Manhattan comes to British capital
Cities such as London are always open to influences and ideas from around the world. Many of these are seen today in new projects that redefine the look and feel of popular districts in the heart of the traditional East End.
A perfect example is No 1 The Plaza, an upmarket residential development rising to 27 storeys and offering spectacular views of historic landmarks, the glittering towers of Canary Wharf and the greenery of London's 2012 Olympic Park.
Inspired by New York's skyline, the architects' overall plan was to form a cluster of seven individual towers. But with roof terraces, landscaped gardens and an open plaza in which to relax with family and friends, there is also a distinctly European element that looks to create a real sense of community.
'Residents will enjoy Manhattan-style living with convenience, modern comforts and great views,' says Rosaline Lam, senior director of Colliers International, which is marketing the apartments in Hong Kong. 'And with amenities including a 24-hour concierge service, a 280-square-metre fitness centre within the building, and a health clinic and proposed coffee shop on site, living here will be all about ease in contemporary, friendly surroundings.'
No 1 The Plaza has more than 180 units consisting of one-bedroom suites and apartments with one, two or three bedrooms. They are due for completion in the second quarter of 2013 and are the penultimate phase of a hugely successful regeneration project overseen by developer Barratt London.
Each home will be superbly equipped, with aspects and interiors carefully designed to maximise the inflow of natural light and the general feeling of space.
Kitchens will come with top-quality, fully fitted Nolte units, stainless steel sinks and an integrated range of Siemens appliances. Upgrades are available to include such items as granite worktops and wine coolers at an agreed cost. Buyers or residents can also choose to have wooden flooring or an alternative selection from the Amtico Spacia Range.
For the bathrooms and en suites, fittings in chromed brassware will be supplied by Grohe. All the sanitary ware will be from the Roca Gap Range, while underfloor heating will combine sleek practicality with that extra touch of luxury.
Main living rooms open on to balconies or private roof terraces, providing additional space for quiet relaxation or to admire the extensive cityscape stretching to different points of the compass.
'Interiors at No1 The Plaza reflect everything the designers and developer know about creating contemporary living spaces,' Lam says. 'And just below, acres of landscaped courtyards and a pocket park offer a pleasant retreat from the general hubbub and activity of the city beyond.'
The building's public transport links are first class, with direct access to the nearest underground station. However, if needed, parking spaces are also available for the three-bedroom apartments and for some of the two-bedroom units.
Situated a short distance from London's main Olympic zone and near the centre of an epic GBP9 billion (HK$111 billion) urban regeneration project, the district of Bromley-by-Bow will have a great deal going for it in the next few years.
It will benefit immediately from the legacy of the 2012 Olympics with state-of-the-art sports facilities, new parkland and extensive cycle routes. In due course, a new Crossrail service will provide a high-speed link between East and West London. And from nearby Stratford, Eurostar trains will offer a quick getaway for weekends or longer trips to continental Europe.
'There will be a stunning collection of world-class facilities on your doorstep,' Lam says. 'This development offers the chance for a fantastic lifestyle in an area fast becoming a new destination with its restaurants, alfresco dining and venues for theatre, film and comedy.'
List prices for suites or apartments run from GBP198,000 to GBP460,000 and, with London's residential property sector well-known for its resilience, there is every prospect of steady capital appreciation. The rental market is also expected to remain healthy, with yields for similar properties usually in the region of 5 per cent. Low interest rates for borrowers, favourable foreign exchange positions and clear legal procedures add to the attractions for overseas-based buyers.