While the prospect of owning a home in one of London’s most prestigious areas – such as Belgravia, Knightsbridge or Mayfair – continues to attract the big money, there has been an interesting shift in the prime market of late. As savvy investors look for more bang for their buck, new areas are beginning to attract attention – none more so than the city’s East and South East postcodes. Rising out of London Bridge station is a development anyone wandering around the city can’t fail to have noticed. The Shard is the capital’s latest landmark, its glass façade rising 310 metres to dominate the skyline. Now Europe’s tallest building, this mixed-use skyscraper is likely to attract significant interest from buyers when its 10 residences are released for sale in 2013, carrying price tags of anywhere between £30 and £50million. Although specific details on these luxurious London pads are rather limited, the opulent three two-storey duplexes and seven single-storey residences will occupy floors 53 to 65 of the building and will bene t from the exclusive services provided by the five-star Shangri-La Hotel and Spa below it.
Alongside this, the building comprises 600,000 square feet of office space, three floors of restaurants, a number of retail units and an observation area known as The View From The Shard on floors 68 to 72. Due to open on February 1, this is being marketed as a premium visitor experience and will not only offer unparalleled panoramic vistas of London from its viewing galleries, but also interactive digital Tell:scopes that allow visitors to explore the cityspace in every direction. The Shard, however, is not the only high-end development to incorporate a mixed-use approach.
Overlooking the Thames and The Tower of London lies an historic London landmark that is set to be given a new lease of life by Singapore-based KOP Properties and Chinese investment firm Reignwood Group. Ten Trinity Square was designed by Sir Edwin Cooper as the headquarters of the Port of London Authority and officially opened in 1922. A hundred years on, this Grade II-listed building is being given a gigantic makeover to turn it into a luxurious development. Comprising 41 serviced residences, an exclusive members’ club and a 120-bedroom hotel incorporating a spa, destination bar and restaurant, 10 Trinity Square will offer buyers the very best that money can buy. The project is being spearheaded by Leny Suparman, CEO of KOP Properties. She is passionate about becoming the custodian of a slice of London’s history. “Ten Trinity Square is such a majestic building, when I first saw it I instantly fell in love with it. It is the building’s rich history – not only as the home of the Port of London Authority, but also as a reception venue for the first session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1946 – that makes this such an exciting project,” she says.
It’s the extraordinary heritage of 10 Trinity Square that Suparman believes sets this development apart from those springing up around it, offering a cache that goes down particularly well in Asia. “For anyone from Singapore or Hong Kong, which used to be British colonies, there is a certain affinity with London and with British culture and traditions,” she says. “Now, more than ever, owning property here is becoming something of a status symbol.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 41 residences – ranging from 1,300 square feet to 9,000 square feet in size – are already attracting considerable interest despite completion being scheduled for late 2014. Rather like the buyers of the luxury apartments at The Shard, residents here will enjoy unrestricted access to the facilities within 10 Trinity Square, including the spa, fitness centre, swimming pool, 24-hour concierge and the members’ club.
“The rise in mixed-use developments is down to globalisation,” says Suparman. “People travel a lot these days and they want homes in the major cities in the world. When they are there, they prefer that the mundane aspects of day-to-day life are taken care of so they can focus on the more meaningful things in their life. And when they’re not, they would like the security of knowing that their homes are maintained by a reliable operator. This is why these types of developments are growing in popularity.” Offering luxurious interiors and spectacular views, it would seem that those looking for a solid investment in London’s property market had better register their interest in 10 Trinity Square quickly.