What's it like to live in the London Olympic Village four years on?
Now in the midst of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, we look back to 2012 to see what’s become of the Olympic Village that once hosted the likes of Usain Bolt and Michel Phelps.
Now rebranded as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the 3,000 high-rise flats might not be to everyone’s taste, but so far they have 95% occupancy.
The athletes’ village, known as East Village, belong to two landlords:
Get Living London and Triathlon Homes. The former rents out the flats at normal market values, while the latter takes care of the affordable housing element, offering subsidised rents and a shared ownership scheme. And it seems you get plenty of bang for your buck, as the flats appear to be nicely furnished inside, with green outside spaces, too.
The flats have been built with simplistic architectural detailing both on the exterior and interior. Apartments range from one to four bedrooms and are available furnished and unfurnished.
Decorated in neutral tones, most of the flats consist of open-plan living rooms with an integrated kitchen, large private balconies, fitted wardrobes in the bedrooms and under-floor heating throughout.
Residents have access to internal communal gathering spaces within the buildings courtyards. And there’s a range of facilities on the doorstep, including parks, shops, theatres, GP services and of course, access to world class sporting facilities such as the Olympic Pool and the Velodrome – there’s always something going on.
It’s no surprise that East Village was voted the Best New Place to Live by London Planning Awards in 2014.
An enormous effort has also been made on the community front, with a bounty of outside exercise areas, playgrounds, pubs and restaurants. And, with Westfield shopping centre being a stones throw away, small and independent retailers have been encouraged to move their business to around Victory Park.
Neil Young, from Get Living London, says: ‘There is a real atmosphere among people who have moved here and you can already feel a sense of pride about being part of the Olympic legacy.’