Home sweet Pumpkin – fully booked for 1st phase viewings at Western Road UB2  

1st phase viewings at Western Road UB2 fully booked

Becoming a homeowner means all sorts of things – one of which is having your very own front door to showcase your pumpkin-carving skills.  It so happens that tomorrow, Saturday 31st October 2015, is Halloween, and we have invited nearly 30 potential buyers for our latest development in Western Road UB2, Southall, to visit our Camden show flat.  We have back-to-back appointments, and while the launch has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween (although we may have some spooky sweets to keep our sales team and their visitors going through the busy day), it could mean that the 1st phase of Western Road UB2, sells out before the trick or treating starts!

Pumpkin
(more…)

Read More

Pocket Regen – a new way to regenerate London’s housing estates

 

Pocket Regen, is our submission for the NLA’s recent competition, ‘New Ideas for Housing London’.  Pocket Regen is a new way of managing estate regeneration. By engaging openly with estate communities, and offering real reasons to welcome regeneration, we can provide additional 100% affordable housing for the very people that make this city great.

(more…)

Read More

JLL Innovators Research : Pocket

 

map      

 

Like marriage, the secret to a successful first time home purchase is compromise.

In what has become a supply-starved London housing market effected by rapidly rising prices, Pocket have built their model around the one facet that first time buyers are not willing to compromise on – location.

The London-based developer prioritises location over size allowing it to deliver first-time buyer homes in good commuting locations at a minimum of 20% below the open market rate capped at the current top price of £260,000.

“Pocket brings a rational approach together with the sort of design flair that makes spaces feel generous and desirable. As the current crisis forces new thinking, Pocket’s initiatives provide a positive example to other housing providers when new ideas are thin on the ground.” Peter Murray, New London Architecture

(more…)

Read More

Pocket’s out & about this autumn!

 

9_550ac39163660   _MG_2903 re

There is a huge need for affordable housing in London.  The young, hardworking Londoners who make our city tick cannot live near where they work. City makers are keen to save up and get on the housing ladder but costs and prices are just rising year on year and wages aren’t keeping pace. But Pocket has a great solution: our homes are close to transport links, sold with at least a 20% discount to market and are 100% owner-owned.

Our newest development Western Road UB2 (pictured above) is launching for sale this month and consists of 36 one bedroom Pocket homes in Southall, in the borough of Ealing. With their hefty discount, cleverly designed interiors and generous communal gardens they are going to sell fast… so we are out and about this autumn spreading the word and making sure as many city makers as possible have the opportunity to buy these Pocket homes.  We’re launching more schemes across London later in the year and into 2016, so even if Ealing isn’t your area, come and say hello!

(more…)

Read More

Looking for idle land… a typical Pocket plot

London’s a big place, and most developers think big when it comes to land.  Big regeneration opportunities with big profits attached.  At Pocket, we take a different approach.  Our mission is to provide as much affordable housing as we can on a site, so we tend to favour ‘infill’ sites; land that either doesn’t have any particular purpose, or is no longer used for the purpose it was previously intended.  Idle land.  This includes old garage sites which have become under-used storage facilities for junk, community centres which are not used by the community any more, or just spaces between buildings.

It makes sense to develop these sites.  They’re already within an existing community, they can tap into the existing infrastructure and services, they allow the densification of London, rather than pushing its urban boundary out into the green belt.  Here are some examples of the ‘before’  and ‘after’ of ongoing projects which are a fairly typical plot size of anything up to 1 acre:

 

Marischal Road SE13, Lewisham.  Disused garages.  0.185 acres.  26 Pocket homes

This site in Marischal Road SE13 is perfect for Pocket.  We’ve designed a scheme that brings 26 Pocket compact apartments to Lewisham, just a stone’s throw from the bustling market, shopping centre and excellent transport links of Lewisham DLR and overland.  We’re starting construction in August 2015, with sales going live in Spring 2016.

Marischal Road site    0804-H4-11640 Mercator Road-Model option1 low (more…)

Read More

Festivalling the Pocket way!

Go to Glastonbury?  Or keep local, stay dry, sleep in a nice warm bed?

muddy glastonbury  cosy bed

Getting muddy at Glastonbury this weekend?  It’s obviously the icon of all festivals – but there is another way.  At Pocket we like to skip the horrors of the M4, the queues for the showers, the mud up to our knees.  We like to stay local and enjoy the festival spirit a bit closer to home… with the promise of a guaranteed shower and a warm bed at the end of the day!  Wherever you live in London, there’s almost certainly a festival of sorts in your local area.  They might not all be the Notting Hill Carnival, but small and intimate beats big and brash every time in our book (just like our flats!).  We’ve done a quick scan of all the areas where our city makers are most likely to live, and come up with this roundup of London’s local festivals taking place this summer, and beyond.

(more…)

Read More

Cladding our new tower with teapots

View 3_150204    Facade View

Pocket has just received consent from the planning committee to proceed to build a 24 storey tower of affordable homes in Wandsworth.  This is big news!  A tower in Wandsworth with 63 Pocket homes might not make us a giant in the world of property development but it does symbolise the fact that we’ve come of age.  London desperately needs more starter homes for its city makers, and we’re working hard to help deliver as many as we can.  Moving into the world of towers means we can deliver more affordable homes on a tight plot of land in a great location.

But what about the teapots?

Our first tower at Mapleton Crescent SW18 is designed by award-winning architects Metropolitan Workshop.  Met Workshop are well known for their innovative work, and we briefed them to come up with a proposal for this scheme that contributed positively to the local area, and stood as a thing of beauty – while at the same time delivering affordable new homes for the way London’s city makers live today.  Met Workshop are working with ceramiscist Loraine Rutt to develop a range of striking green tiles with which to clad the building.

IMG_4393 IMG_4395 (more…)

Read More

How to help London stay successful – a snapshot of Ed Glaeser’s recent visit to our city

By Lucian Smithers, Director of Sales and Marketing, Pocket

At Pocket we have all read ‘The Triumph of the City’ by Ed Glaeser. Glaeser’s views about what makes cities great and how they can remain successful give heavyweight academic substance to Pocket’s belief in delivering starter homes for London’s city makers – you could even say we’re groupies.

triumphofthecity

So you can imagine our excitement at the prospect of hearing him talk in the UK last month at Warwick Business school’s outpost in the Shard.  He was also interviewed in the Guardian, and even better, he popped in to visit Pocket and hear more about our philosophy and business model – we think he liked it!

glaeser_lat

Glaeser’s work focuses on the power of successful cities. Note the word “successful.” His studies cover huge geographical and historical distances to find the lessons about how great cities have managed to thrive and in some cases come back from the brink.  And his visit to London meant he gave some thought to the similarities, and differences, between the UK and our friends across the Atlantic.  He pulls out the simplest observations from a huge set of data and experiences, and here are some of the nuggets of genius that we took away for London: (more…)

Read More

Unlocking London’s Housing Potential – what more can we do?

Last year, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) produced a very useful report into housing in London, ‘Getting our house in order’.  The report aimed to build a ‘business case’ for the creation of more homes in the Capital, noting the urgent need for more homes at all levels in London, and urging Government (national, regional and local) to work together to deliver more homes for London’s workforce.

This week LCCI has published a follow-up paper, Unlocking London’s Housing Potential’, focusing on one of the main recommendations in their original report – the release of public land for housing. Public land release is especially important for the development of affordable housing yet, as Pocket is quoted as saying in the report, it can take up to four times longer to acquire land and planning on public sector sites in London than private acquisitions.  This can be crippling for a small developer like Pocket.

Housing for the people who make London tick

More needs to be done to support the development of housing in London, especially housing that is specifically designed for the crucial workforce that keeps the city ticking. The report highlights that ‘51% of London firms believe the lack of housing… was the issue having the most impact on their business…’.  London needs the right kind of housing in the right locations in order to keep these talented and valuable people living in, and contributing to, their communities.  We have been banging this drum since Pocket started building affordable homes, so it’s great to have more voices added to this call. (more…)

Read More

Marcon Place E8 – nearly there

Marcon Place E8 will be the next Pocket building to welcome residents – 28 city makers will be moving into their very first homes, just a stone’s throw from Hackney Downs station, within the next couple of months.  We’re in the final throes of construction, and the Pocket team went to check on progress last week.  This handsome brick building is looking really good, especially in the Spring sunshine!  It was amazing to stand in the courtyard and imagine the activity this central communal outdoor space will be seeing over the years to come.  The external stairwells have a striking red paint finish, with lovely tactile timber hand rails, and there’s specially-designed timber slatting to allow views into the courtyard.  We’re introducing the residents to each other this week at a local wine bar, and now all we need is a move in date!  The last few weeks of a construction project are always tight and slightly stressful as we try to achieve all the sign-offs and checks to confirm that the building is ready for occupation, and manage the expectations and excitement of the buyers.  Not long to go now, Pocket people!

Read More