304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Aparthotel by Locke
Commissioned by the Canary Wharf Group, One Charter Street is a 21-storey aparthotel, consisting of 279 serviced apartments. The development is the latest by stylish modern-living brand Locke.
Designed by HTA One Charter Street is one of the newest — and fastest growing buildings — in Canary Wharf’s new Wood Wharf district.
Why fastest growing? The entire luxury aparthotel complex is designed in a cutting-edge modular fashion. This means that despite site works not beginning until the start of 2021, construction is aiming to be complete in 2022!
With site work starting in January 2020, One Charter Street is a unique building — the first modular building on the Canary Wharf estate.
What this means in reality, is that all the serviced flats will be manufactured by Caledonian in their specialist construction site in Nottinghamshire. The individual flats will be 90% complete — fitted with kitchens and bathrooms and even furniture — before being transported to the site and craned into position.
Canary Wharf has a selection of hotels and serviced apartments, however there is a recent trend towards serviced apartments over traditional hotels. There are already similar facilities available at 1 West India Quay, and The Collective Canary Wharf.
The One Charter Street aparthotel will be the second serviced-apartment complex on the peninsula undergoing construction in 2021, with nearby Quay House due to begin shortly.
Why the sudden influx of aparthotels?
The Locke brand — started in East London in 2016 — has expanded rapidly:
The One Charter Street aparthotel will have 194 studio apartments, roughly 25 square meters, alongside 85 larger apartments at 32 square meters. Locke claims these apartments offer nearly twice the space of typical boutique hotel rooms, alongside offering a kitchen and small living area.
Testing these claims, a nearby boutique hotel — Hilton’s Lincoln Plaza Curio located in the popular Lincoln Plaza development — has room sizes ranging from 24 to 32 square meters, so this size benefit is not immediately obvious. However, the sizes do compare favourably with The Collective, with their smallest self-contained apartments at 16 square meters.
The brand describe their offering as offering a place to stay for a weekend or a year. They occupy a middle ground between high-end rental apartments, co-living spaces, and traditional hotels.
Our aim is to bring together a culturally-curious community, united by mindset, not demographic.About Us — Locke
Far more than a collection of studio flats with a turndown service, One Charter Street is likely to be closer to the amenities packed The Collective, or the Canary Wharf Group’s high-end rental brand Vertus.
The seventeen apartment floors of the 20-storey building are sandwiched between a rooftop restaurant, and retail units and communal space across the first two floors.
The slender plot is located immediately in front of Blackwall Basin, therefore most amenities and the rooftop restaurant should have excellent views east, across the dock and towards the o2 Arena.
The multi-billion pound Wood Wharf area is continuing to develop, with a wealth of retail units, a new Third Space gym, and even floating restaurants scheduled to open before the completion of Locke’s latest aparthotel.
Previously known as Plot B2, One Charter Street is often referred to as a gateway site. The plot lies at the northern entrance to Wood Wharf, via the Cartier Circle, and will be a marker building for the entranceway.
This is similar to One Park Drive and its location at the western edge of Wood Wharf and connection to Canary Wharf.
It will be the first hotel opening on the Wood Wharf site, and longer-term rentals with compete with two of the Canary Wharf Group’s premium build-to-rent apartment buildings, 8 Water Street and 10 George Street.
Excellently placed for transport connections, the £74 million development is approximately equidistant between the Jubilee line station for tube connections, and Crossrail Place for the upcoming Elizabeth Line. Both are around 7 minutes walk.
Flexibility is key for the Wood Wharf development. Offices have been constructed with a flexible floor plate design — to grow and shrink with individual tenants needs — and even the planning permission has been granted as a loose overall masterplan vision rather than a collection of individual buildings.
This flexibility is where One Charter Street and Locke’s aparthotel concept is aiming to fit in. Offering a hybrid between longer-term managed rentals and Canary Wharf’s boutique hotel offering, the brand hopes to capitalise on an increase in work being carried out from larger hotel rooms and co-working spaces in a post pandemic world.
Locke’s other new nearby aparthotel Bermonds Locke — a four-minute tube ride away in Bermondsey — opened in the depths of the U.K.s Covid-19 lockdown in September 2020. Despite this, it has an average occupancy of 75%, proving a resilience in the aparthotel model that wasn’t seen in traditional hotels during 2020.
Wood Wharf is continuing to develop and the site is a great area to take advantage of these upcoming improvements. One Charter Street is well-placed with unrestricted views across Blackwall Basin, and once the area is complete, will have a prime position both in terms of views, and connections via the new Elizabeth line.