The developers behind a massive residential scheme in an old entertainment venue on Streatham High Road and the redevelopment into luxury flats of the Star and Garter home on Richmond Hill have spent £90million to move in on West Croydon.
The second major property deal in and around Croydon town centre to be announced this week, London Square Partners – a firm set up nine years ago by former colleagues from Barratt’s – will work on what they are calling “St Michael’s Courtyard”, with more than half of the 232 new homes to be “affordable”.
This is regarded as a “gateway site”, next to the railway, tram and bus stations, and alongside the Whitgift Centre land which has been CPO’d by the council for a Westfield project that looks unlikely ever to happen.
London Square Partners bought the site from Portman Square Holdings.
They are promising, “a stunning new centrepiece for the area, with an attractive public square, shops, cafés and 232 new homes”.
They are working with housing association Clarion and 55 per cent of the homes will be “affordable” housing – that is, shared ownership flats where the sale price is 80 per cent of the market rate. That is a considerable improvement on what the council’s own house-builders, Brick by Brick, are managing to deliver.
In their announcement this week, London Square Partners said, “Planning is already in place for the development, designed by Assael Architecture, featuring two handsome brick buildings of 21 storeys and 25 storeys for the residential element, 947 sq metres of commercial space, with retail and offices at street level and the new piazza opening up views to the listed St Michael and All Angels Church.”
They add, “Pedestrian links will also be created to the station and new shopping centre.” It is to be hoped that the planning authority manages to keep these developers to that promise, unlike what happened with Menta and the Bridge To Nowhere at East Croydon.
They continued, “London Square Partners will work in partnership with Clarion Housing Group to deliver 128 shared ownership homes, alongside 104 apartments for private sale. The award-winning developer and the country’s leading housing association are already working together to create 100 per cent affordable housing on schemes in Neasden and the second phase at Staines.
“The West Croydon area is seen as pivotal to providing the capacity for growth plans for the area, with the transport hub shaping perceptions of visitors and playing a key role in the success of the regeneration plans for Croydon town centre.”
And London Square’s chief executive, Adam Lawrence, said: “We look forward to delivering a really outstanding scheme that will help to redefine the West Croydon area and the wider ambitions for the borough. The London Borough of Croydon has been very supportive of our plans.
“Our continued partnership with Clarion Housing Group means that we are able to build 55 per cent affordable homes, as well as for private sale. This will be a major boost for local people and those who want to move to the area. We look forward to working with Clarion on our third joint project.”
The experienced and professional developers’ numbers make an interesting comparison to those produced by the novices who run the council-owned loss-making house-builders Brick by Brick.
London Square say that they have a landbank worth £1.3billion, which they are looking to double. They have 1,018 homes in production, forward sales of £180million and a land pipeline of 2,356 homes. They have financed this with a £200million debt facility taken out in 2018.
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