Modern living in reborn Wembley

Timothy Barber
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WITH three weeks to go until the World Cup, the red and white flags and bunting have started appearing in the shops this week, which must mean it’s okay now to be getting excited. Notwithstanding the unfortunate comments of Lord Triesman last weekend, there’s still the hope that in eight years time we’ll have the right to get more excited still if England wins the opportunity to host the 2018 World Cup. Then Wembley, that once-dilapidated corner of northwest London with a great white arch now replacing the white towers of the old football stadium, will be the centre of the world.

Not that the area’s continuing regeneration, after decades of neglect outside the walls of that stadium, is dependent upon the World Cup coming here. It’s already got its new stadium, and as is always the way, with new stadia comes new development on a much wider scale, with shops, hotels, bars and state-of-the-art housing all flowing in. All of which makes it a potential draw for people working in the City.

It may seem far away on the other side of town, but Wembley actually makes for a very convenient commute into the City. Take the Metropolitan line from Wembley Park Underground station and you’ll be in Liverpool Street in just under half an hour. The Jubilee line from the same station takes 39 minutes to make it to Canary Wharf and half an hour to London Bridge. You can also be at St Pancras for the Eurostar, or the West End, in less than 20 minutes.

Of course, in the past it wasn’t much of a place to live. But the Wembley City development, which is transforming the area around the stadium and Wembley Arena, the famous music venue, is changing all that. One of Europe’s largest regeneration schemes, it includes a 10 screen cinema, a large new luxury hotel, a spa, the largest designer outlet centre inside the M25 and myriad restaurants, cafes and bars.

Then there’s the accommodation on offer, which is aimed to mix contemporary style and comfort with high-tech living. There are studios, one and two bedroom flats and two and three bedroom split level apartments, all designed to a high spec, with underfloor heating throughout, smart spaces, and balconies – some with views towards the Wembley Stadium or Wembley Arena. Though it may not sound so glamorous, one of the more impressive elements is the ingenious refuse disposal system, which removes your rubbish via underground vacuum pipes. Separate out the waste and recycling, drop it down colour coded chutes and don’t ever worry about seeing rubbish lorries or piled up bin bags.

Residents can also avoid having to deal for weeks on end with broadband providers as they try to install a service, since the development comes with high-speed broadband delivered fire fibre optic cables. The service is co-ordinated by the developer, Quintain, which means you can switch it on the moment you move in, and it includes digital TV, phone and broadband up to 100mb.

At between £215,000 and £499,950 the Wembley City properties are pretty affordable, offering good opportunities for first timers – the added value of the area’s continuing regeneration and its centre as an international sports and entertainment hub add weight to any investment decisions.

Should England win the bid for the 2018 World Cup, anyone snapping up those apartments will have absolute justification to claim that football’s coming home, right to your front door.

A duplex apartment with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, the big selling point is a large private terrace with views of the Wembley arch. There’s another balcony in the master bedroom.

One bedroom apartment six floors up, with a balcony overlooking the landscaped private courtyard, and generous living space.