Alexandra Road Housing/Rowley Way

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by Reno, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. HackneyE9

    HackneyE9 Well-Known Member

    Looked best street in London for a child to me - pedestrianised and watched over play space - but I'll leave Reno to answer, he lives there.
  2. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    As council estates go this is better than most in this area. The fact that it is pedestrianised and parents can overlook the whole of Rowley Way from their balconies is a plus. There is a sense of community here and most of the residents know each other. During the afternoon and on weekends there are always lots of kids playing and people stopping for a chat. Many of the tenants have raised families here who now have their own flats on the estate. The care takers also do a good job in keeping the estate clean and reasonably well maintained.

    On the other hand it is a council estate with some of the problems that come with it. Not all the tenants are model citizens and there are a few bad apples on the estate who litter and vandalise. There is a problem with teenage gangs in the area. They don't hang around in the estate that often, but when they do they can be noisy and intimidating. On the other hand because of the lay out of the estate they are easily visible, there is CCTV and there are several alternative routes if one wants to avoid them.

    As I'm single and my priorities and responsibilities are different, I can't really give an answer if this is a great place to raise kids. I love my flat and the architecture of the estate, but there is room for improvement here.
  3. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    Linking from the Open House Weekend thread, here are some pics of my flat. The living room is mostly done now, but my kitchen is still as grotty as when I moved in as I'm currently broke.

    (editor: pics removed by request)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2016
    marty21 likes this.
  4. Leica

    Leica it's only make believe

    It's very pretty :cool:
  5. HackneyE9

    HackneyE9 Well-Known Member

  6. LaSimo

    LaSimo New Member

    to Reno, you place looks amazing, thank God is not in East London otherwise I would be obsessed with living there. I got to this site (I must be so boring, I never found it before) by looking for places for sale in Park Hill, Sheffiled. Has anyone actually been in the flats?
  7. zenie

    zenie >^^<

    Just seen these now - it looks lovely!

    When I coming for tea then? :p
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2016
  8. pollyb

    pollyb New Member

    Hello Rowley Way supporters! My boyfriend and I are currently in the process of buying a flat on the estate. We have been looking at flats for the last three months and have concentrated mainly on Victorian conversions due to their aesthetics and high ceilings. We visited Rowley Way mainly out of interest having seen it feature in the recent ‘Prime Suspect’. Both my boyfriend and I were, to our surprise, totally bowled over by the flat and its surrounds. We loved the design which seems to us to include all the key elements of city living: flooded with light, lots of space, privacy as well as sociable contact and functional.
    I know many of you have written lots of positive things about the estate but I'd be really interested to hear of the problems people have had with getting a mortgage, whether anyone had a full survey and any other construction/heating/renovation issues anyone's had.
    By the way Reno your flat looks fab and its really interesting to see what must be the original kitchen as ours has been replaced. Also very much like your Alan Davie poster very good match for the period of property!!

  9. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    Polly, I've sent you a private message. I hope it is of some help and good luck. :)

    Btw, much of the current Anthony Minghella film Breaking and Entering was shot on the estate this summer. In the film Juliette Binoche lives on the estate :cool: but from what I've heard it's yet again being represented as some crime ridden hell hole :mad:.

    Minghella actually said in an interview that the estate looked much to nice when they got here and that they had to dirty it up.
  10. sam/phallocrat

    sam/phallocrat Denarian + 1 R.I.P.

    No, but as a large number are derelict/empty you'd probably be able to get your hands on one by asking the council nicely. Urban Splash are thinking of spending a few billions on turning it all posh but that probably won't happen for quite a while . . .
  11. secretsquirrel

    secretsquirrel Respectable married lady

    Only just seen this :oops:

    My ex's auntie lived on the estate - was always really impressed at how much space they had - it was a maisonette - all upside down with kitchen/dinig area, bedrooms and bathrooms on the ground floor and then a big openplan living area upstairs :)
  12. Dee1

    Dee1 New Member


    Hey! I know someone who has a flat in fact they are looking to sell if anyone is interested!

    What's this about Urban Splash 'thinking' of spending money on doing the estate up? -where did you get this information from? Sounds extremely interesting -might get a place there myself!!!
  13. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    He was talking about the Park Hill Estate in Sheffield.
  14. Dee1

    Dee1 New Member


    I see that now -silly me!!! Skip reading again! Thought it sounded too good to be true.
  15. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    Get's confusing as previous quotes don't show up when quoting. :)

    Rowley Way is being done up, but it goes step by step as there never is the money there to do it all at once.
  16. Rie

    Rie New Member

    I'm looking to buy on Rowley too! Going back to 2nd view 2 flats this saturday. Both need a lot of work on the naff interior, but I'm inspired by the architecture. Dreaming of a Le Corbusier sofa...

    According to the estate management, money is tight and there are no plans for anything beyond basic and necessary repairs. The concrete is due for cleaning in the next 5 years but they seemed to think they were unlikely to get funding.

    Dee1 - is your friend still looking to sell too?

    Reno - your place looks fab! A friend of mine found this forum when I emailed him the property details. Pleased I'm not the only one who likes brutalist concrete buildings....
  17. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    :cool: Best of luck and let us know how it went. :)
  18. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    Best of luck and let us know how it went. :)
  19. Rie

    Rie New Member

    few weeks on.... I've had an offer accepted on Rowley Way apartment, the purchase is progressing very slowly. However if all goes according to plan I hope to exchange before easter.

    For anyone who needs to know, after a lot of research I found only 2 mainstream lenders who will lend on the estate. HSBC and Abbey. Aliance and Leicester will on the lower rise block (they'll go up to 5 floors on concrete). I also think Chelsea and Westminster will consider, so long as you borrow a low income multiple.

    I've numerous friends who are architects, and all asure me there is no structural reason for the banks to avoid concrete buildings. Their concern is apparently purely about re-sale value, therfore reflects the taste of middle England. Perhaps this is changing over time.... Brunswick Square etc.

    Also had the chance to view one of the 7th floor apartments in the south facing block. What a view!! and access to the roof. Fantastic layout. Unfortunately outside of my budget at around 250k.
  20. thirdkind

    thirdkind New Member

    Rowley Way

    I looked around a flat in Rowley Way this weekend and have totally fallen in love with the place!

    However, we're having big troubles finding a mortgage company that will lend us the cash - if anyone has any helpful tips i'd very much appreciate it!

    I'm just about to phone up Rie's recommendations of HSBC, Abbey, and Alliance and Leicester so fingers crossed....
  21. Rie

    Rie New Member

    don't use Abbey!!

    I obtained an agreement in principle with Abbey only to have them turn down lending based on the survey. I made them aware from the outset that block is 75% local, 25% ex, 500 flats, 7 stories, concrete, grade 2 listed.... The adviser told me none of this would be an issue. Survey noted "not suitable for lending", due to building being "high density" and "likelyhood of higher than average service charge". It cost me a grand to find that out! Lesson learnt - the adviser is just a sales person, it's skant risk to them to go to survey as you lose, you pay. Also make sure you send the adviser an email/letter stating the building's charactersistics before obtaining the agreement in principle. That way you at least have some leverage if they reject the loan.

    HSBC may still be worth a try. You could also try calling a local surveyor, they're able to look up on their system as to which lenders have agreed mortgages on the estate. The one I spoke with gave me a few, but they all had very high interest rates.

    If you search on the camden website you can get a number for the Alexandre Estate manager. In turn they can give you a number for the buildings and maintanence manager. I spoke with him and he said no major works were planned as they don't have the funds. The blaconies and roof were repaired in 2005 due to prior issues with leaks. The concrete is due to be cleaned but it sounds like they don't have the funds. Someone recommended to me to get a heating expert in, as the heated walls are unusual and if original will likely need to be re-vamped in coming years.

    Good luck, and if you find a lender i'd be interested to know too! The agents I spoke with who'd sold properties, eventually sold them to cash buyers.
  22. potent

    potent New Member

    Inspring Thread on Rowley Way

    Hi everyone,

    Firstly a thank you to Reno:) for keeping this thread about Rowley Way (Alexandra Road Housing). I came across this randomly through google and I wish Id found it ages ago! Its really nice to read the different experiences people have had and how like me they have felt inspired by the Architecture of Rowley Way.

    My wife and I moved into a 1 bedroom flat on Rowley Way a,most 2 years ago and have always found the architecture inspiring. As soon as I saw the building I fell in love with it and like others on this board have said it's a rare example of its kind (in the UK). Recently we had a baby son who is now 3 months and to be honest we don't find it cramped in any way. As anyone who has seen the one bedroom layout will know, there is a large sliding door that can be used to partition the living room area and the bedroom area. After a while of living here we stopped using this and leave it open constantly, this creates a very nice open flow between the areas in the flat. In fact you can walk around the flat in a circular fashion, which greatly impresses my nieces and nephews when they visit. The open plan nature of the property also reminded me of the house I grew up in in New Zealand.

    The outdoor balcony spaces are fantastic and give the flat a feeling of light and depth, something very unique to a London flat. Its quite a mixed bag of people living hear its friendly enough and plenty safe at night time to come home late.

    Just tried to upload a view form living room but didnt seem to work so ill try again next time I log on.

    Speak soon.
  23. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    I haven't caught up with this thread for a while but good to see that people are buying on the estate because they genuinely care about the place instead of just trying to make a buck from the buy-to-let market.

    Lenders are very short sighted that they have one rule for all concrete ex-local authority flats. Rowley Way flats that come on the market don't stay there for long unless they are overpriced and leasholders haven't made drastic changes to the flats. I wished building societies in the UK would employ staff who know a little bit about architecture and who would be a bit more flexible. This kind of archtecture may not be anybody's cup of tea but people like me who love it, do so passionately. This is one of the best examples of modernist residential 60's/70's architecture in Britain, but unlike the now fashionable Bloomsbury Centre and Trellick Tower, flats here are still reasonably afforadable by London standarts.

    Best of luck to anybody who is in the process of buying there and I hope I'll bump into you on the red brick road one day. :)
  24. doddles

    doddles Appreciates the good eggs

    In the hope that some of you are still posting on the forums, I thought I'd ask if anyone has any new thoughts about Rowley Way? My GF and I are considering getting a place in the area (for ourselves, not for renting or investment), and the architecture/layout looks fantastic. So - any downsides to living there that have become apparent in the last few years? Anything we should pay attention to or check out? We're new to the flat-buying thing and relatively new to the UK, so it's all a bit daunting.
  25. mahdi

    mahdi New Member

    one bed in rowley way

    hi all i have a one bed on 6 floor with big balconi ,at the moment i am doing rifebishemnt on it new kitchen and new floor ,very keen to sale if intrested please let me know


  26. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    um, 3 years late, mate!
  27. LauraVdb

    LauraVdb New Member

    Hi everybody,

    I know my reply comes quit late, but I found this thread via Google. I have always been incredibly fascinated by the Alexandra Road Estates architecture. Me and my boyfriend are looking for a new place in London for after the summer, and it would be my absolute dream living in a place like that.

    So my question now is, as we are still quit young and can't afford buying yet, is their also rent possibilities?

    Hopefully theirs still some people reading this! Thanks on advance!
    (and btw, Reno, I am incredibly jealous of your place! Well done)

  28. cawlam

    cawlam designed by Joel Burke

    hi all,

    does anyone have a place they're considering letting go of in the estate? my partner and i are fanatical about the buildings and want to purchase a flat in one.

    also, has anyone been able to secure a mortgage on one of these flats recently/ever?

    much thanks!
  29. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    It's currently difficult to get a mortgage and leaseholders on the estate are hoping that things will pick up again in the future. There always are flats for sale on the estate, but at the moment they tend to go to cash buyers. I bought my flat 7 years ago and still got a mortgage then, so hopefully things will change again.
  30. Caireen

    Caireen New Member

    Hi, we have recently tried to buy a house on the estate and were disappointed to have it snatched by an investor. If anyone is interested in selling their flat please do drop me a line! Thank you.

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