Gordons advises on high profile East London property development

Wednesday 8th April 2015

Advice from Yorkshire law firm Gordons has helped bring a high profile property development in the east end of London a major step closer.

The firm has helped waterside developer H2O Urban acquire a half-acre site at the junction of the Regents and Hereford Union canals, adjoining Mile End Park, in Tower Hamlets. The land has been bought for an undisclosed sum from the Canal & River Trust, which cares for Britain’s 200-year-old network of canals, rivers and docks.

Currently home to a car park and derelict former warehouse, the site, in a conservation area, known as Bow Wharf, will be redeveloped in a joint venture with London-based construction company Rooff. The new scheme, designed by international architecture practice Lewis & Hickey, will be split into three buildings on either side of the Regents Canal. It will contain 34 dwellings – including 19 one and two-bedroom apartments and five four-bedroom town houses. Ten of the new homes will be affordable.

Site work is due to begin this spring and be completed by the summer of 2016. Alongside the development, H20 Urban will repair a listed bridge and build a café unit, looking out over the piazza to be created at the junction of the canals.

H2O Urban (www.h20urban.co.uk) is a partnership between private developer bloc and the Canal & River Trust. The organisation develops commercial and residential land adjacent to rivers and canals, typically – but not exclusively – owned and managed by the trust. The partnership currently has about £100m worth of schemes underway or in the pipeline, with the potential to deliver some 250 new residential homes and just under 300,000 sq ft of commercial space.

The Gordons team, including Sarah Ratcliffe, a solicitor from its commercial property department advised H2O Urban. They have assisted the client on acquiring the land, the joint venture agreement with Rooff and construction matters. In the future, Gordons will advise H2O Urban on aspects including securing funding and sales of residential plots at the site.

Commenting on Gordons’ contribution to the project so far, Nicola Tindale, chief executive officer of H2O Urban, said: “The firm has been advising us for about three months on a number of issues, including negotiations with Rooff over the joint venture agreement. They drove the process forward, ensuring completion still took place within the demanding timescale, acceptable to all parties, that we’d set them. We look forward to starting on-site at this exciting project, which will bring new life to a derelict piece of the canal side.”

H2O Urban had employed Gordons before on the regeneration of Northwich Marina, in Cheshire, where it created a mixed-use waterside development, comprising retail units, restaurants and retirement apartments. It is currently also working with the firm on the creation of Wigan Pier Quarter, a retail, leisure and residential development in a currently neglected part of Greater Manchester.