The ever-changing face of London and its appeal to investors

In 2015 the Duke of Westminster’s property company Grosvenor Estates put the prestigious buildings 65 Duke Street and 62 Green Street in Prime Central London’s most desirable areas – Belgravia and Mayfair. The owner would have been able to collect £3.2 million in rent per annum from the 25 luxury apartments. Grosvenor Estates used the funds generated from the sale to invest in the up and coming area of Bermondsey in South East London.

Grosvenor Estate’s investment in Bermondsey

Grosvenor Estates is currently exploring regenerating other parts of London, and it has fixed its eye on Bermondsey. Grosvenor Estates has recently put in an application for a new development at Bermondsey’s Biscuit Factory site. The aim is to create a mixture of residential and commercial space with 1350 new homes, a school and eateries. Although initially rejected by councilors in Southwark, Khan has decided to reconsider the proposal stating it “has potential to make an important contribution to housing and affordable housing supply”.

Bermondsey’s rise in popularity

It is no wonder Grosvenor Estates has selected Bermondsey; situated close to London Bridge and along the Thames in south east London it was originally an area where the processing of leather and hides was carried out during the industrial boom. Hence why some street names pay homage to its industrial past, such as Tanner Street.

Its proximity to the City of London, pleasant riverside location, warehouse style apartments and affordability compared to nearby areas has meant the area has undergone a significant amount of gentrification. In 2018 the Sunday Times named Bermondsey as the best place to live in London and it was listed as one of the best places to live in London again in 2019.

Regeneration in Bermondsey

Bermondsey has always had a rich history, but that is being built upon with all the regeneration that is taking place in the area. Places such as Vinegar Yard, a new street food market and open-air bar have sprung up by London Bridge station. Maltby Street Market opened in 2010, and derelict railway arches have been transformed into craft breweries. New small businesses have increased from 225 to 305 between 2010 and 2014. The wharves along the riverside have been converted to luxury flats and the Jubilee Line and Overground have connected the area with central London to the west and Canary Wharf to the east.

As the wharves have been mostly renovated to apartments, developers have been casting their eyes on other parts of Bermondsey. Factories and warehouse-style buildings are aesthetically pleasing and people are attracted to living in them as they represent the area’s historical past. Disused factories have been earmarked for redevelopment, especially around the Bermondsey Spa area.

Bermondsey Square

Regeneration started in 2005 with Bermondsey Spa Gardens which underwent a £2 million makeover and reopened in 2006. Other projects include Bermondsey Square, a large mixed-use development. This included 76 apartments, 40,000 square feet of multi-let offices for creative use, a hotel, cinema and Sainsbury’s. London Square is developing a new destination that was once a tannery and home to food producer Crosse & Blackwell in Bermondsey. It will comprise 400 one, two, and three bedroom apartments, creative workspaces and garden squares.

Regeneration north of the river Thames in London

King’s Cross Regeneration

Another area that has undergone extensive regeneration is King’s Cross. Post-war the area went into decline and by the 1980s it was infamous for prostitution and drug abuse. In the 1990s the government established the King’s Cross Partnership to fund regeneration projects in the area. Since then, King’s Cross has transformed into an area that is almost unrecognisable. Focal points of the regeneration include the creation of Coal Drops Yard, a new retail development designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick that houses high-end shops.

Coal Drops Yard

Coal Drops Yard won a RIBA architecture award as the judges appreciated the sensitive refurbishment of the original structures and the ‘kissing roofs’. RIBA praised the development and its clever combination of retail, commercial and business spaces, the curation of retail outlets and the effort to restore a complex set of arches and marshalling yards.

The regeneration has been sensitive and paid homage to the original landscape of King’s Cross, hence the name Coal Drops Yard which has its roots in the gas manufacturing works in the area, which was made from coal. The Gasholder guideframes have been a landmark in King’s Cross for 150 years, and the largest one – Gasholder No.8 has been refurbished and is now home to a park and event space. Three more gas holders have been re-erected around stunning new apartments.

One London property investment opportunity is in the Plimsoll building, a beautiful complex in King’s Cross that overlooks Regent’s Canal and Gasholder Park. The Plimsoll development was built when the regeneration of King’s X was underway, and investors can use the increased attractiveness of the area to their advantage. We have on offer a 10th floor apartment which boasts spectacular views, two double bedrooms, two modern bathrooms, open plan living area, fully fitted kitchen and balcony. Residents will benefit from the use of a 24-hour concierge, residents’ lounge, rooftop conservatory, courtyard garden and fitness suite. The apartment’s layout is ideal if it were to be let as a rental property. It boasts two bedrooms and two bathrooms, allowing each occupant maximum privacy and independence.

Plimsoll Building King's Cross Exterior

The asking price for the apartment is £1,275,000, which we believe is reasonable. Properties within the building were sold for a similar asking price in 2018 and the area is only becoming more and more sought after. Investors do not have to worry about immediately finding a tenant as the property is already occupied and the tenant intends to stay.

Regeneration overspill to Caledonian Road

The regeneration is set to overspill north towards Caledonian Road. Affectionately known as “The Cally”, Caledonian Road has a rich history and is well-connected with Caledonian Road Underground Station and Caledonian Road and Barnsbury on the Overground. Directly to the south is King’s Cross which is the best-connected interchange in London. As well as enjoying its own regeneration, Caledonian Road is expected to benefit from that of King’s Cross as well.

New projects include 400 Caledonian Road – a sustainable mixed-use development. It will comprise new homes, commercial space and courtyards. Buyers will also own a share of the management company and will be encouraged to express their views on the future of the scheme.  Other developments include London Square Caledonian Road which consists of nine low-to mid-rise blocks in pastel coloured bricks. Flats have balconies and underfloor heating, and the blocks have an onsite gym and 24-hour concierge. Situated just a four-minute walk from Caledonian Road underground station, living in London Square is an ideal choice for professionals working in central London. People have already bought apartments in the blocks, and many are long term residents of Caledonian Road who are noticing how rapidly the area is improving and wish to capitalise on the house price increases that are achievable.

One Touch Property sources buy to let investments in cities across the UK, and for those who are looking  for high yield investments, we also offer hotel room investments and student property investments.

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