Many people have highlighted Whitechapel as the next property hot spot, this is mostly based on the new Cross Rail Line opening in 2018, but what else is happening in Whitechapel and will it really make a difference?
With the new Cross Rail line opening in 2018, many people have highlighted Whitechapel as the next property hot spot, but what else is happening in Whitechapel and will Cross Rail really make a difference?
Tower Hamlets Whitechapel vision
Whitechapel Station is only fifteen minutes walk from our Shoreditch office on Brick Lane, and only one stop on the East London Line from Shoreditch High Street station. We have always done a great deal of business here, especially in the area between the City and Whitechapel Underground Station, and the attractive streets behind the new City of London Hospital, such as Ford Square.
Ford Square, Whitechapel
Over the last two years however our investors have begun to show significantly more interest in the area, with many looking for the next opportunity to make a killing in Whitechapel; one thing the area has been famous for!
The new Cross Rail station will be the first major change to the area and is set to make Whitechapel one of the most connected places in the Capital. In fact with the increased speed of travel across the Capital, a report by JLL claims that it will see the greatest benefit of any station on the new line. The most significant impact of course will be improved access through central London from Liverpool Street to Notting Hill, speeding up and facilitating journeys, which will make the area a realistic prospect for many commuters that work in West London. The new commute times will be nine minutes to Bond Street, thirty six minutes to Heathrow, three minutes to Canary Wharf and five minutes to Stratford.
The new Cross Rail station is set to be only one piece in the overall rejuvenation of the local area with an ambitious Whitechapel regeneration plan also in the early stages. For the time being it's still mostly on paper, but by 2020 the first real changes should start to come into effect. At the heart of the project is a face lift of the derelict old London hospital, the council has confirmed it will move its town hall to the building, which will also have a new public park and be part of a new green way connecting Whitechapel High Street and Commercial Street. Plans are in place for several new buildings and a mixed used tower around the new station. Sainsbury’s have submitted planning to Tower Hamlets proposing to move their multi-storey car park underground releasing an area of 47 acres in the centre of Whitechapel for a green square, shopping and 608 new homes on top of an improved larger Sainsbury’s store.
Sly Street: View from Commercial Road to Whitechapel High Street
Queen Mary’s University has over 17,800 students and will be opening a world class Bio Innovation Centre with studies in innovative genomic research. There will also be a new Life Sciences Campus, a field that is a key growth area for London’s economy. Overall the regeneration plan has projected 5000 new jobs and 3500 new homes.
Whitechapel High Street, a ‘Roman Road’ and historically a vital trade route, currently divides Whitechapel. Thankfully, it is being improved with separated cycle lanes and easier crossing points. If the CAD images generated by Tower Hamlets are to be believed there should be a lot more trees as well.
Whitechapel is already merging with Aldgate on the City Fringe. Aldgate has undergone an enormous transformation in the last five years. The scale of the regeneration plan and the height of the new luxury residential tower blocks hold testament to the potential changes that are in line for Whitechapel. In ten years the enormous regeneration of Shoreditch, with the Goodsyard development, combined with Aldgate and then Whitechapel should result in an almost new City stretching towards Canary Wharf. No doubt at some point in the future the two areas will merge.
On a final note it will be nice to see a newer, greener Whitechapel, but these benefits are likely to come at a cost to the local community. We have already seen a backlash to the plans in Shoreditch, as locals are priced out. The new developments in Whitechapel will require hundreds of millions of pounds of investment and these companies will want to see a profit, therefore only a third of the new housing stock is planned to be affordable housing.
Lettings Manager - Shoreditch