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September 17, 2010
Riverside Views In London
If London housing lacks anything that is found in other comparable cities (in as much as those exist) it would probably be in the riverside. When I first moved to London, I commuted by the Thames Clipper riverboat service. Passing under Tower Bridge and along the Thames was one of the highlights of my day, as well as a much more relaxed way of getting to work if you are based near London Bridge or Canary Wharf. Yet for some reason, the highly sought after property is not near the river.
Mayfair, Knightsbridge and South Kensington all miss the Thames. Some areas of prime London do run along the river, such as Chelsea, but even there the riverside is the less desirable side of Chelsea. Pimlico has riverside property, but the houses and the bank are separated by Grosvenor Road and the Millbank. In my city’s defence, it is quite similar to New York in the sense that the park, rather than the river, is the most desirable view, but for a city whose main landmarks are along a river, it really lacks something in the housing department.
This trend has been changing.Developers have found what riverside property is available and converted it into new residential developments. The plus side of these developments are that since they are away from the highest end areas, they are more reasonable than their views and quality would otherwise fetch them. Here is a sampling of flats with riverside views which are available now, click for the links:
The Tower, Battersea Reach, SW18: Just across the river from Fulham’s Parson’s Green, the new development’s penthouse recently sold for £50m, the highest price for any property outside of Ultra-Prime Central London
Imperial Wharf, SW6: West London’s answer to the lack of riverside property, the development is helped by a new rail station to provide much needed riverside transport.
Albert Embankment, SE1: Just to the west of the Southbank, the Albert Embankment provides stunning views of Westminster; however, since it is not in the typical high end locations you are able to get a comparative discount on top notch properties (if £1300 per square foot can be considered a discount.)
Freetrade Wharf, Wapping, E1: Residential upstarts Wapping and Canary Wharf have taken the riverside view to heart. Thamespath in Tower Hamlets is lined with riverside flats which have become very popular with young Canary Wharf workers. Unfortunately the views are of less than notable Bermondsey, a far cry from the Albert Embankment or Shad Thames.