Trend on the street: commerce to luxury, the rise of the ex-industrial period conversion

Open plan living and dining area

Open plan living and dining area - Credit: Archant

A raft of former industrial sites across north London are being converted into high end contemporary apartment blocks, turning the professional personal in one fell swoop.

Flats in these new developments come with all mod cons and fashionable finishes, complemented by existing period features including large, distinctive windows.

Foremost among these and launching on February 11 is Islington Square, a huge development in the former Royal Mail sorting office abutting Upper Street.

The scheme will bring 263 new homes across a range of tenures as well as 108 serviced apartments for short stays, retail units and leisure facilities.

Central to the development is the grand Edwardian sorting office, which was tucked away behind the shops and bars of the high street in its former incarnation.

This stately red brick building was originally completed in 1906 and will house large warehouse apartments, maisonettes and penthouses featuring such grand original features as high ceilings, tall windows and external detailing.

Surrounding units include the residential conversion of what was The Mitre pub, a thorough renovation of another Edwardian building and an entirely new build block.

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There is also an affordable provision with 64 units available as social to rent housing association homes and shared ownership options.

Unlike other similar developments there are no gates on this scheme and passageways will lead through from the surrounding streets to a second pedestrianised ‘boulevard’ with restaurants and shops as well as a Third Space health club and Lounge Odeon cinema for public use.

Giris Rabinovitch, CEO of Sager Group said, “Islington Square will provide a new Covent Garden style destination for north London.

“Residents will have the benefit of living in a spacious lateral apartment with generous ceiling heights and having access to a range of lifestyle facilities.

“Shops, cafes, The Lounge Odeon cinema and luxurious Third Space health club are just some of the on site amenities available at Islington Square.”

Apartments are for sale with Savills, Knight Frank and Beauchamp Estates with prices starting from £715,000.

Nearby and also in Islington is 8 over 5 on Roseberry Avenue, a collection of eight flats in the Victorian weights and measures building.

The original structure dates back to 1892 and is close to Mount Pleasant, another large Royal Mail sorting office.

The new development also uses features such as large sash windows and high ceilings to maximum effect bringing plenty of natural light to the homes.

A contemporary extension has also been added and flats are split between the two buildings, with a duplex covering the fourth and fifth floors of the original block.

Matt Cobb, Director at Colliers International said: “We are excited to bring ‘8 over 5’ to the market on behalf of our client Stanhope.

“This boutique development offers a selection of outstanding apartments set within a truly beautiful former Victorian warehouse just minutes from eclectic Exmouth Market and St John’s Street in the heart of Clerkenwell. The development’s quality and location couldn’t be better.”

Prices start at £815,000. A selection of the units are now available to buy off-plan with the completion and launch set for April 2016.