Dublin-based Magnet Networks is providing all the connectivity to the 85-acre Wembley Park smart city project which aims to reinvent renting, and show how technology can infinitely help the way we live and work.
The Magnet fibre optic network, created in a joint venture with developers Quintain, has already proved to be a potent lure for potential tenants in what is seen as the exemplar for future smart cities in Europe.
Wembley Park, which encircles Wembley Stadium, will feature 5,000 new homes and 1m sq feet of commercial office space – all connected to Magnet Network’s high-speed 20Gb broadband network controlling a range of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Tenants in the new homes will pay no agent’s fees, no inventory fees, a reduced deposit and all their utility bills and Magnet Networks broadband are included in the rent.
Magnet Networks already supplies 20Gb broadband in the capital to events such as the NFL games at Wembley Stadium as well as powering Wi-Fi at X Factor in the SSE Arena.
“Our network is linked to some of the street furniture on the approach to the ground in one of the biggest Wi-Fi deployments yet seen,” said Mark Kellett.
“This not only supports Wi-Fi but also broadcasters who have access to a private broadcast grade Wi-Fi platform for live events.
“When a consumer logs into the network via their Facebook ID as they approach the stadium and retail areas, they can be directed to offers and stores that mirror their likes and buying habits.
“We are making the IoT story a reality, whether it is via the smart connected fridge in the apartment, the city-scale free Wi-Fi service or the smart CCTV capable of pre-crime analysis.
“There is huge marketing potential through the Big Data analysis of all of the information captured via the IoT platform.”
Wembley Park is located next door to Wembley Stadium and the SSE Arena, as well as the much-lauded London Designer Outlet with its 50 shops, 20 restaurants and coffee shops and a nine-screen CineWorld cinema with a 1,300-seat theatre.
It will be the largest single-site purpose built PRS (private rental sector) development anywhere in Britain or Ireland with the private homes all delivered as build to rent.
5,000 homes for rent will be delivered in phases over the next seven years at a pace not seen at any other major development site, thanks to the streamlining offered by smart construction.
Magnet estimate that their technology is changing the cost base for construction companies – saving 65% of cabling costs in new buildings.
“Wembley Park combines the smartest technology with fastest speeds in London, enabling families, for example, to leave Skype permanently on in their kitchen so that they can converse with their families in real time on the other side of the world,” said Magnet Networks CEO Mark Kellett.
“The level of connectivity opens up the opportunity for residents and building management companies to leverage the power of Smart Buildings.
“In the upcoming phase of development, when a resident drives into the area, the network recognises their number plate and wakes the apartment up, adjusting heating, lighting, curtains and entertainment to suit.
“During that journey home, the smart fridge in the apartment will have informed the resident that they need milk, or can order it automatically to the apartment.”
The homes will be available through Quintain’s lifestyle-focussed build-to-rent business, Tipi.
The Tipi apartments, 141 of which are already complete and occupied, are available furnished, part- furnished or unfurnished, with communal lounges, gardens, roof terraces, gyms, secure underground parking and cinema rooms.
All apartments are future-proofed with fibre optic broadband offering ultrafast speeds of up to 1Gb/s and beyond as the need will arise and also free Wi-Fi coverage across the estate
Two social spaces, or lounges, provide an extension to the private apartments, each offering differing options for work or relaxation and 100MB/s broadband.
The “Deckhouse” benefits from a pool table, HD TV with Sky Sports, kitchenette and outside terrace, whilst the quieter space of the “Nest” is ideal for home working with soft seating and an HD TV.
A gym and screening room, available for all residents, will open in autumn 2016 and outside there is an acre of private landscaped gardens.
There is a programme of social events and activities both within each building and across Wembley Park.
By the end of this year, there will be 3,000 homes under construction, alongside a new seven-acre public park, a new landscaped London square, and a three-form entry primary school.
“Wembley Park will be the biggest build-to-rent site in London and will encapsulate a fantastic community,” said James Saunders, chief operating officer at Quintain.
“We are delivering the homes that this generation demands, at a pace that London needs, and we expect at least 95 per cent of the homes to be occupied when they are completed.”
Magnet is looking to stage its own “Brentry” by offering free office space in the heart of London to Irish businesses looking to expand to Britain.
The Enterprise Ireland-supported Launchpad For London initiative will see 10 Irish companies establish themselves rent-free at Wembley Park.
“With Brexit dominating the news, it is easy to forget that Britain is our largest trading partner and offers better access to funders, a better attitude to risk and a massive market for many young Irish firms,” said Kellett.
“The 10 young Irish companies who base themselves at Magnet’s headquarters at York House in the smart city will pay no rent for four months and also have the fastest connection available and direct fibre optic connections from Ireland direct to their London desks.
“They will also have access to one of the largest Internet of Things and Smart City test beds in the world.
“But most importantly, Irish firms who join the Launchpad For London initiative will be part of a fantastic support network, surrounded by their peers and supported by a company which is at the cutting edge of a range of essential technologies and there to help them.
“We are inviting interested companies to log on to launchpadforlondon.ie and complete the simple entry form before Monday April 10.