The old adage of buses, where you wait ages, then two come along at once could easily apply to the City's delivery of residential schemes. Remember when The Heron
first appeared a couple of years ago; Gerald Ronson was most proud of the fact that his scheme was the first residential development (of any size) to be built in the city for the past 30 years.
To add to the Heron, on Tuesday, the City of London planning committee granted consent to two notable schemes; Roman House on Wood Street by Berkeley (90 units) and St Dunstan's House on Fetter Lane (76 units), all private of course.
Below is Berkeley Group's Roman House plans. The scheme already benefits from a near 9,000 sqm new build office development from First Orion Amber. However they went into receivership, KPMG took over, Berkeley then bought the site for around £15 million and today it looks likely to built out as luxury flats. With the Heron Tower itself and the Barbican estate on its doorstep, the area between Barbican and Moorgate tube stations is turning into a bit of a residential quarter.
and this one is St Dunstan's House situated at 133-137 Fetter Lane, just up the road from EG Towers. The commute would be very good, although probably slightly out of my price range. The site is currently a court house, with the applicant them self being Her Majesty's Court Service, having just moved to the recently completed Rolls Building (opened by the Queen
), a stones throw away.
Admittedly neither proposal is exciting as the Heron Tower but it does prove how residential schemes are becoming increasingly thought of as an asset class so close to the City when traditionally it was only offices. Prime central London flats have proved very resilient over the past year with foreign investors looking for a 'safe haven', with so much uncertainty over the Euro and sovereign debt. Even though these aren't prime postcodes and they won't fetch prices quite as similar, investors will snap them up pretty quickly...