Related is all in on “15-minute city” in London

Developer partnered with U.K. firm on megaproject to build 6.7K homes, 3M sf of office space

Renderings of the "city within a city" concept outside central London. (Brent Cross Town)
Renderings of the "city within a city" concept outside central London. (Brent Cross Town)

Related Companies made a big bet on the “city within a city” concept in New York with its Hudson Yards megaproject — and now it’s trying something even more ambitious in London.

The firm has partnered with Argent, a developer in the U.K., to build a so-called “15-minute city,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The joint venture of Argent Related is calling the project Brent Cross Town.

The 180-acre site — that’s more than six times the size of Hudson Yards — will have some 6,700 homes, along with 3 million square feet of office space, 50 acres of parkland and other amenities. The project, located about eight miles from central London, will also get a new train station in 2022 to ferry commuters into the city.

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The idea behind the 15-minute city concept is to have everything a resident might need within a short walk from their home. Other cities have built or are building similar projects, including Manchester, about 180 miles northwest of London; and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

And people are willing to shell out for the promise of having their office or other necessities close to home: Dominic Grace of U.K. real estate firm Savills told the Journal that buyers will pay as much as 30 percent more to live close to restaurants, gyms and other amenities. Plus, “Covid-19 has accelerated that realization,” Grace said.

Related Argent is confident in the success of the more than $6 billion megaproject, the first chunks of which are due to be finished by 2024. But to be sure, the developers plan to “monitor the residents” of the project — it didn’t say how — to prove that the 15-minute city concept is good for mental and physical health. (That sounds familiar.)
[WSJ] — Amy Plitt