Avanton leaps onto the property stage with development of new Royal Academy of Dance headquarters, as part of Avanton:Battersea

Construction has now started on the first project from Avanton, a new and dynamic property developer.  The company, based in Marylebone, will be focussed on acquiring and developing sites on the fringe of recognised prime locations in London’s key growth areas, to provide new homes and build communities.

The two-acre Battersea development on York Road, Avanton: Battersea, will be a new landmark for the Borough of Wandsworth once complete, and will be home to a purpose-built headquarters for international organisation the Royal Academy of Dance, and beautifully designed, contemporary apartments with the occupier front of mind.

Avanton’s Managing Partner, Omer Weinberger, was joined on site by Luke Rittner, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Dance, and Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, along with students of the Academy to mark the occasion.

Avanton is a new entrant to the industry, and plans to bring a fresh approach to residential-led development in London, by combining an entrepreneurial mindset, the flexibility of an SME, and the expertise of established property professionals. Led by Omer Weinberger, the company combines expertise spanning over 60 years from some of the UK’s largest firms. The team includes Marc Pennick, former land director at Barratt West London and Managing Director of Fifth Capital London, Peter Murphy, former Development Director at Barratt London and the Berkeley Group, and Kathryn McCombe, former Group Sales and Marketing Director at Berkeley Group.

Omer Weinberger, Managing Partner, Avanton, commented:

“Avanton aspires to do things differently. London is changing; it’s a competitive marketplace with a limited number of traditional development opportunities. A varied landscape calls for a company that can respond to the nuanced demands of London’s growing population. It is no longer enough for developers to just build homes, developments need to be mixed-use, offering commercial and retail opportunities, and incorporating usable public space – in order to create viable new communities.

 “We are deliberately a small team of directors, which enables Avanton to make swift decisions and seize opportunities that other developers may not. This more entrepreneurial approach will ensure we can build homes for Londoners that will be as well-loved in 20 years as they are the first day residents move in.”

 A new landmark for Battersea

Designed by award-winning architects Patel Taylor, Avanton:Battersea will create 299 new homes,  including 50 affordable homes delivered in partnership with A2 Dominion, landscaped communal spaces, and a state of the art headquarters for the Royal Academy of Dance. The new Academy building will almost double the size of the Royal Academy of Dance’s current premises, creating a world-class and future-proof space. It will include state of the art facilities including performance space, studios, a library, and archive. The extended premises’ size will cater to the Academy’s increasing demand for dance education, and international dance teacher training.

Luke Rittner, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Dance commented:

“As a world leader in dance education and training, our new home needs to reflect that status in every way. I believe that this new building will be a world-class headquarters that will not only make our members, staff and partners proud, but will support us in delivering a wide range of benefits and services for the Wandsworth and wider London communities. This is an exciting milestone in our history.”

Avanton:Battersea is due for completion in 2020, coinciding with the year of the Royal Academy of Dance’s centenary.

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council said:

“The Royal Academy of Dance is a very important Wandsworth institution which has been here since the early 1970s.

“It’s fantastic they have been able to stay in the borough and these new headquarters will be an exciting addition to the area. Cultural venues and organisations are really important to any community and we are so lucky to already have a diverse mix within Wandsworth.

“The Royal Academy of Dance are proud residents of the borough and wonderful cultural ambassadors for us. Their presence can only stimulate and enhance our cultural offer and I know the local community will continue to benefit from their presence and the wonderful work they do.”

The wider Avanton portfolio has the potential to create over 1,500 homes, and 117,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, across the two sites in Battersea and Old Kent Road. This includes redevelopment of the current home site of the Royal Academy of Dance, in Battersea Square, to create a development of 34 apartments and five family townhouses. A mixed-use scheme in the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area will provide over 1,000 homes, and 53,000 sq. ft. of commercial space.