Canary Wharf emerged out of the disused East London docklands in the 1990s and gave the capital its second financial centre, but until recently it might not have been the first area to spring to mind when looking for a new home in London. Canary Wharf Group, the privately-owned firm that controls the estate, is now making a concerted effort to shrug off its “all work and no play” reputation, to make it a residential destination rather than the endpoint of a commute. It is pushing to bring in more food and drink operators, to give the area the buzz that is part of the draw of living in London. It recently signed up street food market Mercato Metropolitano, which will open its doors this summer, at George Street in the new Wood Wharf development. Wood Wharf opened to its first tenants in February 2020 and then the pandemic hit demand, with a drop in the number of people moving in and making enquiries. However, says Canary Wharf Group head of residential Brian De’ath, there has also been a shift in the opposite direction. The developer will be looking to use the “benefits” of being a single landlord to recover from Covid-19 and attract new residents and business tenants, he explained, adding it is able to look at the Canary Wharf estate as a whole and control all the elements at play, whether that is residential, commercial, or retail.
City AM (15/03/2021)