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London developer buys Chiswick site for 137 new homes

Great Marlborough Estates has acquired a vacant office building for redevelopment into 137 new homes in Chiswick.

The deal, which was negotiated between the developer and Lendlease during lockdown, will provide a range of apartment types and townhouses.

RIBA award-winning developer Great Marlborough Estates will revamp and extend Empire House, a vacant office tower that overlooks Chiswick High Road, to create 66 high-quality apartments, comprising a mix of predominantly one and two-bedroom homes.

London developer buys Chiswick site for 137 new homes

A further 46 apartments and four townhouses will be built at Essex Place, which sits behind Chiswick High Road, and 21 apartments are set to be developed at the corner of Essex Place and Acton Lane.

Each home will benefit from private outdoor space in the form of either a balcony or garden in line with changing buyer tastes post-lockdown. Additionally, roof terraces and an ‘elegant’ façade will be designed to complement the area’s surrounding townscape.

At ground level, an additional 9.000 sq ft of retail and leisure space spread across two units will be created.

Designed by Assael Architecture, the development will draw inspiration from the red-brick buildings and greenery of Chiswick High Road, with a ‘distinctly contemporary’ look.

The townhouses will boast soft red brick tones, reminiscent of the area’s historic buildings, with large windows to maximise natural light and connect each home to the residents’ square.

Once complete, Great Marlborough Estates says the scheme will transform the area between Chiswick Park station and Essex Place into a pedestrian-friendly zone that will benefit residents and the wider community.

The company, which is behind more than £1.5 billion of residential development across London, was the development advisor behind the restoration of John Nash’s Regents Crescent into 67 luxury apartments and nine mews houses, as well as recently securing planning permission for the Zaha Hadid-designed skyscrapers overlooking Vauxhall station that will provide a mix of new housing, public realm and workspace and also a hotel.

JLL advised Great Marlborough Estates on the acquisition, while Knight Frank advised Lendlease.

Co-founder Grant Lipton, comments: “Whilst Covid-19 has undoubtedly created some uncertainty, we remain committed to the long-term outlook for London and the capital’s property market thanks to strong underlying fundamentals.”

He says London will remain a ‘preeminent global hub for business, culture and leisure’, which will bolster demand for housing in the city.

“Acquiring this site in Chiswick marks a significant milestone for Great Marlborough Estates, further expanding our portfolio across London,” Lipton adds. “Alongside providing high quality, well designed new homes, the redevelopment of Empire House will further enhance Chiswick High Road and open up new opportunities for the local area providing a great place for those who live, work and visit Chiswick.”

Pete Ladhams, managing director at Assael Architecture, explains: “The redevelopment of this site presents a rare opportunity to reimagine and reinvigorate this part of Chiswick in a way that adds to the existing heritage and green space.”

“We have enjoyed working with Great Marlborough Estates to repurpose the existing building to create a unique residential neighbourhood and a destination fronting on to Chiswick High Road. Our design has sought to remain contemporary, but sympathetic to the heritage and character situated on the bustling High Road and tranquillity of Turnham Green.”

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