Canary Wharf: Derelict dockyard to global business district

Canary Wharf: Derelict dockyard to global business district
March 10, 2017

Canary Wharf is a 97-acre mixed-development in London near the Docklands that holds one of Europe’s biggest cluster of financial services within one area.

40 years ago, the Docklands was an abandoned, millennia-old harbor used for anchoring large vessels along River Thames. The degenerated dockyard has since received a breath of fresh air and is now lined with gleaming office towers and swanky high-rise residences.

Named after the huge amount of cargo it received from the Canary Islands once, the massive regeneration of Canary Wharf into becoming what it is today took about 25 years.

The port area saw a decline in the 70s with declining jobs and had to be closed down in 1980. Since then, various attempts were undertaken to stir the redevelopment of the docklands with no avail.

The Canary Wharf project was then carefully planned and construction began in 1988. It was completed in stages and one of the first buildings to be completed during the initial completion in 1991 was One Canada Square – a proud symbol of the Docklands Regeneration, which until 2010, was the tallest building in the UK at 235 metres.

Although the early 90s saw a property market decline and caused some delays in development, a growing demand for large floorplate Grade A office space along with recovering property market by mid-90s saw a growth in investor interest. A critical factor that revived the project was the extension plans of the Jubilee Line, connecting the area to the City centre via London’s Underground network.

Today, Canary Wharf is home to 35 buildings which include London's blue-chip financial companies, high-end hotels, shops, restaurants and luxury residence. The world’s biggest banks and financial service providers like Citigroup, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, KPMG, HSBC, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s, are amongst the many big names operating from Canary Wharf.

The district is also booming for its luxury apartments like Maine Tower, scheduled for completion in 2019, and South Quay Plaza - a 68-storey skyscraper, with 888 units expected to be completed in phases beginning 2020.

With more than 100,000 people working at the district every day, the success of Canary Wharf is owed to its seamless connectivity. It is supported by a network of entry-points which include via the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, London Bus routes, a pier along River Thames, Cycle Superhighway, and link tunnels and highways into the city. Crossrail, a new high-speed train service that goes directly to London Heathrow Airport, is targeted to begin operations late 2018.

The urban regeneration that Canary Wharf did to the London Docklands is what TRX aspires to achieve within KL’s Golden Triangle. Seamlessly connected and highly accessible, with a cluster of Global financial institution and a modern livable environment – TRX takes inspiration from the remarkable rejuvenation Canary Wharf has accomplished.

Photo Crefit: Canary Wharf