Sleek tower scales heights
London's skyline will have a new landmark when the Altitude development reaches completion late next year.
The sleek 27-storey aluminium and glass tower will also afford residents some spectacular views across the city and along the River Thames, while providing a choice of high-quality apartments in a historic district now seeing the benefits of well planned urban regeneration.
'We believe that Altitude offers superior living in every sense,' says Tim Gawthorn, associate director for residential development and investment with Jones Lang LaSalle. 'It is conveniently located in Aldgate on the fringe of the City of London and will offer superbly appointed interiors and an enhanced level of service.'
The building consists of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, and luxury penthouses. About 170 homes will be available with the majority - 98 of them - one-bedroom units. Prices will start from ?433,000 (HK$5.268 million) and, with potential Hong Kong buyers in mind, a selection of floors has been specially identified for the international market.
'Given the quality of the development and the continued strength of the London property market, we expect to see a strong level of interest,' Gawthorn says. 'This is likely to come not only from seasoned investors, but also from people who will need a London base for business or education purposes.'
To maximise the sense of space, many apartments have their own balcony or terrace. The architects have also included a landscaped communal roof terrace, which all residents can enjoy, and have made provision for retail outlets at ground-floor level to increase convenience.
In addition, to enhance the views and the inflow of natural light, every apartment has floor-to-ceiling windows in all the main rooms. Of the various internal specifications, this is perhaps the one that immediately catches the eye. However, prospective buyers will also take due note of the high standard of interior design and top-quality fittings to be found throughout.
For instance, there will be Amtico oak flooring, heated from below, in the living/dining areas and bedrooms. This will not only create an attractive look, but also allow for temperature-controlled comfort from one season to the next.
Besides that, each kitchen comes with a full range of integrated Siemens appliances, including a fridge/freezer, oven, microwave and washer/dryer. The layout and colour scheme will have a contemporary feel, with ample cupboards for storage and hard-wearing worktops to make time spent cooking a pleasure, not a chore.
Bathrooms and en suites will be similarly stylish. The intention is to use designer fixtures and fittings by respected brand-name suppliers such as Vado and Amari, while ceramic tiling, mirrors and vanity units will add the finishing touches.
'With this attention to detail, we want the bathrooms to feel like the perfect place to start and end the day,' Gawthorn says. 'It is all part of the plan to offer superb living accommodation with excellent interior specifications.'
To ensure residents have no concerns about security, the management company intends to lay on a 24-hour concierge service. Staff on duty will keep an eye on what is happening in the building's communal areas. They will also be on hand to offer day-to-day assistance with anything from basic maintenance tasks to deliveries, dry cleaning or transport arrangements.
Noting the international standing and proven track record of co-developer Barratt Homes, Gawthorn is confident that Altitude represents a first-rate investment opportunity. He points to the 'safe haven' status of London's residential property sector and the encouraging prospects for continuing capital appreciation in the years ahead.
'In relative terms, there is a low level of supply and strong ongoing demand from international investors for quality apartments in prime London locations,' Gawthorn says. 'There is also a very strong rental market for properties like this, with some rents for units in comparable developments increasing around 10 per cent in the last year alone.'
As a further guideline, he suggests that average rental yields should be about 5.2 per cent, with no signs of market demand slackening. 'For overseas buyers, sterling is quite weak and easy transactions make for a tax-efficient investment,' Gawthorn says. 'At Altitude, investors will also see that luxury London living has reached new heights.'