London Student Housing Opens in Former Johnnie Walker Breweries

Assam Place, a mixed-use, luxury student housing project in the former Johnnie Walker breweries in London, has celebrated its official opening.

Assam Place thumbnailBy Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

London—Assam Place, a mixed-use, luxury student housing project in the former Johnnie Walker breweries in London, has celebrated its official opening. The 346-unit community is enjoying success in the high-end student housing market of London and is expected to be fully leased within a few weeks.

The adaptive reuse project was undertaken by international consultancy and construction company Mace, acting as co-investor, developer, project manager and contractor for the project. Mace purchased the former brewery-turned-whisky-warehouse from Johnnie Walker with Alternative Developments, Mace’s joint venture partner for the project.

“Our product here is top class and is testimony to the development and delivery teams working successfully together, sharing our in depth knowledge of the sector, to create a world-class facility” Mace Investments COO David Grover said at the opening celebrations.

Assam Place a total of 37,500 square feet of retail and commercial space, as well as 346 residential units. The commercial space is located in Fabbrica, a commercial building that blends architectural styles and connects the 1848 Victorian brewery building with a new 18-story. The student housing is located in two separate but connected components: Live1 and Assam Studios. Live1 is a newly built 18-story tower featuring 317 residential units and the community’s amenities, while Assam Studios features 29 studio units located in the modernized historic brewery.

Units range in size between 301 and 376 square feet and rent for between approximately $1,440 and $2,730. Studio amenities include en-suite, fully furnished kitchen and high-end bathroom. Assam Studio residents have full access to the community amenities located in Live1, which include group study zones, lounges, two fitness centers, several meeting spaces such as the 1,300-square-foot courtyard garden, a main lounge complete with a café, large screen and sound system, the top-floor Space Deck study area and the adaptable Star Deck, sporting floor to ceiling windows that offers panoramic views over the London skyline. It will act as a study room during the day and a special events space in the evenings. Additional community amenities include onsite security, concierge services, round-the-clock management services, full Wi-Fi coverage and the fastest student broadband available in London—up to100MBs. Live1 comprises single, twin sharing and self-contained studio units that rent from around $960 to $1,925 per month. Unit amenities include en suite high-end bathrooms and extra storage space.

Assam Place also aims for sustainability, not only luxury. As such, it boasts a BREEAM rating of Excellent. Sustainable features include efficient energy systems, full recycling program, community space energy consumption monitoring, as well as several in-development energy consumption reducing strategies. Assam Place is located in Aldgate, central London and is in close proximity to mass-transit, with five subway stations and numerous bus and train stations in close proximity.

Mace has another adaptive reuse student housing project under development in the UK. Named Deaconness House, the 315-bed project is located in central Edinburgh and is set for a 2014 completion. The dormitory will house students of the University of Edinburgh and is the adaptive reuse of the former NHS Lothian office headquarters and the Victorian Deaconess Hospital.