Malaysian developer AlloyMtd is spending £10m on the refurbishment of a Georgian terrace in the Sun Street conservation area as part of its residential development One Crown Place.
Hackney Council insisted on the developer restoring the historic buildings as part of the planning permission for the £500m scheme, which will provide 246 apartments and 140,000 square feet of office space.
Azmil Khalid, chief executive of AlloyMtd, said: "Convincing Hackney wasn't easy. They were tough on us, but they were fair."
The terraced houses will become a hotel, and clubhouse for the residents of One Crown Place. Khalid said the Georgian architecture will make the development feel "quintessentially English", which is important because the company is targeting UK buyers rather than foreign investors.
"We want it to be vibrant area," Khalid said. "We want to minimise it as an investor-driven proposition."
Prices for the flats will start at £735,000 for a one-bedroom apartment. Located on the border between Islington, the City, and Hackney, the Sun Street site is one of a growing number of residential developments on the City fringe.
AlloyMtd, an infrastructure company that operates in 15 countries, had been looking for a development site in London for some time after selling a one-third stake in Spitalfields Market in 2001. Khalid said the company went "aggressively" to secure the site in 2013 when it was out on tender with UBS, and then spent two years convincing Hackney Council to allow them to turn it into a mixed-use development.
CBRE are development manager on the project.