Interest in Woolwich began for developer Durkan before news of the Elizabeth line even hit he headlines.
It bought the Royal Military Academy building in 2005 and is in the process of transforming it into a series of 328 homes.
“That was before people were even talking about Crossrail,” said head of sales and marketing Barry Gold.
“As a company we specialise in refurbishments, which a lot of developers won’t touch, so we were attracted to Woolwich because of the wonderful history and development opportunities.”
The Royal Military Academy was established in 1741 to train officers for the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers regiments in the British Army. Many famous officers were trained at the facility including Churchill and Kitchener.
Borehamwood-based firm Durkan has previously refurbished the Victorian apartments at Lisgar Terrace in Fulham but also works on new-build developments.
“This is definitely one of the largest refurbishments we have done,” said Barry.
“One of the challenges was having Historic England all over the site checking what we did.
“We had to be extremely conscious of retaining the original windows and doors.
“But the advantage we have is not a lot of developers like to do refurbishments as there is a lot of risk involved.
“When you are taking down a 200-year-old wall you don’t know what you will find.
“We have special sub-contractors who work with us and obviously the great thing about this development is the amazing history.”
The company already has it’s eyes on further development opportunities in the area.
“Crossrail has had a huge effect on the area,” said Barry.
“The town has improved dramatically but prices are still affordable given it is so close to central London.”
The Academy Woolwich is already 95% sold but a new set of 10 homes is set to be released in September.
All of the properties have an industry recognised National House Building Council warranty with some retaining elements of the original parquet floor, soldiers mess and snooker room.
Barry said: “All developers claim their development is unique but there really is nothing like this in the country. You are buying a piece of history.”
The remaining properties include:
- a selection of one, two and three-bedroom duplex apartments in the former officers quarters priced from £485,000-£750,000
- a one-bed house costing £760,000
- three, two-bed units in the former officers mess from £555,000- £600,000
- a three-bed duplex apartment in the west arcade for £695,000
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