One of the last remaining river spots left for development - the historic Lots Road Power Station is being transformed from industry to community by Hutchison Property Group UK. Stephen Penn takes an exclusive tour

Perhaps a little less outspoken than its renaissance siblings Battersea and Bankside — Lots Road Power Station has been out of circulation for more than a century. Featuring in several vintage London Transport posters, the coal-fired power station also played a pivotal role in the development of the British radio industry – its towers speckled with transmitter aerials.

Shortly before it was decommissioned in 2002, the site was bought by Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa. Now the award-winning developer is building a new residential community of 434 apartments and penthouses, complete with shops, high-end restaurants, a spa, swimming pool and state-of-the-art gym on the 11-acre site — renamed Chelsea Waterfront and designed by starchitect Sir Terry Farrell — including two towers of 25 and 37 storeys.

Heavily involved in every aspect of the design – Farrell’s creative input is clear to see. With versatility - a must have trait for modern metropolitan apartments, spacious homes are perfect for both entertaining and relaxing.

The finest materials from around the world create a luxurious finish underpinned with a tasteful classical design style. Positioned on a sweeping curve of the Thames, the apartments enjoy breath taking panoramic vistas of the London skyline. When it comes to aspirational city locations, Chelsea remains one of the capital’s most sought-after boroughs – along with Westminster and Kensington.

Having witnessed a sales boom of more than 20% in the latter half of 2017, this surge is showing further momentum in 2018 and a welcome return to prime central London home prices.

“The sheer scale of the project makes it somewhat unique as the largest residential development on the north-side of the river in 100 years,” Hutchison Property Group marketing manager, Robin Gevell confirms. “The development has a long and esteemed history, as the land was owned by numerous parties. We’re enjoying collaborating to make the project a visionary reality.”

In terms of phased build-out, with project completion slated for 2020 - tier one of the development has come to fruition with three low-rise luxury apartment complexes, Claydon House, Compton House and Chartwell House, named after famous UK houses which feature elegant and renowned gardens. All apartments sport river views, and ground floor apartments boast plush gardens designed by Lord Kenilworth.

Phase two now under way, includes the construction of two eye-catching towers; the West tower close to completion and the East tower soon to make its mark on the skyline. These grand structures come together in a dance-like fashion on either side of Chelsea Creek and offer opulence at its fi nest with clean lines and panoramic city views.

Adds Robin: “The development isn’t just a feat for residential housing – the site’s historical pedigree is integral to the project, bringing back to life a former staple of London living – Lots Road Power Station - which once ran the entire London underground system.”

This remarkable renovation will maintain the stunning red brick façade while transforming the interior into ‘loftstyle’ apartments surrounding the largest residential atrium in the history of Europe and housing restaurants, retail opportunities and other leisure amenities.

“The fallout from Brexit has meant that timing hasn’t been traditionally ideal in bringing new product to market, but we’ve been selling larger units at speed – something we didn’t anticipate,” explains Robin. “This bodes well for the future, as it clearly indicates that buyers are purchasing to live in the community – not to merely rent out their newly acquired units.”

Current market statistics also indicate opportune times ahead. Knight Frank’s latest Riverside Market Insight reveals a 96% year-on-year increase in viewings of riverside property in the last three months of 2016 and a 37% increase in registrations of new prospective buyers. Prices in Chelsea have also adjusted more than any other prime central London district.

“The total value of sales in Chelsea in December 2017 was the highest since July 2014, and in the same month, eight deals were recorded above £5m, which was the highest total since March 2014,” confirms James Pace, Knight Frank department head of the Chelsea office. “Market conditions in Chelsea are gradually returning to normal and we expect the next stage will see a notable upward pressure on prices.”

“Chelsea Waterfront is one of prime central London’s last remaining landmark riverside schemes,” adds Christopher Jones, Residential Development Associate at Knight Frank, “As the project continues to come to fruition, its combination of striking modern architecture and vintage redbrick power station demonstrates a best in class statement of design and master planning.

“The launch of the West Tower has also unveiled a previously unseen vista over Chelsea and into central London – arguably the best aspect of any London development, making this a preeminent property showcase for the capital.”

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