Those flats in New Islington

Urbansplash's Chips and Islington Wharf

So when I wrote the entry about the flats, it was late and I didn't go into much detail about the flats themselves. Its hard to because for example islington wharf doesn't yet have the floor plans up yet and its worth noting that theres 20 different types of styled apartments. Chips I do have the floor plans for but again theres many different types. A couple of friends did comment on Facebook about the entry which I noticed in Gwibber.

Rachel Clarke –

I'm quite liking the quirkiness of Chips, at least from those 2 sites which don't give a lot away.

Sheila Thomson –

Both buildings look amazing! Am green with envy /images/emoticons/happy.gif As Rachel says, there's very little info to go on here though, so based purely on architectural style, I'd say Chips.

So from memory here's the deal

Islington Wharf

Islington Wharf – The flats I was looking at have two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The view is looking north towards the Manchester City ground and the rest of Ancoats (its 25k extra for the same looking south into Manchester Central). From memory the 2nd bedroom is slightly bigger that what I have now for a 2nd bedroom, so it holds a double bed and wardrobe and not a lot more. The 1st bedroom is the same as what I have now. The living room is open plan and includes the kitchen which has everything including dishwasher, fridge freezer, etc. There's no balcony space but there is a huge communal grass covered area bigger that the size of a couple basketball courts. On top of that there is a large decking area, for when the grass is wet or you want to do a bbq or something. Its on the 2nd floor above the carpark, so its residents only. The carpark is secure and comes with the flat, I think theres even bike parking space, so I could rent out my space to someone else. The windows on the living room are huge and I can choose between a 2nd floor and 9th floor apartment. Of course it has two lifts and only about 6 flats per floor. Each floor has sound proofing between the floors and the general build quality is very good. Generally this is a great flat with some good views and a standard formation.


Chips – There is only one flat I'm really considering to buy and its on the 4th floor. Two bedrooms and one bathroom, on the east side of the Chips building. I can see the City ground again from the living room. This flat has a thin balcony which you can stand on but not much else. Like Islington Wharf there is a communal outdoor area and its on the back of chips. Its about quite large but no where near the size of the space in Islington Wharf. There is a carpark but its going to cost extra or you can park on the wasteland for free which is outside chips right now. Chips looks pretty impressive and its super styled inside too. Pink and Black walls with bear stone work ceilings. Inside the apts its white but theres elements of bright colours. For example the kitchen covers are cherry red and the sliding door for the 2nd bedroom is Green. Yes you heard me right, sliding door. Its a odd layout too, like a ring with a bedroom off one end. If like me your not using the 2nd bedroom as a bedroom, you can pull the door back and make the living room much larger. and to be honest it needs extending because the space is small. The bedrooms are smaller that islington wharf again but rooms do have those great european windows which open 2 ways and there huge. The general build quality isn't as good as the other one and you don't get a washing machine or dishwasher but you do get a quirky layout and a bit of cupboard space in one of the most known developments in Manchester.

So a couple of other things. Urbansplash the maker of Chips are well known for quirky designs and to be fair there not for everyone. So the resale value maybe very different. I also heard from someone that Urban Splash's development in Sheffield had fallen through and that the company might be experiencing a few problems. Islington Wharf is sometimes refered to as the fishbowl because you can see directly in and theres no curtains/blinds when you buy the flat. So which one would you choose if you were in my position?

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Gdgt: The data siloed web

GDGT sticker

So I've been checking out which is written and created by Peter Rojas and Ryan Block previously of Engadget fame. Its a small social network around a database of user inputted data. Its not bad but 2 things urks me a little.

The inputting of data is painful, one because its too american centric so for example you need to put the release dates in the US. I tried to add the pacemaker to the list but it was rejected because it was already submitted to the database by another user, however when search for the pacemaker I still get nothing except the option to add it the database again.

The second thing for me is the data portability of the data. There's no API and although theres rss feeds I was expecting RSS feeds across the whole site no matter what type of view or cut I choose. I also kind of expected very rich rss feeds more like RDF linking data.

For the GDGT guys this is all good stuff, with their reputation and expert knowledge they could pull off the biggest database of gadgets online. It would be so much more easier if you could pull in gadgets from else where such as It would also make population of the database so much quicker and with added information not elsewhere. I would have liked them to do something a little more radical like the use of DBpedia or even Freebase. Right now, I feel there in a lesser place that even Techcrunch's Crunchbase. At least Crunchbase has a API and licences all its data under creative commons attribution. Once GDGT allow much deep access into the data for purposes beyond listing what gadgets I have, want to own or have owned. Good luck guys, i'm sure you'll pull it off soon.

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A home in New Islington?

Urbansplash's Chips and Islington Wharf

The flat hunting is coming close to the end now. I've seen some amazing places and almost bought a couple but now its come down to two very different developments on the same plot of land. The plot of land is the much talked about New Islington or Ancoats. If you say Ancoats to most people who live in Manchester and they shudder and I see why. Its got a bit of crime problem, no where near most of the places in London I've lived in (such as Woolwich). Actually when I took this picture I had 6 youth come up close and tell me to stop taking pictures of them. Not afraid, I made it clear that I was not taking picture of them. To which I was called a prick while they walked away of course. Anyway that aside, the place is having a major redevelopment and the new tram stop and other things do make it a first time buyers ideal location. Its also just a short walk from Manchester Piccadilly Station and the trendy Northern Quarter.

Question is which development is the one for me? Chips or Islington Wharf?

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