Project has best of old and new

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 June, 2012, 12:00am


Benefiting from an ambitious master plan, which has brought about thoughtful regeneration of south central London, the new Blueprint development draws on traditional design elements while offering a truly contemporary feel.

Standing on the border between the districts of Bermondsey and Rotherhithe, the project consists of two blocks - Cubic and Degree - with easy access to shops, restaurants, recreation and whatever is happening around the city.

'Blueprint is a collection of fashionable one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, along with a single three-bedroom duplex,' says Peter Murray, lead director of Jones Lang LaSalle. 'Designed as a place in its own right, the development fits in neatly with the rejuvenation of the neighbourhood, paying homage to the area's many surviving Victorian warehouses, yet giving residents a high-quality living environment and green-themed homes.'

More than 80 units will be made available, with work on the first of these expected to be completed in June next year. Prices are set to start from GBP229,500 (HK$2.79 million) and Hong Kong-based buyers will enjoy the advantage of a special initial sales phase.

'Among the attractions for investors are the easy payment terms, 6.5 per cent guaranteed returns on deposits and the fact that every property comes furnished,' Murray says. 'We believe there will be a strong level of interest, bearing in mind how convenient the development is for London's main business districts and many of the city's world-renowned colleges and universities.'

Each block is being built in a varying brick colour, providing a suitable backdrop for the subtly shifting street scene. The buildings also feature recessed windows and balconies, with the architects' intention being to create a sleek warehouse-style elevation that reflects the historic surroundings.

Taking this concept a step further, many of the windows have contrasting brick reveals, another nod to the area's Victorian style and commercial traditions. There is also a landscaped 'pocket park', offering a tranquil outdoor space and a focal point for members of the immediate community.

'Blueprint is being constructed to Level 4 [very good] of the code of sustainable homes,' Murray says. 'This involves reducing energy loss through the walls, floors and ceilings by maximising insulation levels and air tightness, and by using thermally efficient materials throughout.'

In keeping with these standards, the interiors are all being designed and fitted to the highest specifications. For example, kitchen units are by Urban Myth and come with soft-stop doors and drawers. The full range of appliances includes a stainless steel electric oven and ceramic hob, plus an integrated fridge-freezer, washer-dryer and dishwasher. All carry an A-plus rating for energy efficiency.

Each of the bathrooms, shower rooms and en suites will be fitted with contemporary white sanitary ware and chrome taps supplied by Ideal Standard. Ceramic tiling, oak-finish counter tops and downlighters will add a sense of luxury, while fitted mirrors, towel rails and shaver points cover the practicalities.

'In the entrance hall and living room, there will be wood laminate flooring, bedrooms are carpeted and windows will be double-glazed,' Murray says. 'And to incorporate green principles, central heating radiators will be fed from an on-site energy centre that uses biomass and gas boilers.'

He says each kitchen has storage space for recycling, light fittings will have low-energy control systems, and water butts outside will collect rainwater for reuse.

Focusing on other aspects, every apartment will have enough TV and telephone outlet points for any of today's home entertainment and communication needs or to work from a home office. Any concerns about security will be allayed by the installation of a video entry-phone system, wiring for intruder alarms and mains-operated smoke detectors.

Owners of the larger apartments can opt to use a car parking space - for an extra fee - if the bicycle storage area doesn't already meet their needs.

Noting the probability of rental yields above 5 per cent, Murray also confirms that residential property in London continues to be seen as a safe haven for international investors. Low interest rates, straightforward transaction procedures and generally favourable exchange rates add to the attractions.

'East London now tends to outperform other parts of the city on capital growth and rental yields,' he says. 'That is largely down to the regeneration story and the extension of excellent transport links.'