A proposal to transform an old car plant site in Luton into a huge £300million mixed-use development has been given the green light by Luton Borough Council.
The 24.5 hectare site has been named ‘Napier Gateway’ by developers J2 Global and will be made up of 685 residential apartments, a 209-bed hotel complex, a retail and leisure piazza and a public park.
Managing Director of J2 Global, Javed Hussain, was ecstatic with the approval news, “after years of planning we couldn’t be happier to get the go-ahead to deliver this iconic project…(the location) couldn’t be better placed for those that will live, work and visit here.”
Keen to emphasis the structural change to the much maligned town of Luton, Hussain went on to say, “Napier Gateway will help transform the town into an out-of-London hotspot, with a mixture of private sale and affordable homes, as well as modern buildings and facilities to attract new businesses, which in turn will bring hundreds of new jobs to the area.”
Luton is experiencing a renaissance in property and infrastructure investment, with numerous projects being approved or receiving investment. Luton Airport’s £110 million redevelopment is set to increase annual capacity by 50%, from 12 to 18 million by 2020, with a 395-acre ‘enterprise zone’ being delivered nearby.
2020 Developments, the company behind Luton Town Football Club, have also pushed forward with infrastructure developments, presenting their vision for a new £150m 22,500-seater football and concert stadium as well as an expansion of the ‘Luton Cultural Quarter’ and improved public transport facilities to the town centre.
Leader of Luton Town Council Hazel Simmons has ambitious plans for the area, “We are absolutely clear in our vision…we will grow the economy and transform the town in order to improve the quality of life for our residents.”
Simmons goes on, “Luton is ambitious, innovative and ready for business and we want to demonstrate absolute quality at every level.”
One of DMZ’s predictions for 2017 was the continuing residential exodus to London’s surrounding towns like Luton, which saw price rises of 20% in 2016.
It’s worth reiterating the staggering value comparison we found; a 4-bedroom, 1,300 sqr ft end of terrace house costs around £300,000 in Luton with similar money buying you a studio flat above a shop on Battersea High Street.
With developers such at J2 Global and 2020 Developments ready and willing to inject unprecedented levels of capital into the Luton area, aided by the backing of local government – DMZ places Luton firmly within the ‘Emerging Suburbs’ which are outpacing the majority of the UK market at the moment.