31-Storeys — Isle of Dogs
Dollar Bay — Overview
Dollar Bay is a Mount Anvil development, in conjunction with One Housing. The building was part of a wider development master plan to provide 187 new homes in Tower Hamlets.
Dollar Bay itself is a standalone 31 storey tower consisting of 125 apartments, 10 affordable and 115 for sale on the open market.
- Studio apartments
- One-bedroom apartments
- Two-bedroom apartments
- A handful of three-bedroom apartments
The building itself is a beautiful development standing alone as a glistening shard of glass. As a result, the building has won numerous housing and architectural awards. These include, The Best New Iconic Scheme, and The Mayors award for Environmental Excellence, at the london planning awards in 2018.
Construction began on the Dollar Bay development in 2014. As a relatively small one-building development, progress was swift, with the building topping out in early 2016.
Construction and final landscaping were completed in mid 2017. The penthouse and cafe remain vacant as of 2021.
Why is it called Dollar Bay? — The local area
Located in a slightly more unusual area — Dollar Bay is further east than the majority of new developments constructed on the Isle of Dogs in recent years. The building sits alone at the head of South Dock.
This easterly location — by the Thames inlet — offers excellent and unobstructed views west towards Canary Wharf. Looking east, Dollar Bay provides views of the O2 Arena and North Greenwich.
At the time of construction in 2018, Dollar Bay stood alone as the only tall tower in the immediate vicinity. However, with the development of Wood Wharf to the immediate north west, this sleek building actually finds itself in an excellent position.
Dollar bay viewed from the Wood Wharf area.
Previously, access through the Wood Wharf area was non-existent, and despite close proximity it would take residents of Dollar Bay 15 minutes to get to the financial centre.
Access to Canary Wharf involved walking west along the entirety of South Dock to cross the water at South Dock footbridge, heading north into Canary Wharf. With the advancing Wood Wharf development, it is now possible to walk through the newest area in the Canary Wharf Group’s portfolio to the Jubilee line station and financial centre.
Why is the development named Dollar Bay?
The developers chose to name the building Dollar Bay after the road it is named on — Dollar Bay Place. The naming of this road refers back to the areas rich docklands history, in particular the role the area played in World War 2.
The story goes:
This patch of the West India docks acquired the nickname of Dollar Bay during WW2 when local dock workers would help US Navy boats based here in the war. It’s said that the American sailors dropped dollar bills from the deck down to the English boats below in gratitudeIan Visits – Dollar Bay
How to get to Dollar Bay
Situated at the end of the dock, close to the A1206, Dollar Bay is slightly easier to access by car than a lot of the developments further into the Isle of Dogs.
Using the DLR
The closest DLR station is South Quay, a short 5-10 minutes walk south west.
Via the Tube
As of 2020 and the opening of Wood Wharf, access to Canary Wharf — and its Jubilee line station — improved significantly. The quickest way to reach the tube station is to exit Dollar Bay and walk east, across the pedestrian side of Blue Bridge (A1206) walking through the new development‘s site. This takes under 10 minutes.
Does Dollar Bay have parking?
Yes. It has two car lifts leading to underground parking, but there are 30 spaces for 125 apartments, so limited is probably the right word here!
Dollar Bay’s Amenities
Dollar Bay has a residents lounge and a small gym, which is located on the west side of the building providing unobstructed views across the dock.
There is also bike storage, and a reception area
The trade-off for a smaller standalone building is less amenities, however Dollar Bay’s slender footprint has been utilised to create space for a private residents garden at the rear.
While limited in grass, this private residents garden has table tennis tables and the shrubbery has grown nicely. Mount Anvil commission urban design experts Spacehub to mastermind this residents space.
The area is compact, but it does look an inviting place to get some fresh air and the tall fencing and planting manages to provide a secluded feeling.
Advantages of Dollar Bay
It is undoubtable a stunning building designed by renowned architects Simpson Haugh, the same architects developing Battersea power station and One Blackfriars. In addition Dollar Bay was nominated for a whole host of architectural awards.
There has been a lot of thought put into the development to maximise the potential from its location and small plot. Dollar Bay unusually curves outwards from the foundations, to have a smaller footprint and free up more space on the plot for the residence garden area behind.
The apartments themselves are generously sized, and all come with huge amounts of light courtesy of fully glazed floor to ceiling wintergardens.
A great benefit of Dollar Bay is the assurance of your views.
While the relentless development in the Canary Wharf area makes the location an exciting place to live — views and hence the preferred aspects frequently change. You may pay a premium for a new apartment with great views, on the right side of the building, only to find out that 18 months in there is a new development approved right next door — obscuring the very same view you paid a premium for!
This is not going to happen to the residents of Dollar Bay. For those on the west side of the building, they have unobstructed views across the South Dock and Wood Wharf.
For those on the eastern side, there is also little room for any large additional development, so views of the o2 Arena and North Greenwich are secured.
Dollar Bay’s architects SimpsonHaugh placed a large emphases on sustainable construction practises alongside environmentally friendly design features.
Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 was achieved through features such as the winter gardens, which act as a thermal buffer zone to the fully glazed building. Comfort cooling uses water from the dock, offering both cost and carbon savings when compared to traditional technologiesSimpsonHaugh — Architecture Today
The buildings design, with a core of apartments facing east and west fronted by glass wintergardens on each aspect, provides a thermal buffer to improve energy efficiency.
It also utilises its waterfront position to great effect, piping in water from the dock directly. This makes it the first building in london to utilise water from the Thames to provide cooling.
The result of Dollar Bays careful design could potentially save nearly 40% on energy costs and is 23% more carbon efficient than similar new developments according to the architects enabling it to win the “Mayors award for environmental excellence” at the 2018 london planning awards.
Disadvantages of Dollar Bay
The private garden is a calm oasis in which to relax and unwind whilst the waterfront plays host to a bright, vibrant ground floor cafe.Mount Anvil Developments
In reality the vibrant ground floor cafe has sat undeveloped since completion, and the aforementioned garden area is well designed but small in comparison to nearby developments advertising private landscaping, such as 10 Park Drive.
Here, Dollar Bay finds itself in a difficult compromise. Mount Anvil are marketing this as an ultra-premium development, with prices to match. However Dollar Bay is lacking the pool, spa, business lounges, cinemas, roof terraces etc offered by a lot of the larger developments such as The Wardian further west along the dock.
Undoubtably it is harder to fit all the additional amenities in a smaller single building development. However, Dollar Bays nearest neighbouring new development The Madison achieves a much wider range of facilities.
It is also a single building development in a constrained 0.90 acre plot that offers significantly more amenities.
The design of this building has obviously come at a considerable cost. Property in the Canary Wharf area is never going to be considered cheap, but the price point of this building is above average for many new developments — placing it right at the ultra-premium end of the Canary Wharf market.
At the time of writing a mid-height, average two bedroom flat for sale in Dollar Bay on Zoopla, is close to £1million. This in itself is on the higher end of the price scale but nothing particularly remarkable for some of the newer developments in the area. Yet, Dollar Bay combines this initial price point with some of the highest service charges around, at roughly £6.70 per square foot.
Dollar Bay offers and interesting proposition, that differs significantly from many other large Isle of Dogs developments. It’s smaller form will certainly appeal to some buyers.
The location provides unrestricted views and is tucked away on its own, with just the water for company in a quieter part of Canary Wharf. Some people will love the location, and certainty over the views. The private landscaping is small but shielded, and offers a secluded retreat.
The building itself with its small footprint and limited number of flats has an air of exclusivity. However this comes at an interesting price point, and a lack of any tangible facilities to show for its expensive service charge.
When the development originally opened in 2018 it felt cut off — with Wood Wharf’s construction providing a barrier to access Canary Wharf. However, as the latest expansion of the Canary Wharf estate develops and brings with it a wealth of new restaurants, shops and bars, Dollar Bay might find itself in one of the most desirable positions of any of the newer developments not located on the private Canary Wharf estate itself.
Dollar Bay is a beautifully designed building, and while many new developments fade as the shine wears off the new facilities — here it looks like it has the potential to increase in desirability as the area matures.