Spot­light on Bayswa­ter

This Zone 1 spot’s time has come, with new flats be­hind clas­si­cal façades, a £1bn re­tail over­haul and Cross­rail on the way, says

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Property Searching -

THE fine gar­den squares and ter­races of Bayswa­ter are at last be­ing recog­nised as some of the best places in the cap­i­tal to live. This is where wealthy buy­ers, of­ten from over­seas, find spa­cious flats, some spread over ad­join­ing build­ings.

More fash­ion­able Not­ting Hill and Hyde Park for many years cast a long shadow over Bayswa­ter, which suf­fered from an over­sup­ply of shabby ho­tels and a tatty main shop­ping street along Queensway.

How­ever, per­cep­tions be­gan to change in 2012, when up­mar­ket de­vel­op­ers Min­erva and Northacre de­vel­oped The Lan­cast­ers on a prime site over­look­ing Hyde Park.

For this game-chang­ing res­i­den­tial scheme, the de­vel­op­ers gut­ted 15 large stucco houses and built 77 lux­ury flats be­hind the 400ft-long clas­si­cal façade. To­day, a three-bed­room first-floor flat with nearly 2,700sq ft of space is on sale for £9.8 mil­lion, mak­ing it the most ex­pen­sive flat in Bayswa­ter.

Change is also afoot in Queensway with bold but still con­tro­ver­sial plans to give the unloved street a £1 bil­lion over­haul. De­vel­oper Meyer Bergman and the War­rior Group, the prop­erty com­pany run by War­ren Todd, who owns much of Por­to­bello Road, have joined forces with ar­chi­tects Foster + Part­ners to re­de­velop the north­ern end of the street. Lo­cal West­min­ster City Coun­cil is chip­ping in with plans for wider pave­ments and more trees.

The fa­mous listed White­leys depart­ment store build­ing is to be de­vel­oped be­hind its façade with flats and town­houses, a bou­tique ho­tel and a cinema. There will be a new shop­ping ar­cade and a pub­lic court­yard. The mag­nif­i­cent La Scala stair­case which stretches over four storeys will form the cen­tre­piece of the new ho­tel.

Lo­cal cam­paign­ers fought the de­vel­op­ment, claim­ing it would lead to a loss of light to nearby homes and the loss of pub­lic ac­cess to the fa­mous stair- case. Changes to the orig­i­nal White­ley’s plan­ning per­mis­sion, granted in May last year, pro­pose an in­crease in park­ing spa­ces and ho­tel bed­rooms and fewer flats, and are cur­rently be­fore the coun­cil with a de­ci­sion ex­pected by the sum­mer. If ev­ery­thing goes to plan the de­vel­oper says build­ing work will start early next year.

On the other side of the street op­po­site White­leys, the same de­vel­oper has sub­mit­ted plans for Queensway Pa­rade, a new-build project of 94 flats and 12 shops which it hopes will be ap­proved to­wards the end of this year.

Es­tate agent Paul Hy­man from the lo­cal branch of Kin­leigh Folkard & Hay­ward be­lieves Bayswa­ter has a bright fu­ture. He says the White­leys de­vel­op­ment and the im­mi­nent ar­rival of the El­iz­a­beth line at Padding­ton, which will cut the jour­ney time to Liver­pool Street to 10 min­utes and to Ca­nary Wharf to 17 min­utes, are at­tract­ing in­vestors who can take a long-term view.

How­ever, with a pre­dom­i­nance of one- and two-bed­room flats, he says Bayswa­ter also con­tin­ues to at­tract home­grown first-time buy­ers who like the Zone 1 lo­ca­tion and be­ing close to Hyde Park with its vast acres of fab­u­lous green space.

Can you make me a mini-me? Le­an­dros Apos­tolou is the man­ager at TwinMe in Queensway, the UK’s only 3D print­ing shop spe­cial­is­ing in 3D “self­ies”

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