Queen’s Park Place (QPP) holds a special place in my heart. Not only do I personally live just around the corner, but it was the first new-build project I worked on while starting a new role with Savills in 2014.
If off-plan sales rates are a measure of a development’s desirability, success and quality, then QPP was a resounding triumph. Armed with no more than an A5 booklet containing a handful of CGI’s and a few floorplans, all apartments (excluding penthouses) sold off-plan at rates of 2-4 a week. Seeing beyond the obvious benefits of the scheme – 50m proximity to Queen’s Park tube station, two large communal gardens set within a gated community, 24/7 concierge, secure underground parking, large balconies, interior designed apartments – buyers could also seek comfort in the positive reputation boutique developer, London Newcastle, had established within the residential development arena.
Now complete, guests, owners & tenants are first greeted with an exceptional double-heighted entrance lobby. A beautiful marble concierge desk runs along one wall, and five clocks each containing a different world time are overhead – surely a nod to the cosmopolitan residents who live here. As you make your way through the first building you exit into the first of two landscaped gardens. Tranquil and calming both to be in and overlook.
The apartments themselves are modern, with open-plan kitchens all containing matt-finish cabinets and sleek Corian worktops with brushed steel splashbacks. All bathrooms come with underfloor heating and bespoke built-in vanity units. Interior Designer Tamzin Greenhill has done an excellent job.
Queen’s Park itself feels like a quaint little village. The main high street, Salusbury Road, has a great collection of cafes, restaurants, boutiques, pubs, florists and wine stores. The park itself is beautiful with something on offer for everyone – table tennis, children’s play area, tennis courts and even a par 3 golf course for a bit of afternoon fun. As a dog lover my only complaint would be that they don’t allow dogs to be taken off their leads to roam. The tube station will have passengers in Oxford Circus within 15 minutes. Queen’s Park tube is also an exchange platform, so almost every other train is empty upping your chances of a seat! While the proximity of the tube is an obvious advantage, it’s also QPP’s biggest faux pas. The development hugs the railway lines and while steps have been taken to mitigate the impact (including triple-glazed windows) it’s still not ideal. New technologies mean the foundations are constructed in such a way you don’t ever feel the railway, though, so overall impact is light.
For any investors out looking it’s worth noting QPP sits on the edge of the South Kilburn Regeneration Programme – a 15 year project currently half way through set to deliver 2,400 new homes, a new primary school, improved public spaces, a new park, new health facilities and new retail destinations. While this will continue to improve the overall desirability of Queen’s Park as an area, the real good news is that by sitting on the western edge of the construction, anyone living at QPP will not be disturbed by the ongoing works.
I have always been a fan of the developer. They have always been design conscious and other schemes I have seen of theirs have aged well and stood out from the crowd. Queens Park Place is no exemption. Ian Simpson the British architect has delivered an attractive building with brick, wood and zinc as the main exterior components. The main entrance to the building is very impressive but one of the biggest let downs is the quality of the common parts in the other parts of the building. Clearly all the money was spent on the main concierge and none left for the other entrances. The gardens are a bit of a missed opportunity. They are good spaces but badly planted and don’t make the most of the space. The building is really well managed by JAR residential and the concierge team are excellent as they should be for GBP4.50sqft service charge. Dependent on which side of the building you are on the train noise can be noticeable, and definitely something to consider if you are a light sleeper. Queens Park is a lovely place to live, the transport, high street, park and local community are fantastic, the farmers market is a treat every Sunday there are plenty of good places to get a drink or a bite. The wider area is about to embark on a huge regeneration, something worth considering if you are renting as the immediate area (Falcon Pub and car park opposite Mand) are about to be developed. However good news if you are buying as the local area is going to see a huge amount of investment in the next 5 years.
Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in: The trains are noisier than we thought and specification could have been higher for the price