A significant milestone has been marked in the reimagination of Dora House in St John’s Wood, a 1960s sheltered housing scheme and a founding facility of the Central London Housing Trust, now Central & Cecil Housing Trust (C&C).
C&C and Regal London, joined on the site of the former Dora House for the topping out of the new, purpose-built building that will introduce a sophisticated and high-end design set to challenge the concept of affordable housing for London’s over 55s.
Located next to the prestigious Lord’s Cricket Ground, the new building brings one of the original developments by Lord Harold Samuel – one of the co-founders of C&C and a pioneer of creating dedicated homes for older people across the city – up to world class standard of retirement living.
Set over 13 storeys, the building will be home to 170 new, purpose-built apartments for senior living complete with a host of modern amenities to help residents stay social and active. These range from a large communal lounge, a café, a salon and a dedicated activity zone to a choice of landscaped gardens, including a roof garden and winter garden for use all year round.
Each home is specifically designed for both the lifestyle needs and aspirations of its residents with spacious lateral interiors and accessible bathrooms, high specification fitted kitchens, plus private balconies to each apartment and WiFi which runs throughout the entire development. There is also a state-of-the-art security system, private underground parking with EV charging for both cars and mobility scooters, and solar panels supporting the properties with renewable energy.
A total of 153 of the new apartments will be affordable rental homes with a further 17 available for market rent – all dedicated to London’s over 55s. Residents are just moments from Lord’s Cricket Ground, Regent’s Park and St John’s Wood High Street.
Dora House was originally established in St John’s Wood in the 1960s, as one of six developments created by Lord Samuel to create dedicated affordable homes for the city’s older people.
For over 45 years, it provided essential homes for residents, but it no longer met the needs or standards of accommodation required. Following a detailed consultation and co-design process with the residents, it was agreed to replace the building with a purpose-built development dedicated to modern senior living.
Working with leading developer, Regal London, C&C is evolving the concept first established with a new world-class standard of senior living, remaining on the original prime location in St John’s Wood – one of the London’s most sought-after postcodes worldwide. All residents of the former Dora House have the right to return to the new development.
Julia Ashley, Chief Executive, C&C: “The redevelopment isn’t simply addressing the shortfall in affordable housing for the over 55s in London; it also creatively reimagines what affordable housing could look like in the future. It will set a standard, not just for C&C but across other housing organisations. It’s a building that has been designed by the residents for the residents, and will have a special feel to it. It will provide substantial affordable housing, and also includes features that you would find in market rented modern flats in London.”
Paul Eden, Joint Founder, Regal London: “We are thrilled to be marking this milestone, particularly in the context of the last year where we have worked hard to maintain the progress on this important facility for St John’s Wood and the over 55s community in London. It is an honour to be part of this project and the reinvention of Dora House, one of Lord Samuel’s first concepts of affordable living for the city’s older population, into a world-class development for the needs and aspirations of today.”
The new development is due for completion in 2022 with the first residents set to move in during the autumn.
Jonathan joined Regal London in 2016 as a Non-Executive Director and was appointed Managing Director in January 2017 before assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer in July 2020. Prior to joining Regal London full time, Jonathan spent 25 years’ working in law, corporate finance, publicly listed funds and private equity. Jonathan is both a member of Regal London’s Executive Committee and Management Committee.