Five tower blocks for the new 'Mayfair'

US embassy move sparks rush to build new riverside homes at Nine Elms in Battersea
More than 800 riverside homes are to be built in the emerging “embassy quarter” at Nine Elms in Battersea.

Called Tideway Wharf, it will be the first new residential development in the 450-acre regeneration zone, close to where the new American Embassy is planned and the proposed new Northern line Tube station at Nine Elms. The homes will be on the last remaining chunk of undeveloped central riverbank.

Five slender apartment blocks rising to 20 storeys will be topped by double-height duplexes, curved like the prow of a ship, while glass lifts will travel on the outside of the towers.

Now a blocked-off industrial estate, the five-acre site will be opened up to provide views of the Thames. A new pier for houseboats is also planned. The developer is St James and construction work is expected to start early next year, with the first homes available to buy in 2012, long before those at Battersea Power Station, where question marks remain over the £4 billion development there.

The US government’s decision to move from Mayfair is a huge boost to Nine Elms as it will bring a prestigious “white collar” presence to the area. Work on the new embassy, designed as a glass cube in a parkland setting, will be completed by 2017.

More than 1,000 businesses currently operate in the regeneration zone. The proposed Northern line extension from Kennington to Nine Elms is a vital new transport link because another 30,000 people may eventually live and work in the area.

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