Plans for a £500million 69-storey residential tower at One Lansdowne Road have been dumped, as the original landowners have instead sold the site to the American developers behind the world’s tallest prefabs, the black towers near East Croydon Station.
Guildhouse Rosepride first revealed plans for a 750-foot tall Lansdowne Road skyscraper as long ago as 2011.
The plans then included a 217-bedroom four-star hotel, 397 residential apartments, and all the extra add-ons that will be familiar to those who have heard the hubristic ambitions of property speculators before: a café and a coffee shop, office space, a brasserie and a restaurant, and a gym and a health club.
Some called the taller of the towers “The Croydon Dildo”.
The council’s Tony Newman and Jo Negrini were soon embracing the Dildo, declaring it to be part of a “Growth Zone”, alongside the £1.4billion scheme to redevelop the Whitgift Centre.
All of which would, we were told more than once, generate work, wealth and riches beyond the dreams of avarice, so that architect plans for a glass swimming pool suspended between two skyscrapers hundreds of feet above street level went through the planning committee almost without anyone blinking…
A decade ago, David Hudson, the CEO of Guildhouse Rosepride, was telling anyone gullible enough to listen, “The proposals for One Lansdowne Road will complement the existing regeneration strategy for the Croydon town centre, working with the other schemes that are already underway, to transform the town.”
The high-rise swimming pool idea was quietly dropped sometime later, but Guildhouse Rosepride continued to maintain their option on the Lansdowne Road site. In 2015 they named China Building Technique Group Company as the primary contractor for the scheme, “to provide design and consultancy in engineering and construction for the half a billion pound new development, part of a massive regeneration scheme that aims to upgrade Croydon”.
Guildhouse have now sold the plot to American developer Greystar, who specialise in build-to-rent schemes. Ten Degrees, Greystar’s twin towers at 101 George Street, has three-bed apartments for rent at almost £36,000 per year.
Guildhouse last obtained planning permission for the One Lansdowne site in 2017, but that lapsed in 2021 without a spade breaking the soil.
Greystar has appointed HTA Design – the designers architects behind Ten Degrees – to draw up new plans for the site.
As well as being one of Brick by Brick’s favoured architecture firms (which worked out so well… well, it probably saw the architects well-paid), HTA Design also drew up the plans for what they boasted was the world’s tallest modular building (prefab to you or I), and are now working on those towers near-neighbours, at College Road, overshadowing the Fairfield Halls.
Another set of twin towers, the taller one when complete will be almost 500 feet high, 50 feet taller than 101 George Street. It will also be a “co-living” block, a housing concept borrowed from the Far East, a form of high-rise flat share.
“Through generous, carefully designed communal spaces the building encourages social interaction while making sure that each home is the right size to offer a place of retreat and privacy,” is some of the excruciating architects’ blurb.
With Greystar teaming up with HTA Design again for One Lansdowne, we can probably expect something being proposed for the site very similar to the East Croydon pair of twin towers.
According to Architects’ Journal, a spokesperson for Greystar said they were “in the early stages of reviewing the existing planning consent”.
Greystar said, “A lot has changed over the past five years since the existing application was approved.” The Grenfell Tower disaster, for one. Someone might want to check the number of staircases and fire escapes in Greystar’s newest tower blocks.
They said, “We have begun to identify areas where we feel improvements could be made to ensure that we create something that reflects market demands, is deliverable and meets the needs of the borough.”
Greystar say that they are already undertaking pre-app discussions with the council’s planning department.
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