Up for ‘Most Innovative Redevelopment of an Existing Property 2018’

The “trailblazing” redevelopment of Leon House has been shortlisted for a highly acclaimed industry award.

The brutalist, modern office block in the south end of Croydon is being transformed into 263 luxurious one and two bedroom apartments by developers FI Real Estate Management.

And the ambitious project has now made the shortlist for the “Most Innovative Redevelopment of an Existing Property” prize at the First Time Buyer Readers’ Awards 2018.

The criteria for the category was particularly focused on “properties that have been redeveloped using fresh ideas that uphold the integrity of the original building and make best use of the retained features and surroundings.”

Judges will also be looking for a demonstration of how the scheme design stands out from its rivals and how it appeals to the first-time buyer.

From the beginning, design has been at the heart of the Leon House project with architect Roy Collado (RIB, MBA, ARB), of Collado Collins, determined to stay true to the building’s modernist history.

“There are quite a lot of tall buildings from the 1960s, early 70s, that are good but they don’t have the brutality or originality of Leon House,” he said. “The trick for us was not to overdo it.”

A stunning piece of restored artwork by post-war sculpture William Mitchell, discovered during the construction works, forms the centrepiece of the impressive foyer entrance.

The redevelopment also has a distinctive community feel with a concierge service welcoming home owners into a residents’ lounge in the lobby, offering both co-working space and free wi-fi.

At the top of the building a communal rooftop Sky Garden has landscaping, decking and plants with a private residents’ dining room adding an extra touch of luxury.

FI Real Estate Management, who hailed the redevelopment as “trailblazing”, took an early decision to almost halve the total number of units possible in the building, enabling it to work to London Design Guide sizes in order to create a range of spacious, light-filled apartments, each with floor-to-ceiling windows framing amazing views over London.

The homes have been individually designed by Love Interiors, who used quality materials like oak flooring, specialist ceramics and designer-specification appliances and fittings.

Leon House is the anchor for Croydon’s new Leon Quarter, a major community regeneration project which will bring 500 new homes, a public square on the High Street and private landscaped gardens.

Priced to match similar, smaller new homes in the area, Leon is a genuinely affordable option for first-time buyers.

A total of 39 units were offered through Optivo Housing, a not-for-profit organisation that provides local people with affordable homes through shared ownership schemes, while all remaining apartments qualify under the London Help to Buy Scheme.

The sales figures speak for themselves with more than 50 of the apartments snapped up in the month following the November 2017 sales launch.

The awards evening will take place on April 20th at The Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London and will be hosted by Jonnie Irwin, presenter of Channel 4 TV show “A Place in the Sun”.