Blackfriars On The Up: Two New Skyscrapers Set To Transform Area

DMZ‘ers are probably familiar with the Shard, the Cheesegrater, the Walkie-Talkie and the Gherkin.

But they may not be so familiar with ‘the Vase’, the 50 story, 170m high mega-structure currently in construction at the junction of Blackfriars Road and Stamford Street.

Home to 247 luxury apartments, the building will offer 24/7 Harrods concierge service to all residents
Home to 247 luxury apartments, the building will offer 24/7 Harrods concierge service to all residents

One Blackfriars, informally known as ‘the Vase’, is on the south side of the Capital and just north of the new Elephant & Castle regeneration scheme. The skyscraper is being built by by Berkeley Homes brand St George who have put together an impressive team that includes Rochdale-born architect Ian Simpson and interior designers Tara Bernard and Partners, who completed the redesign of InterContinental Hotels Group.

Michael Bryn-Jones, a Director at St George said the development would “create hundreds of new jobs, homes and a new public piazza, as well as contributing to local infrastructure”. He described the build as a “gateway into Southwark, which will see increased prices ripple out”.

The Kensington Suite, which will cover almost 6,000 sq ft on the 43rd floor, is priced at £23 million
The Kensington Suite, which will cover almost 6,000 square foot on the 43rd floor, is priced at £23 million

However, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the Vase.

Last year a promo video for the development was released, which was immediately ridiculed by shocked onlookers, facing a barrage of negative reaction from social media.

The bizarre ad, which has now been removed from Vimeo and YouTube, showed a rich couple embarking on helicopter rides, being serviced by a butler and touring the capitals sights in a Bentley. It ends with the couple admiring a sculpture of the penthouse they have just purchased.

One twitter user described the promo video as "he CREEPIEST real estate ad you've ever seen or ever will see"
One twitter user described the promo video as “the CREEPIEST real estate ad you’ve ever seen or ever will see”. Source: YouTube

If any DMZ‘ers are interested in snapping up one of the Vase properties, we found a tidy 3-bedroom flat for sale at £4.5m, just over £2,000 per square foot.

The Vase isn’t the only skyscraper coming to the Blackfriars area.

At 178 metres tall, 18 Blackfriars Tower would stand even higher than the nearby Vase building (163 metres). The site is owned by Malaysian-backed, Jersey-registered company Black Pearl, who have recently tweaked the original 2007 plans from Star-chitects Wilkinson Eyre to include a huge 548 room hotel.

Developers Black Pearl are in the final consultation process with local residents on the new plans and have tried to sweeten the deal by including a new public square with an ‘animated water feature’ in addition to a ‘cycle cafe’ along the nearby cycle superhighway. All going well 18 Blackfriars Tower could be open in 2020-21.

On the Up: Blackfriars as it would appear with new skyscraper additions
On The Up: Blackfriars as it would appear with new skyscraper additions

DealMakerz recently reported on the 22 Bishopsgate development; every week London seems to be inundated with yet another game-changing skyscraper. We agree with St George’s prediction that the explosion in Blackfriars development is most definitely good news for nearby Southwark and Elephant and Castle.

With North and West London predominantly residential, DMZ regards south London as an attractive proposition for developers looking to create mixed use residential and commercial space. Previously unfashionable areas such as Elephant and Castle, Bermondsey and Kennington are enjoying a mini-renaissance in the residential market. The main hinderance on their value has historically been poor transport links to central London, however further commercial development South of the river and a migration of what is considered ‘Central London’ could be a real boost for our friends down South.

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