ArtHouse units in King's Cross sold out

KUALA LUMPUR: The first residential project of a regeneration development in King's Cross in London has been fully taken up. As a result, an exhibition to attract Malaysian buyers of the 114-unit apartment project called the ArtHouse, scheduled for tomorrow, at the JW Mariott Hotel in Kuala Lumpur has been cancelled.

"Most of the buyers were from Southeast Asia, including several from Malaysia," said a spokesperson for the project who declined to provide additional information such as the prices of the units, which were supposed to be revealed at the exhibition.

The ArtHouse comprises six- and seven-storey blocks with 114 units of 1-, 2-, 3-bedroom apartments, duplexes and penthouses. The sizes of the units range from 516 sq ft to 1,615 sq ft for the penthouses.

The ArtHouse is part of the 67-acre £4 billion (RM19.77 billion) redevelopment of King's Cross, in central London. The former red-light district is now giving way to mixed developments, including 2,000 new homes. The project is owned and developed by the King's Cross Central Limited Partnership that brings together Argent King's Cross Limited Partnership, London & Continental Railways and DHL Supply Chain.

It is situated near the refurbished St Pancras International, which houses Eurostar services, and the King's Cross Station, with six tube lines. The ArtHouse is within walking distance to King's Cross.

"The King's Cross site has been earmarked for major development for over 30 years," says Dr Demetri Porphyrios of architect firm Porphyrios Associates, the co-masterplanner for the redevelopment. The other firms involved are Allies & Morrison Architects and Townshend Landscape Architects.

Once completed, the regeneration project in King's Cross will be the largest mixed scheme in central London. It will take about 10 to 12 years to complete. It will feature 50 buildings totalling eight million sq ft of space, with 20 new streets and 10 new public places such as parks.

There will be 23 new and refurbished office buildings totalling 3.4 million sq ft of net lettable area of Grade A, energy-efficient office space. Office space ranges from 20,000 sq ft to 380,000 sq ft with floor plates from 4,000 sq ft to 48,000 sq ft. The office buildings will have two storeys to a maximum of 11.

Porphyrios said that the regeneration project in King's Cross incorporates green technology like site-wide low-carbon energy system, incorporating an energy centre with combined heat and power engines, biomass boiler and gas boilers — all managed by a dedicated energy supply company. Photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies are also used.

All offices will incorporate the latest water-saving and recycling technologies. Where possible, building roofs will accommodate a variety of "live" environments, including allocated parcels (for planting fruits and vegetables), lawns, and "green" and "brown" spaces.

The office buildings are for lease and not for sale but rental rates are yet to be fixed. About 400,000 sq ft of retail space will also be available.

Besides office workers populating the area, there will also be 4,500 students and staff of the University of the Arts London, which includes Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, who will be relocated to the Granery building, some purpose-built studios and some nearby refurbished historic buildings in September 2011. Furthermore, the area is also earmarked for about 50 arts and music venues.

Porphyrios says the regeneration project will include a number of hotels, the first of which will be the Great Northern Hotel, a 93-bedroom boutique hotel. To ensure the connectivity of the area, nearly £2 billion is being spent on infrastructure alone, leading to new streets and public places.

An artistic impression of Block J of King's Cross

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