Almost 100 of the 2,818 apartments and townhouses now have people living in them. This follows the completion of the first two residential areas or ‘plots’, with 401 homes, and their handover to East Village’s long-term legacy owners, Get Living London and Triathlon Homes. New residents are moving in almost every day.
The first to be occupied were shared ownership homes helping Londoners get on the property ladder, as well as social and intermediate rent, from Triathlon Homes, the affordable housing provider responsible for 1,379 of the properties. The first tenants of Get Living London, which will privately rent 1,439 of the homes, have also started moving in.
The Culture Secretary Maria Miller has hailed this as further proof of the legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, while Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, says the new neighbourhoods around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are set to become some of the most popular places to live in the capital.
Since the end of the London Games, the Olympic Delivery Authority, development manager Lend Lease and their contractors have been reconfiguring all the homes in the former Olympic and Paralympic Village, removing temporary features and fitting brand new kitchens and flooring. Work is continuing on the remaining homes, which will be handed over in phases during the remainder of 2013 and the first part of 2014.
Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority said:
“This is the London 2012 legacy really coming to life, with each week extra families, couples and individuals getting the keys to their new homes. We were determined they should get the same high standards as athletes and spectators enjoyed during London 2012. That’s taken time but we are confident the people of East Village will love their new homes.”
Derek Gorman, Chief Executive of Get Living London, commented:
“The first residents moving in is a major milestone for Get Living London. We are creating a new neighbourhood for London and the most important aspect of this is the people who will make the community their own. We look forward to providing all our residents with a unique and customer-focused way of renting.”
Geoff Pearce, Executive Director of Triathlon Homes, said:
“We are very pleased the first Triathlon Homes residents are now living in their new homes with hundreds more moving in within the next few weeks and months. With the handover of further homes imminent, we look forward to welcoming our residents into what will be a fantastic new neighbourhood in London”.
The new homes range from one bedroom apartments to four bedroom townhouses, with balconies, spacious private terraces, or wintergardens. They are centred around private courtyards, with neighbouring public spaces including new parklands, wetlands and children’s play areas, all on the doorstep of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Westfield Stratford City.
East Village features a new Academy school, which began admitting students in September, and a Health Centre that saw its first patients in November.
Young residents of East Village will be starting to join the Chobham Academy from January, increasing numbers from the present 500 pupils and 100 staff. The Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre began a limited GP service in November which will be expanded over time to meet local need. The centre will also host a new pharmacy and community services, with a focus on helping people to stay healthy. New roads have been built and adopted with names that celebrate the Olympic heritage of the area include Cheering Lane, Prize Walk and Celebration Avenue.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said:
“London 2012 was a phenomenal success that put Britain at the centre of the global stage. The regeneration of East London was central to the bid to host the London 2012 Games and with the first residents moving into the East Village this is further proof that the Olympic Legacy is continuing to be delivered. This area of London has been transformed over the last decade with jobs created, a huge investment in local transport, world-class sporting venues that will be used by the local community and stage major events and thousands of people set to be able to call the Olympic Park home.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
“I am hugely pleased to hear that the first residents are now moving into the East Village. Providing thousands of new homes was one of the key legacies of the 2012 Games, and the new neighbourhoods we are creating around the Olympic Park will surely become some of the most popular places to live in the capital.”
During the year since the end of the Paralympic Games, Lend Lease has been working with contractors to remove temporary games-time features and carry out repairs necessary as a result of intensive use by 23,000 athletes and officials. New designer kitchens have been installed in the space used to fit in extra beds during the Games, with temporary partitions being removed, so creating bigger rooms. Workers have also been busy installing new flooring, painting, decorating, and carrying out plumbing and electrical works, as well as getting the parklands and public areas ready for the new community.
Each and every home is subject to a complex, thorough and time-consuming certification and sign-off process to ensure they are of consistent high quality and satisfy the requirements of Get Living London and Triathlon Homes, and will meet the expectations of residents.