Camper & Nicholsons Marinas has been appointed by the Blackstone Group investment firm to administer the re-design, refurbishment and management of St Katharine Docks in London. The development of St Katharine Docks, located by Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, represents a fantastic opportunity to grow the superyacht infrastructure that is lacking in the English capital.
“It’s a brilliant opportunity for us to make a real difference to one of the premium locations in the UK,” starts Dan Hughes, Camper & Nicholsons Marinas’ business development director. “It is not very often that you get an opportunity to develop, and subsequently brand, a marina in a city centre, especially in a city as unique as London.”
The redevelopment of the dock will consist of reconfiguring and updating the area in order to reduce the current inefficiencies of access, water usage and servicing, as well as bringing the project in line with modern day guidelines and codes of practice.
St Katharine Docks
“There will be a completely new pontoon system and new utility systems for power and water. We will be improving the reliability and serviceability because at the moment there are a number of problems with power shortages and tripping systems,” explains Hughes. “Previous owners of St Katharine Docks have not been prepared to invest enough in the infrastructure.”
That being said, there are limitations to what can be achieved. Beyond the spatial limitations that every marina encounters, St Katharine Docks is restricted by its historical significance - a number of the buildings and structures that surround it are listed and, therefore, cannot be altered. The refurbished dock will include 170 berths, eight of which will have a circa 40m capacity.
“The vision for the marina is for it to become a thriving hub of yachting and social activity for London – ‘the capital of the world’,” continues Hughes. “As this 24-hour city adapts to the needs and demands of its ever-growing international business population, we see St Katharine Docks being at the heart of that.”
St Katharine Docks
London, as well as being a popular international city, has been at the heart of the superyachting world for some time – if only as an industry hub. With such a concentration of UHNWIs, designers, brokers and law firms, amongst others, it is a wonder that so few superyachts grace the Thames.
One of the major inhibiting factors has been a lack of infrastructure. The developments at St Katharine Docks may only represent a small change in superyachting infrastructure, but it may be the step change that encourages future investment elsewhere.
Furthermore, the London Mayoral office is currently looking for investors to develop Albert Island, a portion of the Royal Docks.