Canary Wharf is already a prosperous commercial area. But now, it is hoping to enter the residential scene.
Over 30 years ago, Canary Wharf was a new financial district to rival the Square Mile, a 128-acre private estate with its own security and developments spreading around the Thames.
The district is now a famous section of the area now known as Docklands. But it is hoping to become a residential area too, with a building programme of thousands of new homes, most of which will be completed by 2018-2020.
If buyers are quick and purchase a property now, homes will be ready for the opening of the Crossrail service in 2018. This will really boost Canary Wharf, as the West End will be just a 13-minute train journey away.
Launching this month is 10 Park Drive, the first residential scheme within the estate. This is the first phase of a 23-acre, 3,200-home neighbourhood called Wood Wharf.
Two linked towers will include 345 apartments, a sky terrace, spa and gym. The interiors have been designed by award-winning architects, Make, and will include sliding walls, allowing for open-plan living. Prices start at £395,000 and completion is set for 2019.
This line of development is aimed at families, rather than the first generation of housing schemes that were designed for Canary Wharf workers. The new buildings will be architecturally softer and include parks and public spaces, as well as social infrastructure including schools.
One of the new high-rise projects, 1,500-home Millharbour Village, features mid-priced townhouses and family flats, with a nursery and aerial playgrounds on the rooftops.
Canary Wharf is thriving; the workforce has increased from 8,000 25 years ago to 110,000 today. It is forecast to double by 2025. However, transport links have been a big problem, until the Crossrail service was announced.
A junior director at property consultants CBRE, Joe Selby, is confident that Canary Wharf will attract families: “The next 30 years will be just as exciting.”1
Property prices have been fairly cheap in the area, however, they are set to grow. Research Director at Hamptons International, Johnny Morris, comments: “There were 45 £1m-plus sales in Canary Wharf last year, the highest level ever.”1
Crossrail will help connect Canary Wharf to central London. Developers are using this to increase their property values.
According to property experts, Canary Wharf house prices will eventually match those in the City, and riverside areas such as Bankside and Nine Elms in Battersea.
Berkeley Homes is launching a 888-property development, named South Quay Plaza, which will include one of Britain’s tallest towers – a 68-storey glass-clad skyscraper with a residents’ club, private cinema and spa on the 56th floor.
Architects Foster + Partners has designed the tower, with floor-to-ceiling glazing, for maximum views. Prices start at £490,000 and completion is expected in 2020. The scheme will include small parks, shops, bars and restaurants.
Wardian London, two towers with 792 flats, is named after glass cases used during the height of the British Empire to protect rare imported plants. The developer, Ballymore, says the project will integrate indoor and outdoor living, with a landscaped public plaza and over 100 species of plants and flowers. Completion is due in 2019.
Galliard has designed its development in an Art Deco style. Towers are clad in bronze and glass. The lobby will be grand and the buildings will feature a gym, spa, private cinema, valet parking, concierge, cocktail bar and club lounge. Prices start at £625,000 and completion is set for 2018.
Manhattan Plaza’s homes will be slightly cheaper, priced from £450,000, as they are on the other side of a dual carriageway, just past the Canary Wharf estate.