The History of Nine Elms
First mentioned as far back as AD 47, Nine Elms has always been an integral part of London. A historically wet and marsh-like area, Nine Elms was given its name after the row of nine elm trees that proudly stood along the river. The area itself has been drained several times over the years to make way for new and improving sites of development.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating parts in the SW8 history is the Post-Medieval Period, when the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens were created in the area. In 1660, these gardens were established to provide leisure and entertainment facilities for the people of South London. From jugglers to fire breathers, animal acts and ventriloquists, people came from all across the Capital to enjoy the weird and wonderful. After many years of entertainment, the gardens eventually closed down in 1859 after lack of interest, and to make way for a new rail route which would cement Nine Elms as an integral link between North and South London. Indeed, when Nine Elms Station was first opened in 1838, it was the first major point for South Western Railway. It closed down in 1948 after sustaining serious damage during World War II. However, Nine Elms was not desolate for long, Battersea Power Station (1955) and the New Covent Garden Flower Market (1974) brought significant interest back to the area.
Across more recent years, Nine Elms has been catapulted into the spotlight after The US Embassy proposed a relocation to the area in 2008. Ground was first broken in November 2013, with the Embassy officially open to the public in December 2017. This move caused the spotlight to be thrown on the area, with international press taking interest in not only the Embassy but the development that surrounded it.
The Embassy isn’t the only American company moving into the area, Apple are relocating their UK headquarters to Battersea Power Station in 2021, moving 1,400 staff into the largest brick building in the UK and undoubtedly one of London’s most iconic landmarks. It’s not only American companies that have recognised the draw of this pocket of South West London. Penguin Random House and DK Publishing have agreed to move into the Embassy Gardens development by 2020, with Penguin Random House occupying 83,400 square feet across floors one to five of One Embassy Gardens with a dedicated reception and event space on the ground floor.
Earlier this year the final two elm trees were planted along the South Bank of the river, taking the total back to the eponymous Nine Elms. The elms in SW8 have struggled from the 1970s after Dutch Elm Rot took hold of the trees that stood before.
Nine Elms is rapidly becoming not only one of the most exciting places to live in London, but it is also developing into a creative and technological centre. Over the last 30 years, regeneration has been taking place at an impressive rate, to bring Nine Elms into the forefront of the residential hierarchy.
The property market is changing in London, and it is most definitely changing in Nine Elms.
Perfectly Located Riverside Living
London at times can feel like a crowded and confusing place, without clean air or enough green spaces. However, Nine Elms’ location right on the heart of the river means that you get a completely different vibe to the hustle and bustle of some of the London suburbs. A short walk along the river takes you to the stunning Battersea Park, where across 200 acres you can find beautiful green spaces, trees, secret activities and hideaways amongst the foliage. It’s also the home to a GoApe and Battersea Park Children’s Zoo, so you and your little monkeys can enjoy the lush oasis from all angles. Nine Elms is also only moments away from perhaps the most famous re-homing centre in the UK: Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. If you love dogs but you can’t commit to the time needed to take care of one, then sign up for their volunteering days, or adopt your own furry friend.
Take a relaxing stroll away from the fast-paced inner-city life and take in the sights of this calm stretch of the Thames Riverside Walk. Wander or cycle across Chelsea Bridge and enjoy the shops, restaurants and cafés of Sloane Square and Chelsea. Of course, to truly enjoy riverside living, it’s best to get on the water itself.
The Thames Clipper runs up and down the Thames seven days a week and every 20 minutes during peak times in rush-hour. All of their boats are air-conditioned and take passengers from Putney right through to Royal Wharf in the east. Outdoor and indoor seating mean that whatever time of year you can make the most of the English Summer and with on-board licensed bars you can kick-start a day to remember or wind down on a commute with a difference.
Walking up the river in the opposite direction will have you at Vauxhall in 10 minutes or less (depending on how much of the river you’re enjoying and how slow you’re strolling). Vauxhall is not only home to some of the best nightlife in London but also has plenty of green spaces, restaurants and bars and Vauxhall City Farm – home to alpacas, sheep, horses, goats, pigs and more.
Where To Live In Nine Elms
There’s no shortage of incredible developments to live in or rent within the Nine Elms area. It’s hard to pick favourites, even for us, however we’ve narrowed it down to showcase a variety of in amenities and location.
The jewel in the crown perhaps, Embassy Gardens or EG to those in the know, is the development surrounding the US Embassy. Homes in this development have incredible features, including parquet flooring, polished steel kitchen fittings, antique granite worktops and porcelain tiles. Every bathroom has been fitted out to the highest standard possible. The creation of Linear Park offers extra green space for families and young professionals alike.
Residents of Embassy Gardens have access to impressive onsite facilities including a state-of-the-art gym, swimming pool, lounge, cinema and concierge service. Arguably the star of the show for residents in the Embassy Gardens development has to be floating Sky Pool which is a world first for this kind of pool. Spanning 25ft across two buildings, this Perspex pool will allow bathers to enjoy the sights and skyline, all whilst being suspended in the air. The pool is being manufactured this year and when complete will travel to the development either by road or by river (which will be quite the picture). At the side of the pool, on terra firma is the Sky Deck, where there will be a private bar with food and drink created by onsite restaurant Darby’s. This luxury sky-high oasis will be where everyone wants to be seen.
Part of the first phase of regeneration of Nine Elms, Riverlight comprises of five riverside buildings designed to make the most of the fantastic natural light and riverside vistas. Riverlight features landscapes gardens, water features and easy access down to the river and all of its attractions. Residents can take advantage of the beautiful onsite gym, pool, spa and club lounge, as well as a private cinema which you can book and hire for that perfect Sunday setting.
A truly luxury development within Nine Elms is The Residence. One, two and three bedroom properties are available, with many of them enjoying views of the local green spaces, Linear Park or even the US Embassy. The reception of this stunning development does indeed look more like a luxury hotel reception than the concierge to a residential building. As with the other developments, residents will have access to the best facilities possible, so if they love a leisurely post-work swim, or a more intense pre-work spin, they have the option. A sauna and steam room are the perfect place to head to for a gentle weekend relax, giving you the feeling of a luxurious spa without having to leave home.
If you like designer brands, then you’ll love DAMAC Tower. 50 storeys of immaculately designed modern homes ranging from studios to three bedroom apartments. All of the interiors, and the facilities including children’s play areas have been designed in conjunction with international fashion house Versace. Luxury is key in this development and you’ll be able to see that in every aspect of DAMAC Tower. Residents will have access to a beautiful gym, sauna, swimming pool and steam room, as well as communal areas, an indoor children’s play area and a new courtyard with cafés and shops. Hospitality services will also be available, including at home dining, valet service and 24-hr concierge. Located only moments from Vauxhall station, the development has quick and frequent access to London and beyond.
Nine Elms Point
A beautiful selection of high-quality homes that have access to an onsite residents’ cinema, fitness suite, 24-hr concierge and a private dining room – perfect for those big family Sunday lunches or birthday brunches. The new Northern Line extension is only moments away from the Nine Elms development and it’s only a short walk to Battersea Park Overground and Vauxhall Underground and National Rail.
Once complete, Keybridge House will be the tallest residential brick building in the UK at 37 storeys high. Consisting of 470 studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments and penthouses. All finished to a very high standard with onsite pool, gym, 24-hr concierge and landscaped gardens, this is a development not to be missed. Located in between Oval and Vauxhall Stations residents have the choice between national Rail, the Victoria Line and the Northern Line.
The Future Of The Nine Elms Property Market
The new Nine Elms regeneration project might have youth on its side, however that doesn’t mean it is lacking in shops, restaurants or bars. Whether you fancy a quick bite to eat, a leisurely brunch or a scrumptious dinner, there’s a whole plethora of choices for you to pick from. For coffee, head to Australasian heavyweights District, kooky Black Cab Coffee or speciality treats from The Coffee Works Project. Lunch and dinner options range from seafood maestros The Wright Brothers, riverside Italian delight Fiume, or wine merchant Vagabond. The Nine Elms Tavern offers a huge range of delicious British pub classics and uses seasonally fresh ingredients. Head to The No.29 Power Station West for a whole day affair, think coffee and brunches right through to an evening night cap and tasty dinner options inspired by local and global settings. For groceries, newspapers and everything in between, take a trip to The Battersea General Store where you can also pick up a coffee and pastry to go.
Improved Transport Connections in 2021
As the area continues to grow, and Battersea Power Station develops into a fully-fledged entertainment and retail complex, it will rapidly dominate the South West corner of London into a destination in its own right. Indeed, the area is attracting a great deal of international interest, with overseas students and young professionals, influencers and celebrities all taking a vehement interest in what the developments and the area have to offer. The new addition of the Northern Line extension to Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms (coming 2021) means that the area will soon be one of the best connected sites in London.
Jon Johnson, JOHNS&CO Nine Elms Sales Manager comments that ‘the market in Nine Elms is a bit of an anomaly when compared to the turmoil surrounding the London sales market post-Brexit, an additional 3% Stamp Duty for buy-to-let purchases and higher rates of Stamp Duty for properties over £937,000.’
He continues ‘specifically in our Nine Elms office, we have seen a significant and positive shift in sales market activity since the end of January. The balance of supply and demand has shifted, creating a marketplace of fewer but more motivated sellers and more serious buyers committed to making a move. The majority of our buyers still originate overseas as Nine Elms still offers overseas investors an incredible opportunity to invest in what is being earmarked as the largest and most exciting regeneration area in Europe. The currency market has brought more buyers from the far east to the table who are benefiting from a ‘double discount’ as not only have prices in the area temporarily fallen, but their native currency now buyers them more sterling.’
He concludes with a positive foresight into the future of Nine Elms: ‘we are selling a lot of off-plan properties that aren’t due to complete for another one to three years. Nine Elms, in my opinion, is one of the most lucrative places to invest right now as the vision for its long term future is incredibly bright.
How We Can Help
Interested in moving to Nine Elms, have a look at all the properties we have on offer.
If you have any questions about life in Nine Elms, or any of our development locations, please do get in touch!