Damac has awarded a £200 million (Dh968m) contract to Australia’s Lendlease to build its Aykon London One tower amid a frenzy of high rise construction in central London.
The building has been designed by the architect Kohn Pedersen Fox and the interiors have been created in partnership with Versace Home, with which Damac has an existing relationship, having completed Versace Home-branded residences at Al Jowharah Tower in Jeddah.
The project will contain 450 residential units, 90 of which have been set aside as affordable homes, in two interlinking towers. The 50-storey north tower will contain 360 luxury units with a starting price of £900,000, while the south tower will contain the 90 affordable units, with four storeys of offices above. There will also be a sky bridge between the two towers with a roof garden at level 24. Construction will be completed in 2020.
The towers overlook the south bank of the River Thames and sit in the Nine Elms district, close to the former Battersea Power Station building, which is also being redeveloped.
“Aykon London One is a landmark project and our first major international development outside of the Middle East,” said Hussein Sajwani, the chairman of Damac Properties.
“We have great confidence in the London marketplace and this project is already proving to be highly desirable to customers and investors from within the UK, as well as other parts of the world.” A recent report on London’s property market by adviser London Central Portfolio (LCP) said the number of new apartments being sold was in decline at a time that construction was accelerating.
It stated that the amount of new apartments in the pipeline had increased by 20 per cent since 2013, with 106,123 new units under development. Applications for permission to build new homes were also up by 27 per cent, with plans for another 111 high-rise towers awaiting approval. Most new homes are being built in two “mega-clusters” – Tower Hamlets and the Battersea-Nine Elms area.
There are 18,665 homes being built in Battersea-Nine Elms, where prices have fallen by about 8 per cent since 2014, compared with an increase of 23 per cent for London as a whole. In inner London, the number of new homes sold so far this year is 43 per cent lower than in the same period last year.
Naomi Heaton, the chief executive of LCP, said: “In light of the plethora of tax hits over the past few years, possibly exacerbated by the uncertainty of Brexit, it appears foreign investors, the majority buyers of new developments, may finally be turning away.”
However, Damac said the first phase of the Aykon London One project, which comprised about 40 per cent of the total rooms available, had sold out, and that the launch of the next phase of units was imminent.
A spokesman for the company said London remained an attractive location for overseas investors, who now see value following the recent decline in value of the British pound. The spokesman added it was actively seeking new opportunities in London – either single sites for apartments or larger sites for community-style developments in the Greater London area.