Fulham Reach, W6
Fulham Reach is a mixed-use development from St George (part of the Berkeley Group), constructed with the support of architect, John Thompson and Partners, and interior designer, Jestico + Whiles. It’s situated in West London’s Hammersmith, close to Hammersmith Broadway and Hammersmith station, and adjacent to the River Thames. There are currently 744 apartments and penthouses here, which range from one to four bedrooms. A multi-phase project, Fulham Reach is set to reach completion in 2022.
We are renting from a private landlord, but St George (the Developer) have been very responsive directly as everything remains within its warranty period. Their concierge, customer services manager and handymen have made moving here and living here very stress free. I feel the properties are over priced for purchase, perhaps the original selling off plan prices are now appropriate but the asking prices on re sales are too ambitious in my view. In terms of renting, we secured our tenancy for more than 20% below asking price. There were quite a few available to buy and rent, so its worth trying a low offer, especially as new phases complete. The building itself feels like a decent hotel in the common parts. The developer has not scrimped on the interiors at all which are air conditioned, smart (lots of marble) and some nice and appropriate art.
The facilities are unusually strong; the pool and gym are fantastic and mostly empty whilst the remaining phases of the development remain unfinished. The real winner here is the pool which is as smart as any I have seen, and also mainly empty at the moment, but note that it is currently shared by maybe 200 apartments, but that number will increase dramatically in the coming months and years which will put more pressure on. The concierge is excellent; professional and helpful. The guys and girls in the gym are also v nice. Its a friendly atmosphere where you are treated like a valued customer/guest, rather than other developments where I have felt a little bit less comfortable with self important porters whose main offer can be an encyclopaedic knowledge of the “estate rules”.
The apartments themselves are of extremely good design and high spec. Its clear that an experienced London developer has produced them. Air con, Lutron lighting, built in speakers, and a home automation system are all fitted, albeit which is perhaps a little fiddly to use (can we just have a normal light switch in the living room please…?) We ended up still using our free standing Sonos speakers, as the music system is not as good as Sonos in my view. The kitchen has great equipment and everything seems to work well. They are quick to help with any issues (even user error in some cases). We are not fans of the prepay meter installed for heating, which feels like an odd solution in a development like this because it runs out. They have put all the AV equipment in a cupboard which tends to get too hot, and I dont think the wifi and sky boxes are built for that heat, so we have had some trouble there.
Overall though, this development works very well, largely due to excellent job the developer has done, in my view.
We bought a 2-bedroom apartment off plan and were one of the first residents in Distillery Wharf.
The apartments are of good quality overall with impressive design features (particularly the marble bathrooms, leather wardrobes). Other add-ons include air conditioning which was great in the summer (we never had to use the heating in the winter as the building is so well insulated), built in speakers and Lutron lighting all controlled by the control4 system (although I should add that this system froze a lot and did not function properly after one year of use). A handy video screen also allows you to see who is ringing your door bell at the main entrance (although again we had a few issues with this functioning after one year). The kitchen has high specs and everything worked well for us and the double glazed windows made it virtually impossible to hear anything outside which was great. We liked the pre-payment system for heating/water as we could control our costs and it was easy to monitor (much more transparent than other providers out there).
The facilities were the prime draw for us in this development and are second to none. Having doorstop access to the gym, swimming pool, sauna, steam room and cinema room was fantastic. We used the swimming pool in particular very often (having a swim pre and post the office to classical music was rather nice) and it often felt like we were in a hotel. We did notice however that it got increasingly busy at peak times as other buildings in the development completed so it will be interesting to see how they control this. We used the wine room, billiards room and virtual golf room for entertaining which went down well with friends and family – particularly as our flat could not host large numbers. The development is also very pram and young children friendly with wide doors and lifts.
In terms of service, the professionalism and attitudes from the staff was great and it did feel like entering a hotel with the ambiance and their attentiveness. The 24/7 Concierge service is very convenient for residents and Angus in particular does a great job at running the show. The service charge in my opinion however is high and not justifiable.
In terms of the location, we have really seen the transformation of this area over the past few years and enjoyed having Harris and Hoole, Tescos Express, the Blue Boat pub and Cafe Plum nearby. We also enjoyed being a 5 minute walk to our favourite restaurant, the River Cafe. To add to this, the development is a 10 minute walk to Hammersmith station which offers four tube lines and is conveniently located for the A4/M4 if getting out of London. The river path has also been significantly improved over the past two years with beautiful pedestrian routes down to Putney making this neighbourhood a desirable place to live.
Overall, we enjoyed living here and have many fond memories!
Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:
The service charge pricing and breakdown was not very transparent – this should be clearer.
There is an issue in Fulham Reach which is that the service charge – payable by the owners/landlords – includes the air cooling/heating. It does so on a fixed basis, so regardless of usage, each flat pays a share based on square footage. This charge is not just for the use, but also the maintenance of the system – and it is not metered. If you leave the flat empty, or run it on full blast for 12 months, your charge will be the same. As a tenant of Fulham Reach, you will unwittingly sign a lease drafted by an agency (in my case JLL) which binds you into paying this charge for the landlord – which I think is unfair, especially as the landlord will have paid it in advance and could be transparent with you at the beginning as to what this charge is. My landlord waited until a few weeks after my lease had ended, having never mentioned or disclosed this charge, and then deducted it from my deposit. I took them to the tribunal, but of course JLL’s drafting was very friendly for their client, the landlord, and so I lost. So, two pieces of advice: 1. Either cross out the air cooling clause in your tenancy before you sign it, or agree the charge up front with the landlord (remember, they have paid it in advance); and/or 2. Bear this in mind when you would otherwise be sensibly trying to conserve costs in running the system – you can’t save yourself any cost – it is a fixed charge.
I have lived in some other London developments and this is the best by miles. The interiors, facilities and services from the concierge are more like a hotel, just without the room service. We are lucky to have fantastic views of the Thames; which we didn’t really focus on until we moved in, as we are only renting. Everyone who visits comments on what a great view it is.
I like the gym a lot too; it’s got good equipment and is kept clean and tidy and the instructors are very friendly and helpful. All in all we love the lifestyle that renting here affords us. The only negative I would mention is that in previous developments we have been able to rent storage space in the basement, and we could really do with that here we have ended up using my daughter’s bathroom as storage space, which is a bit of a shame.
All in all though, it’s a fantastic rental option.
Distillery Wharf is truly luxurious. Firstly, it is a new build. Compared with the new builds in Canary Wharf- Distillery Wharf has more facilities and lifestyle offerings (spa, pool, Harris & Hoole, restaurants, Tescos, boat club) which gives off an utopian vibe. Secondly, we picked Distillery Wharf because we wanted to be close to the airport, close to the city and have ‘lock and go’ property but we didn’t want to live in an old house. The fittings are high tech, everything is controlled on a touch pad or an app. Isolated air-conditioning and multiple light adjustments mean that more than one preference can exist in the same house. Lastly, the staff that keep the building functioning are fantastic. We are always in communication with the building manger, problems reported are always solved and the shared area always looks clean. Friends and family that have visited us were all deeply impressed by the presentation.
We have been living in this beautiful development for a year and a bit. The layout of our flat is great for young kids, because the kitchen is open plan, which has been really good for us, and it’s very safe, as it’s a lateral apartment. The walls are very solid and so we have never heard our neighbours, and they tell me they have never heard my kids screaming, which is pretty amazing. The whole flat has air cooling and heating; which works well and comes on very quickly. Therefore, no radiators for toddlers to burn themselves on. Also, the windows are very safe for kids, only opening a few inches (as we live a few floors up) and the terrace door are big and solid and our toddlers can’t open these. Also, my husband travels sometimes, and I feel very safe here with my kids. As well as the security doors and porters, we also have a control panel which allows you to talk to the concierge, which is very comforting. You can also put the system on do not disturb when the babies are sleeping. The pool is amazing, especially during week days when it is usually empty, and you can bring in a swimming instructor for your kids, but the only downside is the tiling is lethal; really slippery when wet. A lot of families book the cinema room for their kids and their friends, especially for birthday parties. Ours are a bit young but surprisingly this facility gets fully booked really quickly, as you book a week in advance and people hover on the website to book the slot they want. In terms of the immediate surroundings, there is a nice little park on Chancellor’s Road with a little playground, literally a few minutes walk, and there is a brand new nursery there too. The pub below, the Blue Boat, does a good Sunday roast, and it has a family atmosphere on weekends. I’ve also met other mums in the development with young kids, which is nice, and the kids can run around outside in the fountains and on the pedestrianised walkways very safely, with the biggest danger being cyclists whizzing about. The new Tesco under the building is open until 10pm and has been super handy for me – saving us on many occasions for a nappy or milk run. Overall I would really recommend Fulham Reach – especially if you have young kids.
Nice property and the vast majority of employees I have come in to contact with are nice and professional. However, there are a few people that work in places such as the concierge desk and the fitness center who are not adept at dealing with people. My wife, refuses to go to the fitness center when she thinks a certain person might be working.
That blows my mind that you have employed people like that. Also, I feel that I get less effort and support from the staff when they know I’m a tenant as opposed to an owner. Finally, not impressed with the support when calling the main number to open a trouble ticket. Angus is great, though. As well the vast majority of the concierge staff and others I’ve dealt with.
This development has really surprised us. We lived in Kensington Green (W8) before, and for the same rent we are getting 50% more space, with fantastic facilities, and a brand new, high spec apartment with great views of the river. It makes for a compelling alternative to more central, condensed living. We were worried about the location, because the top of Fulham Palace Road is pretty grotty, but in fact weve been pleasantly surprised. The riverside offers easy access to Chiswick and Barnes, and of course Fulham is close. There are plenty of pubs and kids playgrounds within easy access, and the atmosphere at weekends around the river is good; mainly families, people rowing, and others on bikes or running. Hammersmith Broadway offers shopping essentials within 5-10 mins walk, and very good tube connectivity on the Piccadilly line. Waitrose and M&S are within a walk, and the new Tesco Express which has opened on site is helpful – although it doesn’t stock much fresh food. The Blue Boat pub on the river front is also a plus; solid food and a family atmosphere (most of the time).
We relocated and brought our business from the Hampshire countryside 18 months ago and have been very happy with all aspects of the St Georges Fulham Reach development. After 30 years in the sticks you suddenly realize what you have been missing, its a pleasure to live in a property where maintenance is not a full time occupation and despite the lack of a garden we still have amazing views. We love the multi-national diversity of the residents and have made some good friends. Visiting friends and family have been very impressed. We use all the available amenities and are looking forward to the opening of the new enterprises.
Its a scenic and clean area to live with beautiful views and amenities. The estate is maintained consistently in terms of sanitation and decor . The flats contain classy, minimalist and high spec features .