Friday 15 May 2020 – Media Release
Adapting to the New Normal: Vertus Maintains Community Spirit in the Midst of Lockdown
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt lives across the world it’s become even more prevalent how important community is for support, assistance and general wellbeing. The pandemic has forced communities to adapt and find new ways to communicate, it also provides the opportunity to reimagine what community means, strengthen existing partnerships and build new ones.
Vertus, Canary Wharf’s new Build-to-Rent provider, places community at the heart of their developments, which has been a major draw for residents at 10 George Street. The new landlord at Canary Wharf provides residents with the lifestyle they want, free from the commitment they don’t, whilst also giving them access to a thriving community. A community which has had to drastically adapt to a ‘new normal’ during the current pandemic.
Part of the Vertus lifestyle that has had to reimagine itself is Club Vertus, the heartbeat of life at 10 George Street. Before life as we knew it changed, Club Vertus offered a variety of social spaces for residents to make their own, including a spacious lounge, a self-service bar with automatic wine dispensers (stocked by Canary Wharf’s Humble Grape), a bookable dining room, 24-hour gym studio operated by wellness experts Antidote and a plethora of classes and events.
One of 10 George Street’s new residents, Katherine Meadows, said: “I really liked the communal aspects of the development – the Humble Grape wine machine, pool table, gym, terrace and spaces to sit and enjoy a glass of wine after work or to set up and work from home. I also really like the dining area and the ability to rent the space to residents is fantastic. I can’t wait to host friends and show off my cooking skills when this is all over.” Due to the Government’s social distancing measures, these areas have been temporarily closed and face-to-face events have been postponed, but the community aspects of life at 10 George Street have remained. The Vertus team are constantly reviewing the Government’s guidelines on isolation and when safe to do so, they’ll re-open these spaces ensuring the possible required social distancing measures are in place.
Ensuring that residents have the ability to stay active, engaged and inspired during lockdown, Club Vertus is building a virtual community; bringing Canary Wharf’s vibrant community into residents’ apartments instead. This is something so important for wellbeing during the current social distancing measures. Residents have taken part in a number of events so far online with a host of other great activities in the diary.
Alastair Mullens, Head of Vertus said, “The idea of community has always been an important one for us at Vertus and with the current lockdown measures in place, this has never been more prominent. Even though apartment front doors are shut, it doesn’t mean that people should feel lonely or isolated. We’re very happy to be able to work with our suppliers to provide our residents with an excellent online virtual community, offering online events and fitness classes. We hope that this feeling of community brings a little bit of light-hearted fun to their days.”
Humble Grape, a local wine stockist who provide hand-crafted wines for Club Vertus’ automatic wine dispensers, hosted an excellent online wine tasting event for residents recently. Around thirteen apartments took part and residents welcomed the thought that had gone into the event.
Ahead of the virtual wine tasting evening, each apartment taking part was sent a contact free bottle of Quinta de Saes Cloheita Tinto, from Portugal’s Dão region, free of charge. One of Humble Grape’s leading sommeliers talked residents through how to taste the wine from the region known as the Burgundy of Portugal, where red wine gets its colouring from, the specific tasting notes of the wine and the history of the vineyard it’s produced by.
The feedback from residents was positive, with many expressing they felt as though they were transported to the warm, dry region of Dão for an evening. This event was so successful that Club Vertus will be hosting another wine tasting event in partnership with Humble Grape in the coming weeks.
In an effort to help those living at 10 George Street remain active, Antidote, the operators of the gym studio space at 10 George Street are holding a number of online and video classes. Residents have virtual access to different classes and personal training sessions where all they need is a water bottle, a chair and a towel to get involved.
Fitness consultant Errol Richardson, from Antidote said, “There has never been a more important time to help our residents look after their physical and mental health. Inactivity, stress and social isolation are key factors in the development of chronic disease and acceleration of the ageing process. To help combat this, the team at Vertus’ Antidote studio continue to provide a varied and exciting wellness programme to all residents via video link. Residents have been enjoying one-to-one personal training, yoga, pilates and meditation sessions, as well as a timetable of group classes including HIIT, Metcon and Boxfit”.
In addition to wine tasting and fitness classes, residents at 10 George Street had the opportunity to put their knowledge to the test in a virtual quiz. Answer sheets were delivered to residents’ doors, contact-free, with a number of apartments partaking. The quiz included two picture rounds, multiple choice questions, general knowledge questions and a link round which the players enjoyed the most.
Residents took the opportunity to get to know one another throughout the quiz and chatted in-between each round. The community spirit of the event is really evident as the lucky winner of the quiz decided they wanted to share their prize, a case of either red or white wine from stockists Humble Grape, with the other residents who took part. In testing times, it’s lovely to see residents coming together (virtually) to raise a glass of Cantina Ronca Pinot Grigio, the case of white wine gifted to the winner by Vertus.
With residents really settling into the virtual Vertus community, more events and classes are being organised for the future. Ensuring events such as these continue to bring people together is paramount to protect community not just at 10 George Street, but across the country; where reports of loneliness and mental health concerns are elevated in the current pandemic.
10 George Street comprises 327 units, ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments, with prices starting from £2,002 per calendar month. For more information, visit www.thisisvertus.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information, please contact:
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: 020 7418 2166
Notes to Editors:
Vertus is part of the Canary Wharf Group. Over the last 30 years the Group has serviced the world’s blue-chip corporate and retail tenants whilst undertaking the design, construction and management of the ever-growing Estate.
Canary Wharf Group has built this reputation by providing exceptional service through estate management, building management, public space management and security.
Canary Wharf’s new district, Wood Wharf, will provide up to 3,600 new homes, 2m sq ft of office space, 350,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space and over nine acres of public spaces, squares and parks. There will also be a GP surgery and a two-form primary school for 420 children.
Vertus will manage all aspects of the build-to-rent developments on the Estate. The Vertus portfolio currently consists of three buildings, 10 George Street which is complete and two more which are under construction, totalling 1,137 build-to-rent residential apartments.
Vertus will manage the residential leasing and management of the buildings and the individual apartments. Vertus will be dedicated to meeting the needs of their customers and residents by providing a superlative service, 24 hours a day and 365 days per year.
About Canary Wharf Group:
Canary Wharf Group has overseen the largest urban regeneration project in Europe and is a fully integrated private real estate company that develops, manages and currently owns approximately 8.5 million square feet of office space, 1 million square feet of retail and 327 Build to Rent units.
The company’s current £3.8 billion development pipeline is composed of 1.5 million square feet of office/retail properties, and over 3,000 new homes: for sale, for rent, intermediate and affordable.
Canary Wharf Group is an industry leader in sustainability including purchasing 100% renewable electricity for the Estate since 2012 and zero waste going to landfill from the managed Estate since 2009.