NuGen Properties

City of London approves plans for 21-storey student rooms

CGI of the planned 65 Crutched Friars building, as seen from Vine Street

Dominus plans to replace the existing five-storey building at 65 Crutched Friars, built in 1984, with a stepped tower rising to 21 storeys designed by Danish architect 3XN to accommodate 780 student rooms.

65 Crutched Friars is broadly midway between Fenchurch Street, Tower Hill and Aldgate stations.

The scheme follows Dominus’ project at 61-65 Holborn Viaduct, a 644-unit student accommodation development.

Dominus, led by brothers Husnell, Preet and Jay Ahluwalia, has completed 35 projects in the past 10 years and has 16 more in development – hotels, purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) and build-to-rent flats.

Principal director Jay Ahluwalia said: “Getting these plans approved is a huge moment as we cement our position in the PBSA sector.  We can draw on all our experience in hospitality to show we really understand what makes a successful student development, not just for those living there, but for the community as a whole.

“When we started out back in 2011, the goal was to build a real estate business that wasn’t only scalable and fast-growing, but was philanthropic at heart, going above and beyond to improve people’s lives. Today, everything we do for the business as brothers is driven by this idea, and the desire to create places and spaces that make a positive contribution to cities and communities across the UK.”

Planning approval for 65 Crutched Friars also secures the future of London’s Migration Museum – currently in a shopping centre in Lewisham – with Dominus helping to fund a £15m relocation and refit to create the first-ever Migration Museum for Britain. The museum will be installed in the first three floors of the development.

Courtyard entrance off Northumberland Alley
Courtyard entrance off Northumberland Alley

Migration Museum chief executive Sophie Henderson said:  “We are so grateful for Dominus’ belief in the importance of this museum, and for their transformational support. With their help we can now look forward to a very bright future for the museum.”

Museum chair Charles Gurassa added: “It is difficult to overstate what all of this means for the Migration Museum. Dominus’ support is, quite simply, critical to our ability to deliver a cutting-edge, state-of-the-art Migration Museum.  We could not do so without it.

“We believe that a permanent and significant Migration Museum is an important and long overdue addition to Britain’s cultural landscape and there is no better place than the heart of the City of London, Britain’s gateway to the world for thousands of years.”

Street entrance from Northumberland Alley
Street entrance from Northumberland Alley

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