Finding Other Uses For London's Unsold Luxury Flats

Finding Other Uses For London's Unsold Luxury Flats

Empty unsold luxury flats haunt London's skyline. Sightseers can see them in Battersea, Stratford and further afield, but that doesn't mean that crafty developers have any plans to stop building them. No, they're taking the bold opposite option and building more and more, in a desperate attempt to recoup money — just as London's property market stagnates.

This got us thinking. London already has — and will soon have even more — unsold luxury flats. What are we going to do with them? Just wait it out until we're all stonking loaded and can afford to buy them? Surely there are some better options in the meantime. Here's our two cents:

1. Paintballing

Embrace your inner 12 year old and go paintballing inside these unsold complexes. Think of all the tactical opportunities this opens up. Duck for cover behind a granite kitchen island. Use the apartment's in-built speaker system as a diversion. Replenish yourself with the on-tap sparkling water. Making a one man last stand on the balcony, as you admire the picturesque views of other empty luxury blocks.

Your team gets an automatic win if they manage to hit an actual resident — this is tougher than it sounds, what with people living in these flats being a rarely spotted phenomenon.

Disused post boxes, put them in towers. Photo: Rob Telford

2. Post offices

Developers repeatedly point to high stamp duty as a cause for the slowdown in the luxury flat business. Stamp duty is at the heart of this. Stamp duty doesn't have anything to do with postage stamps but there's just such great synergy in their names, someone really should capitalise on it. Lots of post offices around the country have shut in recent years, but thanks to this excellent and totally thought through idea, that's about to change.

Post offices, in the middle of towers in ghost towns. Or maybe just stamp dispensaries. We haven't quite figured that part out yet.

3. Nightclubs

London's councils are averse to independently run clubs and night-time venues. One of the prime reasons for this is that they feel it causes disruption for local residents. Do you know what we say to that? Can't upset local residents if the residents don't exist.

These flats have an abundance of space, which makes them perfect for cutting shapes to some booming tunes. It should be a relatively quick conversion too. Turn the kitchen into a bar, and then gut everything else to make way for a dancefloor. Tipsy revellers hundreds of feet in the air... what could go wrong?

London's newest method of transport

4. Zip lines

Here at Londonist we're a bit obsessed with transport. And with all these new hip and happening towers in the sky, people are going to need some form of quick transport to get between them. Say you're best friend Derek is at a rave on the thirtieth floor of the tower opposite where you're paintballing. It's a lot of effort to get into a lift, cross the street, smile at a concierge before getting into another lift. That would take literally minutes.

That's why we suggest a novelty form of transport. Zip wires. We've put a lot of thought into them in the past. Think about it for a minute — they're energy efficient (gravity does all the hard work) and hella fun. Sure, there are some drawbacks, but are they really more absurd than swimming pool levitating between two towers? Didn't think so.

5. Lower the prices

We know, we know. The most ridiculous of all the ideas in the list. However, what if these flats were sold at affordable prices. Psssht... yes, we know. We're only dreaming. Let's go back to the travelling between the post office and club on a zip wire firing a paintball gun in one hand.

Last Updated 02 August 2018