Planning permission has been granted, for a joint venture between developers Union Hanover Securities and Southern Grove, to transform a 75,000 ft² (approx. 6,967 m²)office building into a stylish 217-bed four-star extended stay hotel for Urban Villa.
The new hotel at 45 Whitechapel Road, E1, will be the flagship for the brand, which has two distinct design-led identities: edgy Manhattan loft-style common areas and spacious four star luxury hotel rooms.
The design was conceived by Architects Grzywinski + Pons (G+P) from New York, in collaboration with Dexter Moren based in Camden. G+P also designed the interiors, ‘designing from the inside out’ to give the cool cutting edge feel to the hotel. G+P is also advising Urban Villa on design standards across the entire portfolio.
Union Hanover director Andrew Fowler said: “We currently own five sites where we are rolling out the Urban Villa concept; we are under offer on two more and hope to have doubled our current portfolio within 24 months. This specific site on the edge of the City and close to Brick Lane personifies our design-led brand”.
He added the company would be targeting similar London locations like Bethnal Green, Southwark, Hackney, Brixton and Camden having now acquired most of their non-London targets such as Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
“The next phase will be key European gateway cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and we would love to do something in New York, as it’s had a significant influence on Urban Villa as a brand and still stands out when compared to Europe for design-led product” Fowler added.
Andrew Southern chief executive officer of Southern Grove paid tribute to the Tower Hamlets Council planning team led by Richard Murrell: “The planners were great to work with they really got the whole concept of ‘Manhattan meets Aldgate’ and helped us to pick the best scheme. The first pre-application discussion was held in June this year with a formal decision issued at the end of November which demonstrates tremendous efficiency, creativity and drive. This close partnership meant not only do we have confidence in the next property hotspot for London, but we also believe we have set the bar very high in terms of design standards for Aldgate.”
Work will begin in the summer next year and the JV has appointed Restaurant Property to secure an operator for an independently operated roof top restaurant which boasts spectacular terraces with stunning views across the City.
Alastair Crowdy, national head of development at GL Hearn, advised on planning.