Swiss Apartments is the only new-build scheme for sale in Barnes. Its 14 homes are moments from the train station and overlook the attractive common. Prices from £730,000 to £1.5 million. Call on 020 8618 2011.
2,400 new homes in Kilburn
Cosmopolitan Kilburn has struggled to identify itself as a worthwhile address, despite a few overzealous estate agents talking the area up as “Notting Hill borders”. But has its time come?
First, it is close in — nearer to the centre than, say, Hammersmith or Hackney. Transport links are excellent, too — Bakerloo and Jubilee Tube lines, plus Overground trains and the proximity of Paddington, with its Heathrow link. And Kilburn property prices are lower than other inner north-west London postcodes.
Developers are targeting the area, sensing strong demand from first-time buyers who want an affordable Zone 2 address, while Sixties council estates are being bulldozed and new homes built for rent, shared ownership and private sale.
Empire Mansions is part of the ambitious Kilburn Park regeneration scheme of 2,400 homes, and has 25 modern apartments and mews houses in a tree-lined road. Prices from £360,000. Call Hamptons International on 020 7758 8413.