The residential area of the Canary Wharf estate will have the vibrancy and verve of Carnaby Street according to its head of sales.
Situated a stone’s throw from the existing financial hub, the homes will offer bankers and CEOs the chance to escape the confines of the corporate world but also the grind of the daily commute.
The latest residential tower – One Park Drive, designed by Herzog And De Meuron – was launched to the market on Thursday, May 4.
Due for completion in 2023, the whole of the estate’s second phase will boast 3,300 homes, a quarter of them affordable, a school, GP surgery and parks and 275,000sq ft of retail space, which will all be at ground level.
“It will be a more spontaneous shopping experience than you have at the mall, where you go specifically to shop,” said Canary Wharf Group director of residential sales Brian De’ath.
“In this residential part of the development you will be walking past shops and exploring new areas that you wouldn’t naturally perceive to be Canary Wharf.
“It will feel more like Covent Garden and Carnaby Street with narrow walkways rather than the gridlike structure people know.”
Recent research from Canary Wharf Group revealed 77% of Londoners believe they would be happier if they lived closer to work and almost a third (30%) of respondents found their commutes “extremely stressful” with 26% having lost their temper during their journey to work.
Brian said: “Londoners say their ideal commute would be 30 minutes, but what would be better is no commute at all.
“These findings demonstrate why Canary Wharf Group has taken the decision to deliver homes on the estate.
“Living at Canary Wharf would help improve the work life balance and residents will benefit from the ever expanding range of shops, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues that are here.”
The Hertfordshire resident who joined the company in 2014 revealed more details of the company’s move into the housing market ahead of The Wharf Property Awards 2017, of which it is Principal Sponsor.
He will be one of the speakers at the presentation ceremony on Thursday, May 25, when industry leaders will come together to mark achievements and successes in the sector.
“The awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the area,” said Brian.
“Canary Wharf Group has done more for this region than any other single entity, so in terms of our commitment to the area and local community there is no-one more invested than us.
“But it doesn’t want to just celebrate itself.
“I have worked in the industry for years for different companies in the area and know the other guys who are developing land and building residential, hotels, it is a very small world.
“It’s not just us doing well at the expense of someone else but developing the location so everyone can be successful.”
The 42-year-old said the company had benefitted from being able to masterplan the estate and ensure the cultural and community offers were developed alongside the buildings and others benefited as it changed from disused Docklands to a financial hub.
Through its business support initiatives and joint ventures including the East London Business Place, Canary Wharf Group has helped small and medium-size businesses in east London secure more than £1.4billion of work since 1997.
The estate’s second phase will see more than 17,000 jobs created and will include a community sports facility, 3.6 hectares of public space including dedicated play areas for children.
Brian said in contrast Tower Hamlets as a whole had suffered from not having a similar comprehensive vision.
“The borough is trying to get a masterplan together as its is looking at it historically as a potential missed opportunity,” he said.
“Planners haven’t been able to group the buildings together and harmonise them.
“Individually there are some stunning buildings there but collectively they perhaps don’t look quite as they should.
“So you then have pockets of land in-between that aren’t receiving the full benefit because it is in a slightly haphazard fashion.
“This is where we are lucky to own the whole estate, so were able to consider the land around and the parks.
“I can’t say whether Tower Hamlets was influenced by us or not.
“All we will do is put our very best foot forward and people will tell us what they make of it.”
Tickets for The Wharf Property Awards 2017 are on sale until 2pm on Thursday, May 18.Follow The Wharf on Twitter and Instagram @thewharfnews
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