A collection of new seafront luxury homes in Folkestone has been unveiled as part of a wider master plan to transform the coastal town. It’s hoped the Shoreline Crescent development will help boost the local economy and encourage people to locate there.
Folkestone’s reputation among tourists has risen since the turn of the century, and according to developers, so has the demand for homes in the town. Luxurious Magazine’s Sabi Phagura took a sneak preview of the mix of homes available.
Think of a Kent seaside town, and Folkstone is probably not the first that springs to mind. Its siblings, such as Whitstable with its candy-coloured beach huts and Broadstairs with its sweeping sandy beaches, often steal the limelight. Even Margate, which was once marred by troubles in the 1960s with infamous tension between the mods and rockers, is today a shabby chic seaside hub.
A thriving port in its heyday, the town was a popular summer destination among the elite and royalty. King Edward VII spent so much time there that nosey locals are rumoured to peer into his hotel to spy on him and his mistress Alice Keppel.
Charles Dickens also came here to pen the first chapters of Little Dorrit but was often distracted by the seaside towns’ stunning vistas. And, let’s not forget a certain lady named Agatha Christie, who wrote Murder on the Orient Express from the elegant Grand Hotel.
But then came along the two world wars. They did little to elevate Folkstone’s economy, and overseas travel in the 70s and 80s further suffocated any hope of reviving local businesses. The Channel Tunnel put the nail in the coffin for Folkstone in 1994, and the town tumbled into a steep decline.
Roger De Haan Charitable Trust
However, humble Folkestone is fighting back, and over the last 20 years, a lot of money has been pumped into it to revive it. Sir Roger De Haan, a wealthy millionaire and philanthropist, has been helping to change the face of Folkestone.
The 74-year-old purchased the harbour for £11 million in 2004 to rejuvenate it. His fortune was derived from the Saga holiday firm his father, Sidney De Haan, set up after the war.
Funds from the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, established in 1978, have been used over the years to regenerate Folkestone’s ‘old town area’. Some notable changes include improvements to schools and academies, an urban sports park and the Three Hills Sports Park.
During my visit, I was pleasantly surprised by Folkestone Harbour’s The Goods Yard, an electric mix of independent street food businesses and bars. Anchoring all these businesses is a gigantic LED Big Screen showing sports of the day and a varied cinema programme throughout the year.
Launched in 2021, Beachside is a relaxed, oasis-like environment for holidaymakers, day-trippers and locals. Home to two businesses, food and drinks are served directly onto the beach with breathtaking views in all directions whilst still embracing the best the English coastline offers. On a sunny day, it feels like you’ve escaped somewhere far away from the UK mainland.
The Harbour Arm, meanwhile, is a unique cultural attraction for people to relax and mingle while enjoying live music and sampling products from almost 30 independent food and drink vendors. Originally the railway terminal for the Folkestone-Boulogne Ferry and departure point for soldiers on their way to the Western Front.
Today The Harbour Arm, desolate for five years until 2015, continues to embrace the town’s working fishing harbour. Folkestone’s Harbour Arm has cemented itself as a significant destination on the Kent coast. It reaches into the English Channel, offering views of the White Cliffs and glimpses of France on a clear day.
Furthermore, Folkstone has a rising arts scene and boasts the largest urban outdoor collection of contemporary art in the UK.
Richard Woods’ Holiday Home, six colourful, cartoon-like bungalows are my favourite, which are dotted in unusual or unlikely spots around the town, including one floating in the sea.
With its cobbled street, the Creative Quarter is the coastal town’s urban village of around 90 buildings full of designers, filmmakers, musicians, web developers and artists. From here, locals and tourists alike can watch artists paint in their galleries and sign up for classes run by skilled makers.
With so much happening in this small town of around 52,000 inhabitants, it’s hardly surprising that developers have seen the potential to create a vibrant new community along the historic seafront.
Shoreline Crescent is a contemporary development of 84 apartments, townhouses, duplexes and penthouses on the coast with unrivalled views across the Channel. It marks the first phase of a master plan designed by ACME.
Constructed by Jenner and delivered by Folkestone Harbour & Seafront Development Company, the vision for Shoreline Crescent is to create a vibrant new community along the historic seafront.
Of the 84 new homes, housed in the curved white glazed bricks reflecting the changing colours of the sea and sky, 54 are one-and two-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 562 sq. ft. to 1,409 sq. ft.(excluding outside space), with each benefiting from balconies or terraces. Four sizeable duplexes face onto the beachfront.
In addition, there are six prime penthouses, two of which provide over 1,800 sqft of accommodation across two floors. They comprise three bedrooms, including a sky bedroom that benefits from exceptional panoramic views through floor-to-ceiling windows.
They also have an open-plan kitchen, living and dining room, two spacious balconies, and a sizeable roof terrace (1,700 sq. ft), giving owners a slice of paradise at almost a touching distance from nature.
Owners looking for a slightly smaller penthouse have the option to invest in one of the two 2-bedroom ones totalling 1,600 sq. ft with a further 1,500 sq. ft. of private balconies and terraces.
Twenty townhouses line the centre of the building offering direct access to the beach. There’s ample outdoor space, each boasting private front and rear gardens, balconies, and roof terraces. The five-storey homes come with two dedicated parking spaces (the car park includes electric vehicle charging points) and measure over 2,100 sq. ft. with an additional 1,000 sq. ft. of private gardens, balconies and terraces.
Exterior and Interiors
Durable, sustainable and long-lasting materials are key for coastal homes, and the developers have considered this with Shoreline Crescent. The metal used on the exterior is rust-proof, while wall ties beneath the façade are made from the same marine grade materials found on deep sea oil rigs.
Inside, the interiors are designed by specialist 8 Holland Street featuring a contemporary warm palette of materials that accentuate the seafront backdrop. Natural wood floors, woven carpets and clean lines with a splash of colour through the artwork and furniture further help in giving the living spaces a beachside vibe.
Would-be owners can choose to shape the homes to their taste and style via three palettes: Smooth Pebble, Warm Sand and Natural Seashell. Working from home is made easier with a superfast broadband connection to each dwelling.
Residents also benefit from 24-hour Seafront Estate Services, an expansive landscaped residential garden on the podium level and a newly built beachside boardwalk adjacent to the Lower Leas Coastal Pak. Once completed, the entire beachside project will provide up to 1,000 new homes, shops, bars and restaurants, as well as attractive public and green spaces.
Folkestone may have lost its charm over the last half a century, but it’s making waves again. Its entry in The Sunday Times Best Places To Live 2023 guide highlights the successful regeneration of the area in the last 20 years. The ‘fun’ is firmly being put back into Folkstone, and those looking to locate to the seaside may want to give this coastal town a chance.
Shoreline Crescent – Where and How?
The prices in the first phase start at £430,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, £640,000 for a two-bedroom apartment, £1.25 million for a duplex, £1.8 million for a penthouse and £1.8 million for one of the townhouses.
For further information on Shoreline Crescent, contact the sales team on 01303 760 940 or visit www.shorelinefolkestone.co.uk.
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