Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The transformation of London’s South Bank – why now is the time to buy at one of London's Oldest Cultural Hubs


The South Bank’s prominence within the capital city has ebbed and flowed throughout history, with humble beginnings as a strategic port and naval base for the Roman army, when the city was first carved out as the country’s capital. From being no more than desolate marshland only frequented by commuters from the south embarking a ferry boat to the City of London, or those being transported to the grim confounds of The Clink, England’s oldest prison built in 1151, it is fair to say that London’s South Bank has evolved and transformed enormously.   


It wasn’t until the mid-18th Century and the Industrial Revolution that the South Bank regenerated into a core commercial centre for the city once again, with a plethora of factories, mills, tanneries and workhouses changing the face of the river front. A number of the buildings constructed during this period are still standing today, with the OXO Tower and Sea Containers residing as two of the most prominent. 


Further deprivation came to the South Bank following relentless bombing raids during the Second World War that razed a number of the riverside works. However, the area is again on an upward trajectory seeing significant regeneration and transformation in recent years, with the 5.25 acre Southbank Place development, surrounding the iconic Shell building, taking centre stage. The result is the creation of a new cultural destination in the heart of London, which is drawing in property purchasers who appreciate its fantastic riverside location, high specification homes and excellent connections across London.


Southbank Place, among others, is helping transform the South Bank into a prime residential area. According to Knight Frank, average prices in the area rose by 28% between 2013-2015, an 18% growth when compared with the rest of Prime London.


The notable landmarks along this prominent stretch of the River Thames are also proving to be one of the big draws for purchasers, with many willing to pay more for a home with a view. Property market analysts Dataloft revealed in a recent report that the opening of the Tate Modern in 2000 saw property prices in the surrounding postcode rise by 109%, with buyers attracted to the changing face of one of London’s most popular riverside destinations.


Richard Oakes, Sales & Marketing Director, Europe, Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company said: “Southbank Place offers an exceptional lifestyle in a location which, ten years ago, most would not have considered as a destination to live, work and play. London’s South Bank is a thriving community and Southbank Place sits at its heart.


“What we are offering at Southbank Place is an opportunity to experience the best of what London has to offer.We expect demand for the stylish new apartments to remain high as purchasers are not only receiving an excellent lifestyle that brings together innovation, sensitive design and exceptional craftsmanship, they are also investing in a location which we expect will see continued strong long term capital growth.”


Commenting on the benefit of a good view, Brian De’ath, Director of Residential Sales at Canary Wharf Group, said: “Southbank Place offers some of the best views in London, taking in the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Whitehall and, of course, being set back from the bank there are also exceptional vistas of the river itself. This has been a huge selling point for our purchasers to date who also want to live in a landmark London development that is well-located and in the centre of a bustling community, which the South Bank offers in abundance.”


Popular with a mixture of buyers from young professionals to families, Southbank Place, has achieved strong sales to date, with 375 apartments sold since launching in September 2015. Launched earlier this year, Belvedere Gardens, the third phase of the development, has achieved strong sales, with over 65% of its 97 apartments snapped up by savvy buyers.


When complete, Southbank Place will feature seven new buildings which complement their iconic surroundings and maximise natural light, designed by leading architects, Kohn Pederson Fox, Squire & Partners, Patel Taylor, Stanton Williams, GRID and Townshend Landscape. The interiors are being designed by industry experts Goddard Littlefair and Johnson Naylor to ensure they exude quality and epitomise premium London living.


With Southbank Place situated on the former site of The Festival of Britain (a national exhibition held in 1951, showcasing British advancements in science, technology, industrial design, architecture and the arts), Belvedere Gardens has been designed to celebrate the area’s heritage and culture.


The visually striking exterior pays homage to the Festival’s emblem, the ‘Festival Star’, embossed across the façade, with the bronze colour also echoing the nearby Palace of Westminster. This small and detailed texture can also be seen in the perforated aluminium panels on the sides of the building, which interacts with sunlight making the building appear to evolve and take new shape throughout the day; it also shades the terraces and offers a veil like curtain for privacy yet maximising light into each home.


Running west from Shad Thames and Tower Bridge to Westminster Bridge, the South Bank is a hub for culture, shopping, restaurants and bars. The considerable regeneration of the area has been focused on culture. Home to the National Theatre, The Globe, Royal Festival Hall, National Film Theatre, BFI Southbank and the Tate Modern.


The South Bank is a fun and exciting place to call home. Not only are there now a wide range of cafés, bars and restaurants, including those at the newly opened Mondrian Hotel at Sea Containers House, but also destination shopping locations such as Hays Galleria and Borough market. The riverfront is lined with street performers, food markets and pop-up restaurants and the London Eye and The Shard are close by, creating one of the city's most popular destinations. This is supported by tourism figures released by the Mayor of London's office, which revealed the area now sees 22 million visitors a year.


Those interested in purchasing one of the new apartments at Southbank Place should view the show apartment set within the spectacular Grade II listed County Hall building. Prices at the development’s latest phase, Belvedere Gardens, start from £1,050,000.


For further information on Southbank Place or to book an appointment in the marketing suite visit or call 0207 001 3600.


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Notes to editors


About Southbank Place

Southbank Place is being developed by Braeburn Estates, a joint venture between Canary Wharf Group plc and Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company.


About Canary Wharf Group

Canary Wharf Group plc has overseen the largest urban regeneration project ever undertaken in Europe, designing and building more than 16m sq ft of London real estate, which now houses local and international companies and renowned retailers.


The Canary Wharf Estate is a major retail destination comprising around 1m sq ft across five shopping malls, including the award-winning leisure development, Crossrail Place, housing one of London’s most stunning roof gardens.  It also has world-class, year-round arts and events programme offering over 200 diverse and culturally inspiring events performed throughout the Estate.


Canary Wharf Group is a wholly owned joint venture between Brookfield Property Partners and the Qatar Investment Authority.


About Qatari Diar

Qatari Diar is a global leader in sustainable real estate, building landmark projects of unrivalled scope and vision. We create vibrant communities dedicated to capturing the hearts and imaginations of the people we serve. These developments are conceived from our commitment to preserving and reflecting local characters and traditions and our visions have created places with a sense of identity and purpose where people aspire to live, work and visit.


Qatari Diar’s European operation is based in London, and boasts several key local projects, including a landmark residential development at the 12 acre Chelsea Barracks site in Belgravia; Southbank Place, a mixed-use joint venture between Qatari Diar and Canary Wharf Group situated in a prime central London location on the south bank of the River Thames; 30 Grosvenor Square, the current US Embassy in London, which will become a luxury hotel, retail and event space; and East Village & Elephant Park, a joint venture with Delancey and APG, offering more than 4000 private residential apartments for rent. 

Qatari Diar seeks to harness the world’s greatest architectural and design talent in order to create sustainable communities that will stand the test of time.