On 18 September 2019, around 25 ULI members had an exclusive tour of Greystar’s newly completed two-tower residential development at Sailmakers, near London’s Canary Wharf. The towers, Ostro and Sirroco, comprise 300 luxurious high specification 1, 2 and 3 bed apartments.
The event was opened by Michela Hancock, Managing Director of Development and Construction for Greystar. Her role focuses on overseeing the execution of projects; everything from financing, amenity and unit planning, design, construction to lease up efforts. Michela praised her “amazing” Greystar team for their efforts in driving this project forward. The site, originally for Build-to-Sell apartments had to be re-worked as a Build-to-Rent site, something that Michela has a specific background in from working in the US. The focus of the team was to ensure that renting in the towers was a lifestyle choice, which meant the biggest challenge of the project was the interior design. Greystar worked with interior designer Elizabeth Johnsson, formally of Rolfe Judd Interiors, to create “a calm, serene and a peace-of-mind” environment. Amenity space was therefore crucial in the transition from Build-to-Sell to Build-to-Rent and the towers, as a result, boast plenty of this space, including gym, therapy room and circuit space.
The tour began on the 34th floor; originally, this space in the Build-to-Buy model had been penthouses. However, the new direction of the building meant that this now became a full-service gym. Michela had explained that, as Build-to-Rent, this space, which offers panoramic views, should be enjoyed by all residents. The full-service gym could make anyone want to work out with the high spec equipment and airy environment. This space is exclusive to residents of the building and cannot be hired out privately. Greystar has paired with Instagram influencers to provide classes, with currently four running per week.
The Club Lounge on floor 35, offers outside deck space, comfy chairs and flat screen TV with the opportunity for themed residents’ nights. Recently, management ran a Doggy Wine Night. The pet-friendly attitude in the towers has meant that many residents are dog owners. Dogs had a non-alcoholic variation, but owners enjoyed wine tasting. The dining room has been used for community events including cookery classes and cocktail making. The dining room will be available for private hire from January 2020. Those hiring the space can even select a cleanup service, for an extra charge.
The apartments, furnished with unique pieces if requested, are airy and bright. It is clear that the layout was well thought out with all space utilised. However, it is clear that the USP of these properties were not the apartments themselves, beautiful though they were; it was the added extras and the community foundation that Greystar worked into the design of units and towers as a whole.
It will be interesting to see how the larger estate, which is still partially under construction with practical completion dates extending to Q3 2020 will enhance the South Quay area.