Little Sonia was playing in Fortune Street Park shortly before she vanished recently. The lost child was last seen running across Golden Lane towards the site of Taylor Wimpey's The Denizen. We've just finished pouring concrete to create the shell of this luxury apartment block. I've now found Sonia's name written in remembrance on the living room floor of every flat. Clearly the inscriptions were made before the concrete set. The name was written in reverse and from below...
Tag: luxury apartment
To the guest in his Denizen apartment, Zhang told his story simply, connectedly. It was the perfect tale to recount on the benighted site of Taylor Wimpey’s Golden Lane luxury apartment development. The foundations of the new building had disturbed an old plague pit, and The Denizen had been constructed right opposite the old city mortuary. He began with a quick survey of his early years—the years of drudgery and emotional privation. If he’d been 15 years older he could have had fun with the Red Guards. He’d always liked girls but they didn’t like him. He was incapable of a romantic relationship. That’s why sex toys had become his master-passion.
An empty new build, a property investment. I would say a haunted house and reach the height of romantic felicity—but that would be asking too much of fate! It is The Denizen, a block of 99 empty flats on Golden Lane erected by Taylor Wimpey in the face of fierce opposition from local residents, people whose homes and local park it overshadows. Still I will proudly declare that there is something queer about it. Else, why should it be let so cheaply? And why have so few people living in it? Chang laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage. Chang is practical in the extreme. He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition, and he scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures.
As I returned from round the back of the Jewin Welsh Church which abuts part of the west side of The Denizen, I caught the hooning whistling of Chan's luxury apartment, coming down strangely through the stillness of the night. It had a queer note in it, low and constant, queerly meditative. Once I'd climbed onto the balcony I was able to see the floor in the middle of the living room was puckered upward in the centre into a strange soft-looking mound, parted at the top into an ever changing hole, that pulsated to that great, gentle hooning.
A fine block of luxury investment apartments The Denizen might have been too if it had been properly designed and constructed rather than jerry built to save money. Hearing so much talk about it often makes us feel as if we know every flat in the building, though it has fallen to ruin. Only one man ever lived in it after it was built. Nobody wanted to stop in the place. There used to be awful noises, as if something was being pitched from the top floor, down the lift shaft and into the entrance hall. There would be a sound as if a hundred people were clinking glasses and talking all together at once. And then it seemed as if barrels were rolling in the basement although it only contained a private cinema and games room. There would be screeches and howls, and laughing, fit to make your blood run cold. They say there is gold hidden away in one of the derelict apartments, but no one has ever ventured to find it. Children won't come here to play, when they are cavorting in Fortune Street Park opposite The Denizen, nothing will make them stay once the light begins to fade. When the night is coming on, and the shadows creep over the park, many believe they’ve seen mighty queer things on the site of The Denizen.
The Denizen was brand spanking new and as attractive as a desert, nobody was living there. Po looked around the Cripplegate and Bunhill neighbourhoods the day after his arrival and found the area he'd moved to was littered with ghost home developments. An endless parade of empty apartment buildings towered above social housing that had been built for local proletarians. Canaletto Tower, The Atlas, 250 City Road and The Lexicon, were all impressively inhuman in their height and scale. The Denizen may not have been as tall as these monuments to unbridled capitalism but it was still impressive and prevented sunlight from reaching dozens of council flats, two schools and Fortune Street Park. It more than held its own against the overpriced empty apartments in places like Dance Square, The Eagle, Eagle Point, Fable Apartments, The Featherstone and The Bezier Building.
I did not tell you last night but there was a murder done on this site hundreds of years ago, and when Taylor Wimpey laid the foundations of The Denizen, they disturbed the spirits and their luxury apartment block is now haunted by ghosts. People shy away from this place.
I must have been sitting on a chair on the balcony for hours. The evening shadows were drawing on apace, so I hurried back into the living room, feeling it was weird to be there all alone with every one of the other 98 apartments in The Denizen unoccupied. I knew these were ghost homes that the owners had bought as investments and not to live in, but even so it seemed odd that besides me there was only the concierge in the building. The sun had sunk below the horizon by this time. With my own eyes I saw that one of the doors I had shut was standing wide open! I turned to the other two bedroom doors. They were closed as I had left them. It was the master bedroom door that had moved. For a second I stood appalled and frightened.
The Denizen was - and for that matter still is - designed to repel the attention of the curious. Generically designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris in the bland contemporary style favoured by developers hoping to get rich from investment flats that will never be lived in, there was absolutely nothing of interest about the block beyond the reprehensible political manoeuvering and money-grabbing that led to it being built. 110 social housing flats for key workers had been replaced with 99 ghost homes for investors with no on site social or affordable housing, not a single flat, not one! The new building was much taller than the old one and between September and March blocked all afternoon sun from the neighbouring and heavily used Fortune Street Park. In short the entire development was a disaster for local people. And that is before factoring in that the malevolent spirits living beneath it were disturbed by the construction of the development and angry about it...
There was nothing in the bland external appearance of Taylor Wimpey’s luxury apartment block The Denizen to bear out the tales of the horror that were said to reign within. It was neither lonely nor unkempt. It was packed in between the Barbican and Golden Lane Estate, and looked exactly like similar developments aimed at property investors throughout London and beyond. It may not have been aimed at the very wealthiest investors, and so it did not boast a private swimming pool, but there was a private cinema and games room. And yet this apartment block in Golden Lane, externally was extremely similar to dozens of other bland and ugly ghost home developments on the City fringe, was entirely different, horribly different. Wherein lay this marked, invisible difference is impossible to say. It cannot be ascribed wholly to the imagination, because persons who had spent some time in The Denizen, knowing nothing of the facts, had declared positively that certain flats were so disagreeable they would rather die than enter them again, and that the atmosphere of the apartment block produced in them symptoms of a genuine terror...