Cascades in the Docklands

The first residents to move into the Cascades apartment block in the late 1980s watched as London’s Docklands changed out of all recognition. Today the block looks as striking as when it was first built.

 One of the most iconic of London Docklands’ apartment buildings, Cascades was designed by architect CZWG and completed in 1988 by developer Kentish Homes. It was the first private building to be completed on the Isle of Dogs as the regeneration of this previously run-down part of the capital took shape and the block remains an enduring landmark on the Docklands skyline. Today the Isle of Dogs is a thriving area with some of the world’s leading finance houses located at nearby Canary Wharf -  also a major shopping destination and transport hub. The luxury apartment blocks that dot the skyline are now home to thousands of Londoners.

With 165 flats over 20 floors, Cascades, together with its sister block Quayside, sits right on the water’s edge, giving residents stunning views across the River Thames to the city of London. The block contains a range of one, two and three bedroom apartments, many featuring balconies looking out across the river. The development has secure parking, a 24-hour concierge service and great leisure facilities including a gym, swimming pool and sauna. The communal gardens also contain tennis courts and a barbeque area.

All this adds up to making Cascades consistently popular with buyers and renters but according to Tushar Wadhwani from estate agent Chesterton Humberts this means that flats at Cascades don’t come onto the market very often. “It’s a very popular block,” he confirms, explaining that once people move in, they don’t want to move out again. He puts this down to the fact that “the block is in a fantastic location, is well run and has great facilities”. Of course none of this comes cheap and although the ground rent comes in at a respectable £125 per annum, service charges for a one-bedroom flat currently stand at £4000 per annum. Tushar does emphasise that the communal areas of the block have recently undergone a major facelift with the swimming pool refurbished and plans in the pipeline to expand the gym facilities. So at least residents can see exactly where their money is going and reap the benefits.

Isle of Dogs estate agent Alex Neil has recently sold a pair of two-bedroom apartments in Cascades- one for £394,000 and the other for £429,999, confirming Tushar’s comments about the popularity of the block with prospective purchasers.

However one Cascades resident who is moving on has a flat on the market for £429,999 with Lourdes Estate agents in Docklands. A share of the freehold is included in the price of this two double bedroom and two bathroom apartment which has been recently refurbished. The property is located on the fifth floor and has stunning views across the Canary Wharf skyline. The flat also boasts secure car parking, a private balcony and a secure allocated car parking space.

Another Cascades resident who is moving on is Patrick, who has a 1200 square feet, three bedroom flat for sale. The apartment boasts three balconies offering “spectacular views “ of Canary Wharf, the river and the city skyline. The flat has two bathrooms and one reception room and use of all shared facilities plus secure garage parking. The flat is featured on the Homes on sale website at www.homesonsale.co.uk  and is on the market with a £620,000 price tag.

There seems to be a general consensus that Cascades is a well run block. Property manager Joanna Biles from Rendall & Rittner is pleased to hear that the hard work put into the block by her team is appreciated by residents and is obviously something that they are keen to pass on when trying to sell their homes.

Rendall and Rittner has been responsible for property management at Cascades and Quayside since 2006.The company provides a comprehensive service for residents that includes preparing and handling service charge estimates and accounts, collecting reserve fund contributions and ground rent and managing expenditure within budgets set by the residents committee as well as dealing with day-to-day management issues. Jo and her team manage and support Cascades’ concierge team, dealing with all matters relating to their employment and the service they provide to residents. In addition Rendall and Rittner is responsible for arranging buildings and other insurance policies and dealing with any claims that are made. The management team enters into and manages maintenance contracts for the two blocks (Cascades and Quayside) as well as organising periodic health and safety checks and ensuring that appropriate measures and risk assessments are in place. Jo and her colleagues have a strong working relationship with the resident’s committee,  liaising with them on a regular basis, providing them with quarterly management and financial reports and keeping residents updated on any works or other issues relating to the building.

To-date the relationship between residents and their property managers has run smoothly, says Jo. The only issues that are sometimes thrown up relate to the building’s location. “Other than the general wear and tear created by the elements as a result of being next to the river there are sometimes issues when groups of revelers or youths collect on the river path,” she explains.

Despite its age, when compared to more recently completed blocks, Cascades remains an arresting building with an innovative design. It stands out among the post-modern architecture that characterises the Isle of Dogs and in the last 25 years has become a riverside landmark as well as being popular with residents and locals alike.