10 George Street
37-storeys — Wood Wharf
Overview of the development
10 George Street, also known as Vertus, is the first residential development completed on the Canary Wharf groups new private estate.
GRID Architects, based in Southwark, were commissioned by the Canary Wharf group to design the 37 Storey tower.
It is the first of three “Build to Rent” properties commissioned by the rental arm of the Canary Wharf group, known as Vertus. The two others, 8 Water Street, and Newfoundland are both expected to be completed in early 2021.
The building itself houses 327 apartments, with a main tower and a 6 storey podium. This podium enables space for an expansive roof terrace, amongst other social spaces. The building stands directly in front of South Dock, to the east of the much slender 10 Park Drive, pictured above.
10 George street completed development in late 2019, with the first tenants moving in during February 2020.
A landscaped garden area with outside gym, directly infront of the building opened during early 2020, and a portion of a boardwalk area opened shortly afterwards.
This is one of the first buildings in the Canary Wharf Groups venture to open an entirely new area of the estate, known as Wood Wharf.
Situated in the upper area of the Isle of Dogs, it is currently in the unique position of being the only residential building actually within the Canary Wharf private estate. There will be neighbours shortly, as One Park Drive, the groups first residential property for sale is currently under construction.
The estate has, up until now, solely consisted of retail and commercial properties, with residential developments found to the south of the estate on the other side of South Dock.
As part of the Wood Wharf development, a new bridge linking Water street and Montgomery street was opened during 2019. It is therefore a short 5 minute walk to the Jubilee line station or financial centre of Canary Wharf.
The closest route to the DLR is also westbound into Canary Wharf itself, around a 5-10 minute walk. The area is not massively car friendly, especially while development continues, and parking is not available at the building itself. However, there are an abundance of zipcars and taxis available in the area.
As you would expect from a building marketing itself as an ultra premium “all in one” solution to renting, there are a vast array of amenities on offer, totalling 6,000sqft of social space.
The most instagrammable is obviously the roof terrace on the second floor of the podium, and CGI images and photos of the terrace currently occupy almost every every square foot of advertising space across the Canary Wharf estate!
There is a small but very modern and well equipped gym, private dining room and lounge, alongside a self service bar – think airport lounge or hotel executive lounge area – with coffee machine and wine vending machine.
Security of the Canary Wharf estate
There are certainly benefits to being on the private estate itself. Being private land, and not short of cash, all of the facilities are both high quality and well maintained.
Security is a key feature of the Canary Wharf groups focus, and they employ nearly 500 full time staff. Yes thats right, five hundred. These include both in-house staff and contractors, and span a whole range of disciplines from maritime patrol to explosive detection dogs.
The entire estate is covered with CCTV, and they have a dedicated control room, working in close conjunction with the local borough Police and specialist Met Police.
10 George Street itself oozes no expense spared quality, and the building is clad in a combination of natural stone and bronze metal panels. The apartments themselves are quite decently sized, with sizing almost “one size up” from similar developments.
For example a lot of the developments across the Isle of Dogs have one bedroom flats in the range of 440-570sqft but this is actually the size of the studio flats in Vertus. The flats are rented fully furnished as default, but can be rented empty, and you can get a feel for the build quality in the apartment video tours.
10 George Street has a lengthy write up on its features in the architects journal. Aside from the aforementioned build quality, its obvious that a lot of thought has gone into the environmental aspects of the Wood Wharf development, and this building is no exception.
It has a centralised hot water scheme like many new developments in the area, but 10 George Street takes it a step further with active heat recovery systems. These extract heat from expelled waste air and re-cycle this energy. In addition to recycling the heat, the development also recycles water with a grey water collection scheme implemented throughout the building.
Finally it has an array of PV panels helping to generate its own electricity and contribute to its eco credentials. Part of the reason it was completed so quickly was the use of more environmentally efficient, modular construction techniques.
I wrote about the benefits of being late to the party in an overview of Maine Tower. This situation is almost the exact reverse, with Vertus one of the first properties in a developing area of the Canary Wharf estate.
This means your neighbours will be cranes for a significant period of time, and the associated construction noise that accompanies that.
Personally I enjoy watching the development of the area, and the construction of the very impressive One Park Drive further along the dock. However if you are looking for nearby places to eat and drink, the CGI restaurants, bars and cafes in the Wood Wharf development are likely to remain CGI for a long time.
Expensive to rent, especially for larger properties
Current asking rents in Canary wharf for 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments are roughly £1600, £2350 and £3100, respectively. In comparison the cheapest apartments of equivalent bedrooms in Vertus will set you back £750, £1000, and £1600 extra per month, respectively.
Of course you get the collection of lifestyle facilities, internet and council tax included, but you are still paying a hefty premium to be here. Further into the Isle of Dogs, Sailmakers at Harbour Central is another build to rent scheme providing an all in one price and a hefty amenities list. While Sailmakers doesn’t have quite the same close ties with the Canary Wharf group and the proximity to the financial center, it is within 10-15 minutes walk and available at a significantly cheaper rate.
Is that necessarily a bad thing? No, and I expect the development to be hugely popular regardless, with people opting for the convenience of an all in one solution. However it does seem to drift further away from market rate pricing, the larger the property rented, and it is something worth thinking about.
It is obviously a very quality building from the Canary Wharf’s groups first foray into residential property. Whilst not offering quite the level of leisure facilities that some of the developments in the area provide, it does offer a generous amount of space for socialising and tries to set itself apart with its fully managed approach.
You do pay quite a premium for both the convenience of having a professionally managed rental, and the short walk into Canary Wharf’s financial district, but in return get the estates security and a level of building quality rarely found in other developments.
Being the first to arrive to Wood Wharf is definitely exciting, but whether the rush to be first there outweighs the surrounding development is debatable.