Today, London Mayor Boris Johnson personally oversees the topping out of Riverlight, the first new development to regenerate Nine Elms on the South Bank.
While debate continues over unused planning consents, it took St James only 4 weeks to get on site and just over 2 years from consent to this topping out ceremony.
"St James does not sit on land," said Berkeley's chairman, Tony Pidgley. "Once we've got permission, we get on and build. London needs a lot more homes and we will deliver."
With the capital's population expected to surge by 2.6 million by 2031, the Mayor estimates that London needs around a million new homes in the next 25 years to meet demand and avert a possible housing crisis.
St James' development at Riverlight will provide:
• 802 homes
• 250 jobs and 45 apprentices
• £35m investment in local infrastructure, including the Northern Line Extension.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "This part of London is undergoing a dramatic transformation set to create thousands of homes and jobs. The Nine Elms area will move forward a century in a matter of years. Riverlight is playing a major part in this exciting rejuvenation."
Riverlight has been designed by architects Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners working alongside landscape designers Gillespies. 60% of the five acre site will be public open space, including 112 trees of seven different species.
"We are creating a new piece of one of the world's best cities", Pidgley will say at the topping out ceremony. "Somewhere that will grace the river, drive investment, and deliver jobs and homes".
Over the last 10 years, the Berkeley Group has built 3,600 homes within a mile of this site. The company is now investing a total of £580m in the area.
Sean Ellis, Chairman of St James, comments: "Riverlight is setting the benchmark for other developments of its kind, creating fantastic homes in an efficient manner without compromising on quality."
St James is also creating two developments nearby on the Albert Embankment: the Merano Residences, also designed by Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners, and 20-21 Albert Embankment by Foster + Partners. The second scheme will include 85 affordable homes specifically designed for senior living.
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Notes to editors:
About St James
St James was established in 1996, originally as a joint venture with Thames Water. It has established a reputation as a design-conscious developer, able to transform derelict sites into beautiful, successful places. Some of its recent London developments include Riverlight on Nine Elms, Roehampton House and Grosvenor Waterside.
St James is a member of the Berkeley Group. The Berkeley Group was voted Britain's Most Admired Company across all industries in 2011 and has been ranked Britain's most sustainable major housebuilder for the last seven years in a row by the Next Generation benchmark. In 2012, the Berkeley Group sustained 16,000 jobs and generated £2.6 billion of economic activity in Britain.