Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wapping Is Set to Reclaim Its Crown as the Centre of Smart Riverside Living in Docklands

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wapping Is Set to Reclaim Its Crown as the Centre of Smart Riverside Living in Docklands

Article excerpt

Byline: says David Spittles

THE long-delayed refurbishment of a group of historic wharves is set to restore the prestige Wapping enjoyed in the Eighties as the most fashionable quarter of Docklands.

Before the rise of Canary Wharf, Wapping was the number one place in Docklands for riverside living. Nowhere else could match its charm and maritime authenticity, with the wonderful Georgian enclave of St Katharine Docks, and the cobbled high street with its famous inns and wharves, including Execution Dock where the Admiralty used to hang pirates and brigands.

When the money men moved to Canary Wharf in the Nineties, developers switched their attention to the Isle of Dogs, where sites were plentiful and profits fatter. Wapping was thrust into quiet isolation and, as time moved on, it was left behind, with little improvement to its restaurant and retail scene.

But that is all about to change. Longawaited refurbishment of the historic wharves, and the recent upgrade of the East London line, are all part of the fightback for location supremacy. The local station was closed for more than a year during construction works and the reopening has caused a stir, with an impressive uplift in visitors to the area and homebuyers searching for property.

PRIME POSITION After decades of neglect, a Grade IIlisted river-facing warehouse next to Wapping Tube station is being converted into 37 loft-style apartments and penthouses. The development at 136 Wapping Wall will have a grand hotel-like foyer plus a communal roof terrace and commercial space at street level. Prices start at [pounds sterling]630,000. Call Galliard on 020 7620 1500.

Just along the road is Metropolitan Wharf, one of Wapping's finest, which has been transformed into a "creative village" of loft apartments and designer offices, with a top-rated restaurant and organic food store to come. …

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