Canary Wharf Group, which has transformed London’s once-derelict Docklands into a prime office location over the past 20 years, says it is time to expand into residential development in the British capital’s business centre. Brian De’ath, director of residential sales, said the group has built and owns a portfolio of 17 million square feet of grade-A office and retail space in Canary Wharf and elsewhere in London. Shrugging off the potential impact of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union on housing demand, the group now plans to build 3,300 new homes in the new district of Canary Wharf where it has committed to investing more than £2 billion, he said. “It makes perfect sense to have residential projects built in the area now,” said De’ath. Canary Wharf Group, a wholly owned joint venture between Brookfield Property Partners and the Qatar Investment Authority, is set to launch sales of its luxury residential project, One Park Drive, for Hong Kong buyers on May 12. The 58-storey One Park Drive development comprises 483 units, with prices starting from £570,000 (HK$5.75 million) for studio apartments with areas ranging from 435 to 475 square foot. The most expensive unit is a three-bedroom flat, with areas ranging from 1,196 to 4,524 sq ft, being offered for as much as £3 million. There are also one- bedroom flats of 632 to 772 sq ft and two-bedroom units of 925 to 1,893 sq ft. There are 120,000 people working in Canary Wharf from all over the world. Five malls, covering a million square feet of retail spaces, house more than 300 shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. In 2015, 46.9 million shoppers visited the five precincts. It makes perfect sense to have residential projects built in the area [Canary Wharf] now Brian De’ath, Canary Wharf Group In April, London house prices posted their largest annual drop in almost eight years as buyers shunned the British capital’s central areas, according to property website Rightmove. De’ath, however, remained upbeat about the prospects of the London real estate market. “People are always buying quality projects,” he said. Market activity was muted in the couple of months leading up to the Brexit referendum vote on June 24 as home seekers stayed on the sidelines, said De’ath. But home sales started to rebound in the period between October and December because of pent-up demand and the weaker British pound that made UK property more attractive to overseas buyers again, he said. “It [the devaluation of the pound sterling] effectively offers a 15 per cent discount [to overseas buyers],” he said. The group achieved sales last week when it launched a roadshow in Hong Kong marketing its London-based residential projects, Death said.