From No Man’s Land To ‘Unsquared Mile’: Developers Entice Buyers To East London

The former no man’s land between the edge of the City of London, Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout and Shoreditch is being dubbed the “unsquare mile” in an attempt to entice more buyers.

The new name aims to focus people’s minds on the area’s rapidly changing appearance.

Commercial dwellings in the area used to be where aspiring artists made their homes.

But Polat Ali, of Hunters, told the Telegraph these spaces are now more likely to be hubs for creative and tech industries or ale bars and organic eateries.

Amazon has chosen the area for its new London headquarters at Principal Place. Amazon’s HQ sits alongside Principal Tower, the first fully residential building in London which is due to complete in 2019. The 50-storey tower offers apartments and duplex penthouses with views of the capital from £960,000.

The 50-storey Principal Tower is next to the 15-storey office block Principal Place, also designed by Foster and Partners
Source: Flickr


Christopher Murray, of W1 Developments, said more than two thirds of the 301 apartments have already been sold off-plan to a range of buyers. Around 40% of buyers are from Europe and the UK, 20% from North America and 30% from the Middle and Far East.

Average property prices around Principal Place have risen by 89% since 2007 to £588,200, according to research from Countrywide and the Land Registry. Last year, one in 10 homes sold in the area was a new build, and so far this year 7% of homes went for more than £1 million.

Aside from Principal Tower, there is also The Stage, a 37-floor mixed-use development on the historic site of Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre, where studios start from £685,000. Towards Hoxton, the Long & Waterson scheme has homes available from £695,000.

People desiring a low-rise lifestyle will find purpose-built apartments and commercial conversions tucked down nearby back streets.

Foxtons is selling a three-bedroom apartment in Christina Street with an outdoor terrace for £1.1 million, while a split-level, two-bedroom apartment on busier Commercial Street is listed with Marsh & Parsons for £975,000.

The three-bedroom apartment on Christina Street has a large open-plan reception room and modern kitchen
Source: Foxtons


The number of independent shops in the area is high at 77%, compared with just 5% in London as a whole.

Henry Smith, of the developer Aitch Group, said: “Trendy coffee shops and pop-ups open in the same week as a high-end hotel or restaurant, which speaks volumes about the area’s wide-ranging appeal.”

The area is quickly losing its “no man’s land” label. Jenna Buck, from local estate agent Easthaus, said high-end lifestyle brands such as Barry’s Bootcamp and The Curtain have arrived. Meanwhile, restaurants such as the Michelin-starred Galvin brothers’ La Chapelle, Ottolenghi Spitalfields and The Ivy City Garden are already on the doorstep for new residents.

Designer hotels such as Nobu, M by Montcalm, Shoreditch House and The Courthouse will double their visitors in the next two years.

The unsquared mile is a stone’s throw from the City
Source: Wikimedia


DealMakerz reckons the area is set for further growth, with its appealing selection of restaurants, shops and amenities, and its location just minutes from Liverpool Street and Shoreditch.

It’s good to see that developers are trying to put a sense of community at the heart of their projects.

Principal Tower, for example, has an online community where residents can share interests, jobs or social events. Its amenities include a gym, spa, screening room, lap pool and 24-hour concierge.

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