Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

IT'S REGENERATION CENTRAL; A Mile from Parliament, but with Prices Less Than [Pounds Sterling]200,000, It Is Not Only the US Ambassador Who Realises Nine Elms Is Great Value, Says David Spittles

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

IT'S REGENERATION CENTRAL; A Mile from Parliament, but with Prices Less Than [Pounds Sterling]200,000, It Is Not Only the US Ambassador Who Realises Nine Elms Is Great Value, Says David Spittles

Article excerpt

Byline: says David Spittles

REGENERATION does not come more imaginative than this. For many years, derelict Battersea Power Station cast a shadow over the neglected hinterland made up of rundown roads, railway viaducts, industrial premises and council estates that run between the river and Wandsworth Road. The area is dominated by the compound that is New Covent Garden Market.

In recent years the giant towers of St George Wharf, a waterfront complex of smart apartments, kick-started regeneration along the Vauxhall-Battersea border. This 400-acre "Nine Elms Opportunity Area" is where the United States Embassy is relocating to from its historic Mayfair base, where a new Northern line Tube extension is planned as part of the power station's transformation, and where a new business and residential quarter is earmarked - all barely a mile from the Palace of Westminster and Sloane Square.

In 10 years' time it will be a very different place, a prospect that developer Mount Anvil has latched onto with the launch of This Space (as in "watch this space", one of the marketing slogans). This refurbishment of an architecturally significant former college building has spawned 231 flats and 40,000 sq ft of commercial space, providing homes at first-time buyer prices.

FIRST-TIME-BUYER PRICES

The location is a lively retail strip of Wandsworth Road, an already-decent if ungentrified address backing right onto the Nine Elms regeneration zone.

The 1960s college, a splendid example of concrete Modernism, once housed South Bank University's Faculty of the Built Environment, a provenance the developer was keen to do justice to.

A cantilevered auditorium dramatically juts out over the building's main reception entrance. The 197-seat auditorium has been leased to a local theatre company, while restaurants are earmarked for the street-level spaces. Additional storeys have been added to the original structure and a landscaped internal courtyard created.

Several apartments have huge terraces (over 800 sq ft); others have panoramic views that take in most London landmarks. A smart entrance foyer is staffed by a 24-hour concierge. Communal areas and lift lobbies are spacious, and have with sofas, making them places to relax rather than rush through. Storage lockers can be bought for [pounds sterling]2,500. Underground parking spaces cost [pounds sterling]20,000.

Essentially it is a scheme for first-time buyers, offering value-for- money in an improving inner-city area - a formula that can work for developers despite the tough economic climate. Prices start at [pounds sterling]185,000 for studios, [pounds sterling]220,000 for one-bedroom flats and [pounds sterling]315,000 for two-bedroom flats, rising to no more than [pounds sterling]500,000 for the biggest and best penthouse-style apartments. …

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