Waste not, want not

We were hoping, along with the Friends of Kensal Rise, that these lovely wooden shelves would be able to be reused in the new design for the library building. However, after carefully storing them for 2 months, we've realised this is not going to be possible. We hate waste. So if you're a local person who would like some very large bookcases, and a bit of local history, in your home then please do get in touch on 020 7729 4189 or email team@upliftproperty.co.uk.

Handing Over The Keys...

Now all our properties in Montpelier Avenue have sold, we've got lots of sets of keys to hand over. Congratulations to all our new home owners moving in the next few weeks. We hope that you will be very happy in your new home for a long time to come. We also know how stressful moving day can be, so we are busy putting together some little packs, to help you settle in.

Car vs. bike: Most Uplift properies come with off-street parking. But if they don't we'll offer you a Zip Car membership worth £500. Or, if you prefer to get around town on two wheels, a free Kennedy City Bike. Our friend James builds custom bikes in his Hackney workshop so all you need to do is pick your colour, saddle and handles and we’ll have it delivered to your door. 

Movies vs music: We can’t live without Netflix and we don’t think you should have to either. So we'll give you a free six-month subscription to the best films and box sets. If you prefer music to movies you can choose an iTunes voucher worth £50 instead. 

We believe a happy home needs good beer. If you agree, our friends at BeerBods will supply you with a new craft beer to try every week, for free.

Once you’ve sorted out your utilities you’ll start receiving bills every month. There’s not much we can do about this we’re afraid, but we’re hoping a monthly gift from our friends at Not Another Bill will ease the pain. 

We love good ideas and this is one of them. Stack is a magazine subscription company that delivers a different independent magazine to your door every month. Art, design, horses, cheese. Who knows? But we reckon you’ll love it. And learn something without leaving the comfort of your sofa. 

Kensal Rise Library gets a lift

Whilst the hard work begins behind the new hoarding at Kensal Rise Library, we've decided to have some fun on the outside. Thanks to the brilliant Alex Green for coming up with such a colourful concept and to the Friends of Kensal Rise Library for getting stuck in with the painting this weekend.

We'll be charting our progress on the twits @UpliftProperty all week. But if you want to see for yourself, pop down to the library and say hello to Alex and the gang.

10 Reasons To Move To Kentish Town

1. The Vibe

With so many artists and musicians in Kentish Town the area has a really positive and creative vibe. You can literally feel the love on every street corner. 

2. The Fields Beneath Cafe

Freshly made salads, locally sourced granola bars and the perkiest of coffee. Yum.

 

3. The Boozers

The folks of Ktown are pretty much spoilt for choice when it comes to boozers. There's The Grafton, The Pineapple, Somewhere Over Nowhere and our favourite; Ladies and Gents, a shiny new cocktail bar in an old public toilets.

 

4. The Fruit Bowl

This Ktown favourite was nearly forced to close recently when a Wahaca moved in to the same building. Local residents were distraught until Thomasina - Wahaca’s head chef - saved the day and arranged for the stall to stay. 

5. Location

It's a 5 minute stroll to Camden, a 15 minute walk to Hampstead Heath or a 10 minute ride to Dalston. Ideal.

6. Alma Street Summer Fair

Every summer the folks of Kentish Town come together on the streets, to celebrate the local area. With live music and lots of yummy local food and drinks.

7. Musical History

The recently reopened Bull and Gate pub, once a favourite haunt of Steve Lamacq, was were Keane had their big break. The area has also seen The Libertines, Coldplay, Amy Winehouse and Blur shoot to fame over the years.

8. Kentish Town Baths

Kentish Town Sports Centre is home to recently restored Victorian baths with a beautiful 33m swimming pool underneath an amazing glass roof. There is are also bathing facilities round the corner at Rio’s, but that’s for another, more adult article…

9. Greenery

With trees on every street, baskets of flowers hanging off every pub and Hampstead Heath just a few minutes down the road, it’s easy to forget how close you are to The City.

10. Architecture

We’ve just acquired part of the old Northwestern Polytechnic Building and are converting it into a range of apartments on the upper floors and a cinema and community space on the ground floor. So if all that talk of Kentish Town has got you excited, get in touch sales@upliftproperty.co.uk.

Switched on and ready to move in.

Our lovely flats on Montpelier Road in Ealing are all finished and looking fab. In fact we only have one left. It's a beautiful 2 bed loft space, with heaps of light and views of the treetops. The living area is the perfect space to hangout, with an open plan kitchen and space for a dining table.

It's available now for £635,000, so if this sounds like the home for you,
drop us a line at sales@upliftproperty.co.uk

Montpelier


Open Day: Kensal Rise Community Library

On Saturday 6th June the doors of Kensal Rise library were opened for the first time in five years – opened by Team Uplift and the Friends of Kensal Rise Library. 

The 100 year old building was full of colour and laughter and whoops and cheers as local people, councillors, school kids, photographers, journalists and a few local celebs turned up to celebrate the partnership with Uplift and FKRL and the return of the library into community hands.

Thanks for an amazing day everyone. We're super proud and pleased to be able to help bring the library back to the community who have fought so hard for it.

Can't wait for the work to begin.

 

 

Kensal Rise Library returns to the community

Kensal Rise library, opened by Mark Twain in 1900, was closed by Brent Council in 2010 – despite dedicated protests by local people, writers and celebrities across the literary world.

Kids making their views known outside the library.

Kids making their views known outside the library.

Since the doors closed five years ago The Friends of Kensal Rise Library have continued to campaign to bring the library back into community hands – resisting council plans, rejecting proposals from developers, taking their case to the high court and even setting up a pop up library outside the building to continue to provide books for the community.

The pop up library

The pop up library

And finally their hard work, creativity and commitment has paid off.

We heard about the campaign to bring back the library. We heard that locals wanted to meet any developers who would be prepared to renovate the site, restore the historic building and at the same time return the ground floor library to the community. 

And so we met with Margaret, Peter and the Trustees of The Friends of Kensal Rise Library. And we talked and we listened. And we decided that together we could make it work. 

Left to right: Uplift COO Karen Ellis; FKRL Trustee Pam Clark, FKRL Chairwoman Margaret Bailey and Uplift Architect Shirley Leung.

Left to right: Uplift COO Karen Ellis; FKRL Trustee Pam Clark, FKRL Chairwoman Margaret Bailey and Uplift Architect Shirley Leung.

As our Director Peter Cadwallader said when we completed the purchase last week:

‘We're delighted to have the opportunity to restore this lovely building in a way which not only creates new homes but allows the community to bring back a much loved library and gathering place after a long and effective campaign. We have the utmost respect for the history associated with the building and the determined campaigning shown by locals to maintain a library service in the area.'

Uplift Director Peter Cadwallader joins FKRL and locals for a celebratory photo.

Uplift Director Peter Cadwallader joins FKRL and locals for a celebratory photo.

Margaret Bailey, Chair of FKRL, is understandably pleased and relieved too:

'Residents know how significant this moment is for the community. It has been a long and hard-fought campaign and we can now look forward to having the library at the heart of Kensal Rise once more. We have been in talks with Uplift Properties and we believe that their refurbishment will be sympathetic and they have taken seriously the importance of the library and public space for this community.”

Of course the hard work is now about to begin for both Uplift and The Friends of Kensal Rise Library. But that's ok. Work feels less hard when it's good.

 

New neighbours. And a cup of sugar.

We've got quite a few completions coming up this week. Which means Maxi is busy packing up lots of little gifts. 

Uplift_Ealing_May'15_ForWeb-21.jpg

With papers being signed very soon, we just want to make sure our new buyers are ready and prepared to meet their new neighbours.

An Ealing Treasure

We fell in love with number two Elers Road as soon as we saw it. Built in 1898 it's a beautiful example of Arts and Crafts architecture combing traditional craft and ornamental detail, like stained glass and decorative tiling, with distinct lines and modern design – so it's right up our street.

As local people will know the property has been converted many times over the years, was turned into a residential home for the elderly in around 1990 and has stood empty since 2007. So it's fair to say it's a bit run down.

But in spite of its crumbling plaster, peeling paint and damp corners, it still stands proud on the corner of the street overlooking the beautiful Lamas park.

And we're really excited and honoured to be able to say that we now own the building. Our plan over the next year we'll be to carefully restore and renovate the property to provide a range of one and two bedroom apartments in the neighbourhood – and we'll chart the journey on this blog. 

In the meantime, we'd love to know more about the history of the building so if you've got any information or stories to tell please get in touch – team@upliftproperty.co.uk.

What happens once the keys are handed over?

Matthew moved into his Uplift property in Ealing nearly six months ago.

He chose his apartment because of its quality and size and because it was the perfect place for his two daughters to come and stay with him. 

Buying from a developer Matthew says he was initially concerned that we might “run away once the keys had been handed over.” He was worried that everything would look nice on day one but that the cracks, the creaks and the cheats would begin to expose themselves over time.

But six months in we’re pleased to hear that Matthew is still happy in his new home:

“The high standard of development, which is what initially attracted me to the property, continues to impress now that I’m living in the flat and have settled in.”

Girl with chair

That’s not to say Matthew’s experience has been perfect.

“Of course there have been a few teething problems, only to be expected, but there is an on-going commitment to ensuring that these are properly resolved. And the positive, helpful attitude of the Uplift representatives has been excellent.”

Matthew’s given us some critical feedback too – like questioning whether controlling the heating via an iPad is necessary or “slightly over-engineered”. And these are things we want to hear.

You see we're different from most developers.

  • Because we retain the freeholds of our properties we remain responsible for them.
  • Because we care, we are committed to solving problems that arise.
  • Because we’re here for the long term we’re prepared to listen and learn.

 Matthew appreciates our approach and says he can see why our business is growing so fast.

 “Congratulations to Uplift – success is deserved and I’m pleased to be a satisfied customer.”

 Thanks for sharing Matthew and please stay in touch.

Labour of love

We've taken on quite a few Victorian properties recently – beautiful buildings that have been chopped up and knocked around a bit over the years and now need a bit of love and care. 

The challenge for us is to preserve the history and unique qualities of these buildings and at the same time create homes that are designed with contemporary living in mind. 

Sometimes this means knocking down walls. Sometimes it means pulling up floors and even moving staircases. 

Which means carefully removing original bricks, pulling up individual boards, dismantling entire banisters, spindles and steps – all to be cleaned up, sanded and treated – then put back in their new and proper place.

Restoration takes time, care, love and money.

It gives us splinters.

But it feels good.

 

The benefits of buying off plan

Cass had been renting a place on Madeley Road for a few years. She was happy in Ealing and loved the Victorian properties on her street so she knew she wanted to buy as soon as the right flat came up for sale. Cass admits she was initially fearful about buying a property from a developer. And of course we understand why. We've all heard the horror stories! But it didn't take Cass long to feel reassured that we are not your usual developer.

"From day one William was on hand to answer all my, sometime tedious, questions and although there have been some inevitable hiccups the whole process has been great."

 

As an interior designer Cass was excited by the opportunity to buy off plan and was really pleased with the level of input she could have in the design process. She knew and loved the Victorian property from the outside and was pleased to see from the plans that the flat's generous proportions, wood flooring, original fireplace and period features would be retained. She was also impressed with the high spec appliances and quality craftsmanship that she'd seen in one of our show flats. But for Cass the best bit about buying off plan was "the opportunity to put my own stamp on the flat, seeing this beautiful blank canvas and the chance to make it my own." 

Of course Cass says that "buying off plan is a little scary and can be quite a stressful process" but being able to contribute to designs, choose tiles and specify finishes has "made it all worth it."

"I am delighted with our new little home and can't thank William and his team enough. The flat is amazing. I can't fault the design, we're really pleased with the finished result and I'm thoroughly enjoying designing the interiors."

Thanks so much for sharing Cass. We're glad you're so pleased finished property and wish you many happy days in your new home.

 

Car vs. Bike

We love Ealing. We love the green space, the wide streets and the lovely Victorian properties that we're restoring in the area. We love walking and cycling around our new neighbourhood.

Which is lucky really as driving is a total nightmare.

Whilst there's not much we can do to solve the general parking problem in Ealing, we have come up with a couple of solutions for people buying properties from us that don't come with private parking. Two good, green solutions:

Zip Car: If you drive and would like the convenience of a car without the hassle of ownership Zip Car is a brilliant option. With a Zip car within 5 minutes walk of each of our Ealing properties, and with us happy to pay for £1000 worth of credits in the first year, it couldn't be easier (or free-er) to sign up and get yourself a car sorted when you need one.

Kennedy City Bicycles: If you're the kind of person who likes to get around town on two wheels perhaps you'd prefer a bike as a house warming gift? You get to choose your colour and choice of handle bars and saddle and then our friend James will build you a bike in his Hackney workshop and have it delivered to you – on us.

Just one of the ways we like to say thank you for choosing Uplift and welcome to your new home.

 

 

The Name Game

We're thinking of names for our Ealing properties. We're looking for uncommon and meaningful names, perhaps inspired by one of the many famous historical figures who've lived in the area.

Ada Lovelace 1815 - 1852

Ada Lovelace 1815 - 1852

Turns out Ada Lovelace lived in Ealing – an amazing woman with a very interesting story. She was the daughter of poet Lord Byron who had ran off and left Lady Byron to bring Ada up alone. Lady Byron, fearing that her daughter might inherit her Dad's romantic and wayward tendencies, decided to educate her daughter in the sciences – obviously unheard in 19th century Britain – and Ada went on to become an incredible mathematician.

She worked with Charles Babbage to create the 'Calculating Machine' and is considered to be the first computer programmer, developing algorithms that have ultimately made the internet possible.

A scientific visionary Ada was also a pioneer of social justice. She taught science and maths to girls and also to underprivileged children at Ealing Grove Industrial School – the first school of it's kind in the country.

There have definitely been a few other pretty inspirational Ealing residents throughout history. And we'll probably give them a mention in the coming months. But right now Ada Lovelace is at the top of our list. Although we do like the sound of Crouch House.

Peter Crouch 1981 - forever....

Peter Crouch 1981 - forever....


What the neighbours say

At first Sue and Sunil were a worried when they heard we'd bought the house next door. They were understandably "anxious about the potential adverse impact" that our building work might have on their property and their lives.

However looking back over project Sue says "our experience with Uplift has been very positive."

What the neighbours say.jpg

We know how stressful building work can be. So we introduced ourselves on day one, always kept the family informed of our plans and any site developments and tried to keep noise and disruption to a minimum. And this really did help keep the project on track and everyone happy. 

Sue says:

"From the start the Uplift team, particularly William and Mantis, have been professional, courteous and considerate.  Communication has been excellent and the few minor issues that have arisen have been resolved promptly and to our satisfaction.  All in all, it has been a very uplifting experience!"

We say:

Thanks Sue and Sunil. We think we got lucky having such lovely neighbours.

A happy house story

We bought 91 Grange Road from Mr. Douglas Jordan just over a year ago. It was in some ways quite an emotional sale as the property had been in his family since 1941 and was the house Douglas and his siblings had grown up in.

As the new guardians of this property we were fully aware of our responsibility. Of course we were excited about the opportunity to give the building a new life. But we also had huge respect for the property’s history and wanted to do a job that would make us, and Douglas, proud.

It has been noted that “it’s not normal” and also “a bit weird” for developers to care so much. But we do. So when Douglas came around to see the refurbished property recently we were actually a bit nervous. 

Thankfully there was no need to be. Douglas’s first words were “Oh wow!”

Standing outside, he was instantly impressed by the sandblasted brickwork, new sash windows and restored Victorian front door. “You know it was blown off its hinges in Word War II?” He said. “It’s incredible how you’ve made it look as good as new!”

Inside the hallway Douglas noted the detailed restoration of the cornicing and how the original staircase and banister had been so carefully repaired – “Your carpenter is amazing!”

During his tour of the six new flats Douglas continued to comment how “nice” everything looked and was impressed by the “blimmin’ brilliant” tech features. He told us they used to have a “pulley system, like a mini lift, in the center of the house to take meals up from the kitchen” which was considered pretty high tech at the time. But he agreed that controlling the heating with an ipad is definitely an improvement on dragging a sack of coal up five flights of stairs.

As we said our goodbyes Douglas told us:

“I’m so pleased with what you’ve done with the place. I really don’t know how you could have done a better job.”

Of course we’re chuffed.

Good work team. Time for a celebratory beer.

We're hiring.

We're looking for a Sales and Marketing manager to join our team. If you like the sound of the job below and think you've got what it takes to apply please email team@upliftproperty.co.uk

The basics:

  • Sales and Marketing Manager.
  • Salary: £20,000
  • Location: Between our studio in Bethnal Green and our properties in West London.

 

About the job:

You’ll act as the first point of contact for all property enquiries:

  • Responding to enquiries via our site or estate agent partners
  • Showing potential buyers around available properties
  • Dealing with solicitors, responding to client questions and preparing contracts associated with purchases

 You’ll prepare all property information packs

  • Pulling together information on all properties from period refurbishments to off-plan new builds
  • Liaising with legal, planning and building control to ensure all details are correct

 You’ll work with our Marketing Director to:

  • Draw up property particulars and arrange photo shoots
  • Organise marketing materials
  • Plan and help deliver marketing campaigns

 You’ll build client relationships and design systems to improve our service:

  • Looking after potential buyers and supporting them through the journey to becoming home owners
  • Creating and managing a database of potential buyers as well as happy customers
  • Collecting customer feedback to improve our service
  • Delivering welcome packs and initiating service and maintenance contracts

 

About you:

Although this is probably a 2nd job, not suitable for a recent graduate, we're not necessarily looking for an experienced sales person. We're simply looking for a hardworking, honest and intelligent person with relevant experience to join our team. Whilst the role requires someone who loves logistics, is super organised, punctual and detail obsessed. We are also looking for someone who is creative, imaginative and resourceful. 

The successful candidate will be a confident communicator, enjoy meeting people and be happy to show the same property around to 25 different couples in one day whilst still genuinely enjoying the experience.

You’ll need to be experienced in a range of basic programmes from Excel to Photoshop. You’ll be articulate, able to spell and you’ll never use jargon or estate agent-speak.

While an arts education is not necessary an interest in architecture, design and photography will be a huge advantage.

If this sounds like you, email us your C.V. along with a single paragraph telling us why you’re right for the job and add any links to your portfolio/blog etc. that will give us an insight into you and your interests.

 

Our first flats are finished

This evening we opened the door at 91 Grange Road and welcomed our first visitors. 

We were hoping for some approving nods but we weren't expecting whoops and wows.

"I'm pretty bowled over to be honest" said Jude. "It's just gorgeous. Really spacious and light. And I love the exposed brick and wood flooring."

As we walked around people commented on the period features, sash windows and traditional cornicing that we've so lovingly restored.

It's nice when people notice.

"I wouldn't change a thing" said Ceri laying down on one of the beds and making herself at home. "I could move in tomorrow" adding "does the furniture come with the flat?" 

Of course we've had such fun dressing our lovely homes we're more than happy to include furniture in the purchase. It just means we get to go shopping again.

"I love the kitchens" said Felicity. "Open plan is perfect. I really like the units and the tiles and all the little details like the wine cooler!"

"I like how sociable the space is" said Chloe. "I could definitely see us having friends around for dinner and drinks in the garden."

It's early days. But so far it looks like our flats are getting a big thumbs up. If you'd like to come and see them for yourself just email team@upliftproperty.com

Cheers.