Australian developer Lend Lease began construction work on Monday on its 37-storey tower of luxury homes alongside the Metropolitan Tabernacle at Elephant & Castle.
One The Elephant – to be built on the front half of the former leisure centre site – will have 235 homes for private sale, with no affordable housing included in the scheme.
Later this week the company will start work on its Trafalgar Place scheme in Rodney Road SE17.
"Today is another decisive step in the continuing transformation of Elephant & Castle into one of the most vibrant, well-connected and desirable places to live in the capital," said Pascal Mittermaier, Lend Lease's project director.
"The new homes at One The Elephant and Trafalgar Place will be some of the most sustainable and energy efficient places to live in Britain and will showcase the latest innovations and building practices.
"With energy-efficient lighting, heating and water recovery systems and better insulation and ventilation, the homes will be 30 per cent more energy efficient than current regulations require and use 30 per cent less water than the average London household."
"The homebuyers who live and invest in these homes will experience for themselves exactly why Lend Lease is one of the most trusted names globally in property and construction."
Cllr Peter John, leader of Southwark Council, said: "We've been able to imagine the transformation of Elephant & Castle for some time, but it's only now as work begins that local people will get a really clear picture of what a fantastic destination it is going to become.
"Work has already begun on our new leisure centre, and as we start to see new homes appear, our vision for Elephant & Castle will be there for all to see."