On the record over champers and canapés, Dorian Beresford CEO of Strawberry Star, at and on and in his latest development in partnership with HUB. Hoola. It’s a blisteringly hot afternoon down by London’s Royal Docks. Overhead a net of transport modes zigzag across the marine blue sky. London City Airport and Emirates Cable Car dominate either end of the Docks. Hoola is the latest cloudscraper piercing the capital’s skyline.
“We do end to end at Strawberry Star. Funding, acquisition, implementation, development, management and transactions. The whole nine yards! One – that guarantees results. Our market leading results prove that. Two – it allows us to be passionate about service. An independent psychologist’s report exposed 76 percent of people in the UK as a whole and 88 percent in London have had a bad experience with estate agents. Our agency fee is two percent but you decide whether you want to pay the full amount or not. We help our new homeowners get set up with utility companies too.”
“I grew up in New York and also spent some time in Liverpool. Strawberry Star’s offices are in Mayfair. I commute from Oxfordshire. At the start of my working life I trained as a croupier before opening two casinos. Gradually I moved into property. I’ve been CEO of Strawberry Star since November last year.”
“The catalyst for Royal Victoria Dock taking off was the Canning Town regeneration. That and the Olympics. And now Asia Business Park and Crossrail. Canary Wharf is 10 minutes away; Bank’s 20 minutes. Planning permission has just been granted for the £3.5 billion Silvertown Quays project on 62 acres next to the Royal Docks. It’ll deliver offices, a tech hub and 3,000 new homes. By 2028 the population of this area is set to double – an increase of 103 percent compared to 16 percent for London over all. This area is in transition. You can use the water in the docks. So many sporting opportunities.”
“Hoola is a new gateway to the Royal Docks. HUB’s architects CZWG have designed two towers with a landscaped area by Churchman Landscape Architects in between. The 23 and 24 storey towers stand on a hill – 360 apartments with 360 degree views. Two world class iconic towers.”
“The carbon footprint of Hoola is really really small. The development is super insulated and is shaded by louvres. Heating and hot water is provided through a shared energy network using surplus heat from the nearby ExCel Exhibition Centre. The wrapped balconies are curved but the rooms are regular shapes. CZWG have planned well spatially. Strawberry Star is fully invested in the scheme. We’re even opening our own retail estate agency on the ground floor. We’ve a real focus on quality. Together with developer HUB we’re bringing Zone 1 style to Zone 3!”