Bringing History to Life

CPBigwood is managing a mixed-use development in Clapham that is bringing village life back to the city

Macaulay Walk in Clapham is a residential-led mixed-use scheme in the heart of Clapham Old Town in south London, developed by Grainger plc with specialist mixed-use and leasehold property management services provided by CPBigwood. The development recently won numerous awards at the WhatHouse awards held in 2014.

The area has a rich history and retains a village-like feel, boasting a wide range of traditional shops, including a butcher and a greengrocer, as well as a variety of good restaurants and bars and the weekly Venn
Street food market. Add to this what Grainger's development director Mark Woodrow, describes as “an interesting mixture of houses, apartments and penthouses, combining new build and period conversion properties” and it is easy to see why the area is increasingly popular with flat buyers. The aim, he says, has been to create a mixed-use development which is in sympathy with the site's rich heritage and maintains Clapham Old Town's sense of community.

Clapham Old Town started out as a medieval village built on high ground above the Battersea marshes, but came into its own in the 18th century as a residential destination for the wealthy. Large residences lined the common's north side. What is now Macaulay Walk, was then the site of the local cricket pitch, next to the Parochial School and the rectory for Holy Trinity Church. The listed buildings at Macaulay Walk, which now provide a range of both apartments and houses, are the former home of the Ross Optical Works which opened in Clapham in 1891, producing photographic lenses and cameras. The company employed 1200 staff across the site, which stretched from Clapham Common North Side to Macaulay Road, incorporating the old school as the company canteen. When the works closed in 1975, the workshops and other buildings had been expanded piecemeal to such a degree that they created an internal street - a feature that has been retained in the new scheme, alongside original workshops, the village stocks and the Ross Works optical company.

Macaulay Walk is located directly across the road from Clapham Common, with its 200 acres of green space. Clapham Common underground station is a five-minute walk away and other local stations provide access to the overground and National Rail network, taking residents either into the city or out to Gatwick Airport, Surrey and the South Coast. CPBigwood has been appointed to manage the development because of their specialist capability in both mixed-use and leasehold property management, with property manager Jenny Cousins responsible for the one, two and three-bedroom new build apartments at Macaulay Walk. The company also advised Grainger plc on service charge and property management matters prior to taking Macaulay Walk into management.

Interior architects MMM have designed each of the apartments with clean lines in a contemporary style while making use of the original features in the older buildings, such as exposed brickwork and metal trusses. The new build apartments and the two penthouses on site have been designed with “understated, calm quality” in mind. Most residents have access to outdoor space with large balconies or open terraces and the majority of the apartments come with basement parking. There is secure cycle storage on site. Twelve apartments are being sold on a shared ownership basis and the rest are privately owned.

The flats at Macaulay Walk are serviced by a dedicated concierge who is on-hand to see to the needs of both residents and office occupiers. A key holding service is available and residents also benefit from a convenient delivery collection service with cold storage to keep perishable goods fresh until they can be collected. All the homes, office space and other facilities on the development have been designed with sustainability in mind and the building designs ensure low carbon use and low running costs. All apartments are supplied with heating and hot water via photovoltaic solar panels and a communal heating system.

Mixed-use developments such as the one at Clapham Old Town are becoming increasingly popular in urban areas, as planners try to encourage people to both live and work in cities in order to create more balanced communities and avoid 'ghettoes' of pure office space. Property managers are rising to the challenge and taking on board the opportunity to work with occupiers from a range of different sectors. CPBigwood Partner Bill Drake-Lee is delighted that the company has been appointed to manage Macaulay Walk, explaining that due to the fact that the development comprises both residential and commercial property and incorporates the latest building technologies, many different aspects of property management are required. These include getting to grips with the communal heating system with individual billing needed for each apartment depending on the energy they have used, as well as dealing with a different set of legislation and regulations relating to management of the commercial property on site.

For more information on Macaulay Walk, click here.
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