Over the past twenty years I’ve been lucky enough to work with some really brilliant clients, and a few memorable ones too.
Someone who particularly sticks in my mind was from the north of England. He was super smart, a brilliant conversationalist and was the proud owner of some great one liners.
The one that seems to pop into my head most often was a phrase he originally used to describe the process of obtaining planning permission, but particularly engaging with local councils.
“Simon, do you know what a Camel is?”
“It’s a Horse designed by a committee”
Although whilst researching this week’s blog, I found out that he borrowed it. And if I’m honest, I’m a little disappointed.
The quote apparently belongs to Sir Alec Issigonis, the designer of the original, iconic, 1959 Mini. A good person to steal from, I guess.
Anyway, I should probably move on.
Something else he used to discuss were the “five boroughs'' of London. Whilst referencing New York, he was actually referring to Belgravia, Mayfair, Kensington, Holland Park and Knightsbridge as the jewels in London’s crown.
Of course, things have moved on in recent years, and exacerbated by the pandemic, buyers are looking for their homes to satisfy an ever evolving range of needs.
The 15 minute cities that have emerged in places like Kings Cross and Television Centre, are representative of placemaking developments that are responding to this changing demand.
Similarly, areas like Bayswater, which for many years have been in need of improvement, are finally experiencing regeneration of their own, albeit on a smaller scale.
And yet to imagine Belgravia, with its beautiful garden squares and listed Thomas Cubitt designed terraces is to be transported to an elegant, serene and established part of London, bordered by two of the city's best known Royal parks.
Probably not somewhere which you might think of as in need of either investment or redevelopment.
Although in its own quiet, unassuming and sophisticated way, the area is experiencing just that.
According to data from Knight Frank there’s only been 250 residential homes developed since 2007.
In contrast, the next seven years will see 477 new homes, and in 2022 the opening of the much anticipated Peninsular London hotel, comprising 190 hotel rooms and 25 private residences alongside retail and restaurant offerings.
It will also be home to billionaire Hedge Fund manager Ken Griffin, who spent a reported £100m on both Penthouses. As of August 2020, he owns nearly $1bn worth of homes, spread between London, Chicago, New York and Miami.
But it’s not just super prime homes and luxury hotels.
Pavilion Road, quietly tucked away behind Sloane Street has been transformed from an unloved service road to a thriving new location, now permanently pedestrianised after a successful pandemic influenced trial. Another victory for the green and clean future of London.
2022 will also see the completion of Newson’s Yard. Like Pavilion Road, it’s been designed by architects Stiff & Trevillion. They’ve taken London’s oldest timber yard and are in the process of creating a community of interior designers, makers and craftspeople, which will complement the existing Pimlico Road Design District.
Whilst it’s more of an evolution than revolution, it’s helping to cement Belgravia’s position as one of London’s best places to live, and a neighbourhood where every conceivable wish is catered for.
Data sourced from Knight Frank &PrimeResi
Well, not so much property news as Simon Deen Real Estate news.
I’ve been instructed to sell a stucco fronted, Grade II Listed, single family residence overlooking one of Belgravia’s finest garden squares, complete with an adjoining mews house to the rear.
It will be launching in Spring 2022 and you can register your interest here.
Things I’ve been inspired by this week
This is usually a place where I share something interesting I’ve been reading, listening to or watching in the previous seven days.
But this week I just wanted to say thank you to each and every person who’s emailed me to say that they’ve enjoyed reading the blog, or offered words of encouragement.
It’s greatly appreciated.