This month, the world of property developments takes us not to PCL – to the big ticket renovations of central, south and west London – but rather east, to Shoreditch, and the somewhat edgier propositions found there.
But just because much of E1 consists of new builds, mainly due to its heavy bombardment during World War Two, that doesn’t mean that it’s devoid of history. This area goes back – way back. And I’m not talking Victorian, Edwardian, or even Queen Anne style; I’m talking Elizabethan – Shakespeare’s time.
Our focus development this month is The Stage, a £750 million residential address on the site of William Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre. The playhouse opened in 1577 and staged plays until 1624; during which time it was the main venue for the playwright and his company, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, before The Globe was built. The Curtain’s remains were discovered in 2012-16, when excavators found ceramic money boxes for collecting entry fees, beads used for decorating stage costumes, and a small statue of the Greek god Bacchus. The theatre would have been a cultural hub just outside of the City; Londoners flocked here to watch Henry V and Romeo and Juliet, and it was also a popular spot to eat, drink, and socialise. Much like today, then.
The Stage, accordingly, pays homage to its predecessor by becoming an entertainment hub for the 21st century. Developed by Galliard Homes, the 37-storey tower is home to 412 apartments, but this is only the beginning: two basement levels spanning 13,700 sq ft are entirely dedicated to lifestyle. There is an arcade with a duckpin bowling alley, a golf simulator, and an extensive collection of classic games including a dance machine, Pac-Man and Mortal Kombat.
There’s also a pool table, air hockey, table tennis, and a BYOB bar. The dual screening rooms nod to Shakespeare with framed posters of screen adaptations of his plays, and the sky lounge and terrace offer city views from the 32nd floor. It can’t be all fun and games, though – for when you do eventually get down to some work, the development is home to a 12-seat boardroom alongside a smaller meeting room. There is also a large gym and separate yoga studio.
It’s a necessity, then, that The Stage employs a special ‘games and amenities concierge’, in addition to the regular concierge. Rhodium has also been appointed for property management, and is set to launch a curated schedule of residents’ activities.
The 2.3-acre site is also home to two office blocks, 60,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space, and a performing arts pavilion. And, of course, the preserved archaeological remains of Shakespeare’s playhouse, which will form part of the new Museum of Shakespeare, which will use AI technology to bring the theatre to life.
The development’s aesthetic is modern and glamorous; you enter via a double-height lobby blending Art Deco and industrial styles, designed by Nicola Fontanella of Argent Design, who did all of the communal areas. The apartments and penthouses, meanwhile, all boast natural oak flooring, brushed bronze and exposed brick details, and private balconies. In the kitchens, find bespoke oak units and white quartz worktops, while the bathrooms have ceramic herringbone tiling, terrazzo recesses and Crittal-style shower doors.
If you’re a sociable, fun-loving person, but bemoan the lack of historical developments in your spiritual home of east London, this could be your niche. The Stage possesses all the joie de vivre of Shoreditch with a heritage to top them all.
Prices at The Stage start from £750,000 for a studio suite, £830,000 for a one-bedroom, £1,300,000 for a two-bedroom and £2,500,000 for a three-bedroom apartment. Visit thestageshoreditch.com.