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In the most unusual property development and offer of 2017, Amazon Property, the London estate owner and developer, have constructed the capital’s answer to Fort Knox, known as the Armitage Vaults.
Located deep below ground in London’s West End, the Armitage Vaults are a new state-of-the-art £30 million ($37.61 million) ultra-secure 10,000 sq ft underground facility. This bunker-style complex provides storage vaults where the super-rich, business people and tourists can store their high-value possessions on either a short or long let basis.
The result of a five-year design and development programme the bank-style vaults are located over three basement floors, up to 40 feet below ground. Encased in one metre thick ferrous-concrete the underground facility provides 135 steel lined, climate controlled, storage units ranging from 6 sq ft to 100 sq ft in size.
Designed to be virtually bomb-proof, fire-resistant and water-tight, the storage vaults are protected by layers of physical security, alarms and video cameras; with each unit being individually alarmed and accessed via a state-of-the-art electronic fob and mechanical lock.
Approached through a discreet “secret entrance” off Bolsover Street, at ground level special video entry security doors, monitored by security, lead into a manned security room, cameras and loading bay. The bay opens onto a special goods lift which goes down to the underground facility.
Amazon Property highlights that people wanting to buy into this unique property opportunity, can let units at the Armitage Vaults for anything from £20 ($25.08) to £150 ($188.09) per week (£1,040 ($1303.9) to £7,800 ($9,779.56) per annum).
If required, there is a complimentary relocation service which will collect and deposit client’s valuables. The site’s insurance facility covers stored items typically valued from £50,000 ($62,689.5) to £150,000 ($188,069), but by special arrangement and agreed fees, the insurance cover can be extended to cover items up to £10,000,000 ($12,537,900) in value.
Amazon Property says that the underground facility can cater for everything from tourist luggage and valuables to luxury items such as high value artworks, jewellery, antiques and wine. The facility can also store confidential/valuable business records/products, ski/golf equipment and other personal possessions.
Charles Gourgey, Chief Executive of Amazon Property said: “We were inspired by the famous Fort Knox vault in Kentucky and there is nothing else like it in Central London. The episode over the Hatton Gardens Depository brought into the spotlight the urgent need for a modern storage facility in London where day to day valuables can be stored on a short or long stay basis. Our storage units provide easy, convenient access with constant peace of mind.”
Tom Archer, Operations Director of Amazon Property said: “The facility is new, however we have already had significant interest and the vaults are already 20 per cent let, with 75 per cent of users being from the UK, the remainder are international. Around 50 per cent of the tenants are wealthy private clients, the balance are businesses.”
Chris Lanitis, Director of Amazon Property adds: “The private clients occasionally bring friends or family to view the artwork and valuables being stored, whilst the corporate clients include private medical outlets and hospitals storing sensitive documents and equipment. There are also luxury retailers storing stock.”
The underground facility has a fascinating history. The basement site was formerly occupied by the Edwardian-era library, records office and storage centre for the Royal National Institute for the Blind, originally built in 1920-1921 by architect Claude Ferrier.
The Edwardian-era complex stored the medical records, glasses and other products made for the blind and partially sighted. Alongside the records of famous blind people including composer Frederick Delius (1862-1934), painter Percy Lewis (1882-1957) and pianist Alex Templeton (1909-1963), the depository stored sight testing equipment; embossing and print machinery for Braille and the first proto-types of the Braille alphabet and music notation.
In honour of this history, the new storage facility is known as The Armitage Vaults in honour of Dr Thomas Armitage (1824-1890) the founder of what was to become the Royal National Institute for the Blind.
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