Project offers perfect fusion of old and new
When looking for a luxury apartment in central London, most buyers don't just consider their own or their family's needs. They also give due thought to the chances of finding suitable tenants and want to feel sure they can do so quickly and conveniently.
Red Lion Court in EC4 presents absolutely no concerns on that score. Located within easy travelling distance of many of the capital's main commercial hubs - the City, Canary Wharf, Soho - and the legal fraternity's Inns of Court, high-flying executives and well-heeled lawyers are likely to be lining up to arrange lets.
'We describe the development as offering sophisticated style in the heart of the square mile,' says Tim Wright of Jones Lang LaSalle, alluding to the traditional centre of London's banking and finance community. 'And Galliard Homes have been appointed to offer a tailor-made management and letting service to take care of the details and make sure everything runs smoothly.'
Altogether, 12 apartments are now available that will be ready for occupation late this year. The choice includes units of one, two and three bedrooms on the lower ground to third floors. The fourth floor has two stylish penthouses, each with three bedrooms and providing a sense of sophistication in tune with the building's exterior, which still retains design features in keeping with the nearby barristers' chambers.
'In general terms, we see Red Lion Court as a successful fusion,' Wright says. 'It combines magnificent architecture with a contemporary, cosmopolitan feel, while being close to well-known historical landmarks and 21st century office towers.'
Behind the grand and imposing fa?ade, each apartment and penthouse has been individually designed to make the very most of its aspect, natural light and interior configuration. The highest standards have been set for the choice of fixtures, fittings and interior finishes. And from start to finish, throughout the whole redevelopment project, the basic guideline has been to create a feeling of sheer opulence for residents.
Living rooms and bedrooms are equipped with comfort cooling, while bathrooms and master en-suites have underfloor warming. The floor finishes are in natural oak veneer and large-format stone tiling.
Various rooms will have surround-sound technology installed and, wired for the modern world, all TV sockets will be enabled to receive satellite, HD and 3-D broadcasts subject, of course, to subscription.
'The plan is for kitchens to have black natural granite worktops and a fully integrated range of Smeg appliances,' Wright says.
This will include a single low-level oven, microwave and five-ring ceramic hob, plus washing machine, dishwasher and fridge-freezer. A stainless steel undermounted sink will complement the high-gloss white lacquer used for cupboard doors.
Emphasising style and comfort, the design for bathrooms and en-suites features a white colour scheme, steel bath, clear glass frameless screens and thermostatic mixer. Moving to any of the bedrooms, the full-height wardrobes with sliding doors are sure to impress, as will the oatmeal-toned fitted carpets, which enhance the sense of space.
'With these choices and facilities, our aim is to offer apartments and penthouses that surpass the expectations of the most discerning home buyers and investors,' Wright says. 'A video entry-phone system and on-call management services ensure good security and, realising the need to cut energy use, dimmer switches and double glazing will come as standard throughout.'
Noting one of the highlights that make the immediate area special, Wright points to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. In a quiet backstreet, just a few steps from Red Lion Court, it is one of London's world-famous pubs and underwent its own refurbishment - right after the Great Fire of London in 1666.
'Being in a part of the city with such historic attractions, while being so close to all the modern amenities and entertainments, means these 14 boutique apartments represent a rare opportunity,' Wright says.
For investors, timing is always a factor. But against a background of continuing low interest rates, no capital gains tax in Britain for overseas buyers and the relatively weak level of sterling, the market offers obvious advantages.
'What is more, rental yields in central London are strong - at least 4 to 5 per cent - and are expected to remain so for the foreseeable future,' Wright says.