East End Evolution
From forgotten borough to boasting the hippest postcodes in London, the East End has risen as the city’s most unique cultural and creative hub. Property guru Henry Smith has seen it all – and with cutting-edge projects in the works, including the revamp of East End icon Cordy House, he says the best is yet to come…
“When I lived in the East End it was all working class and still recovering from the Second World War,” says Smith. “Now it’s a hub of cultural and class differences with people itching to become part of one of the trendiest postcodes in London.
“The big difference I’ve seen is the perception and attitude towards the East End. Views have changed so much over the past 20 years it’s almost unrecognisable. The whole area has vastly improved, beyond my imagination, from bombsites and poverty to sleek offices and top restaurants and bars. Yet the East End has kept the same thriving community and buzzing atmosphere.”
Under his leadership, Aitch Group has built a diverse portfolio of commercial and residential property both in East London and beyond. And the best is yet to come if the group’s plans are anything to go by.
“In partnership with Mura Estates, our recent projects include Now Bow on Fairfield Road, an exclusive development of 49 luxury designed apartments near Mile End; EdgeN1 on Cropley Street, a mixed use development of commercial and residential apartments near Regent’s Canal; and The Yard on Warner Street, a stunning development of 12 one, two and three-bedroom apartments in Clerkenwell.
“One of our most exciting projects is Cordy House. The cutting edge development will contain a large commercial space and eight luxury apartments in the centre of Shoreditch. Cordy House will use a diverse range of raw materials, and sit in one of London’s most up-and-coming places to live, work and eat.”
One principle that shapes all Aitch Group projects is sustainability. Smith treats the social, economic and environmental responsibilities of developing seriously.
“Our buildings are designed to target a 20% reduction in carbon emissions. The fabric of the buildings is well insulated and constructed to a high standard of air-tightness to reduce the energy demand.
“Photovoltaic panels on the roof provide an on-site renewable electrical generation contribution, while Smart Metering systems are provided in our buildings to allow occupants to monitor their energy consumption.”