Chiswick Empire House apartments almost ready to go on sale

Image above: CGI of how Empire House will look when finished; Great Marlborough Estates

Great Marlborough Estates, the developers who have taken over the Empire House site on Chiswick High Rd, say they will be ready to start selling apartments there within a few months.

The area has suffered from planning blight, with units from the Old Packhorse pub on the corner of Acton Lane as far as the Wild Bunch cafe standing empty for several years. Previous owners Lendlease sold the site to Great Marlborough Estates last September.

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Image above: New façade, with retail units facing the High Rd; CGI Great Marlborough Estates

The one-acre site has planning consent to provide 137 residential units. Two of the directors of the firm came to the Chiswick Area Forum on 18 January and gave a presentation showing how the site would look, with 66 one and two bedroom apartments in Empire House, 46 apartments and four townhouses at Essex Place and a further 21 apartments to be developed at the corner of Essex Place and Acton Lane.

Great Marlborough Estates director Dean Clifford told the meeting they were looking to create “a contemporary look and feel” to the development, designed by award-winning Assael Architecture. Empire House will have a new façade, with retail units facing the High Rd. All the homes will have access to private outdoor space such as a balcony or garden, as well as to communal roof terraces.

Image above: ‘Contemporary look and feel’; CGI Great Marlborough Estates

They aim to reduce carbon emissions by using solar panels and air source heat pumps and say they will provide a new ‘pedestrian-friendly and welcoming space’ where currently there is the “rather unlovely” delivery lane on the boundary between the Empire House development and Sainsbury’s land.

In a nod to the site’s history, they are calling one of the apartment blocks ‘Stoll House’, after Sir Oswald Stoll, founder of the Stoll Moss theatre company, and another block ‘Adelaide House’ after his mother.

Stoll worked with theatre designer Frank Matcham on the creation of the Chiswick Empire theatre, which opened in 1912 as a venue for variety and music hall. Many famous entertainers performed there, including George Formby, Laurel and Hardy, Chico Marx, Peter Sellers and Liberace, but the theatre was demolished in 1959. It was recently commemorated in a collage by Sir Peter Blake.

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Image above: Rooftop garden overlooking Turnham Green; CGI Great Marlborough Estates

Great Marlborough Estates was set up by Dean Clifford and his partner Grant Lipton 15 years ago. They have an impressive track record of developing residential sites in London, including the refurbishment of Regents Crescent on Regent’s Park into flats, the refurbishment of Grade II listed buildings in Fitzrovia and on a much larger scale, a new town centre for Vauxhall, designed by Zaha Hadid’s firm of architects.

They have “a very experienced team” working on the Chiswick Green project, Mr Clifford said. “We believe it will be a positive addition [to Chiswick].”

Contractors are currently carrying out the ground works. There will be a series of completion dates, the latest in the fourth quarter of 2023. They have not released prices for the apartments yet, but plan to set up a sales office on Chiswick high Rd in the next couple of months.

Image above: CGI of how an apartment in Empire House, with the spire of Christ Church seen through the window; Great Marlborough Estates

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