ST Mark’s Square in Bromley may never match the romanticism of its namesake in Venice, but a major regeneration project is set to transform this corner of south-east London — and is expected to send property prices in the area rising.
The £90million project will see a new landscaped plaza and 25,000sq ft of cafes and restaurants, a cinema and car park opening next year — and a new development from Hambridge Homes nearby called Woodhams Apartments is set to provide one of the first waves of new residents.
In 2014, Bromley benefitted from a £5.5million investment into sprucing up the town centre, to greet the hordes arriving from central London seeking more space for their money.
Direct rail links into London Bridge, Charing Cross, Waterloo East and Victoria, a new cinema and a string of restaurants all add to the appeal for millennials. And Woodhams Apartments, a collection of 29 one and two-bedroom flats, very much caters for the younger buyer coming into the area. Full pricing is yet to be confirmed, but will start at £295,000.
It is being built on the site of a former bathroom showroom and two semi-detached houses, and Hambridge Homes is well versed in this type of project.
A family owned firm, it specialises in turning former commercial and brownfield sites into smart residential schemes, managing each stage of the process from site acquisition and planning through to sales. Previous Hambridge projects of a similar ilk include 171 Gypsy Hill, a collection of one and two bedroom flats in South Norwood which completed in 2013.
Groundwork began at Woodhams Apartments 2016, with construction commencing last year. A marketing suite has just opened and the whole build is set to be complete in June. Zack Harden, Hambridge’s site manager at Woodhams Apartments, points to the challenges his team has faced from a five-storey scheme in such a built-up area — not far from Crystal Palace transmitting station.
‘The scheme sits on a busy junction so deliveries have been tricky as road closures are not really an option,’ he says. ‘The building work uses all the space to the site, which also makes things tricky logistically.
‘And we’re so high up. If it gets windy it can throw us off schedule.’
Harden, who has around 28 tradesmen on site each day, says it is a ‘standard build’ with the use of concrete frames and brick exterior, but points to the type of brick used as a stand-out feature. He says, ‘They are hard-wearing engineering bricks which is quite unusual on a site like this. They’re tough and not porous, so are usually used under ground.’ Every flat at Woodhams Apartments will have some kind of outside space, either balconies or terraces, and each will feature full-height windows to exploit the development’s lofty view.
Hambridge is proud of the scheme’s environmental credentials. There will be a green roof and between 70 to 80 solar panels fitted which will provide energy for communal lighting and heating, and the building’s three lifts.
There will be a car park with 19 spaces but how much they will cost is yet to be confirmed.
James Overton, managing director of Hambridge Homes, says, ‘We are pleased with the progress of construction on site at Woodhams Apartments and anticipate that when we launch, we will generate a high level of interest from the local community who are looking to get a foot on the ladder.’