If you thought One Hyde Park was luxurious...
Sir Norman Foster-designed Chelsea rival to Knightsbridge enclave for the super-rich offers a swimming pool - in every apartment
When the the economic going gets tough, the super-rich buy property. And not just any old property.
A one-acre development in the heart of Old Chelsea is about to challenge the gilded blandness of One Hyde Park as the capital's most prestigious address.
The Glebe, a £300m housing complex designed by the practice of Sir Norman Foster, comprises six voluminous apartments, a penthouse and two villas. The preliminary sketches reveal that each flat has everything that a globe-trotting plutocrat could want: stunning views, private lifts, a swimming pool, gym, acres of glass and absolute privacy behind the high walls of the development, less than a minute's stroll from King's Road. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea granted planning permission in 2008 but the project fell foul of the credit crunch.
With average rents in London having now broken the £1,000-a-month barrier and many top-level dwellings surpassing pre-recession prices, investors wary of the economic turbulence in other markets are piling into property as a safe berth for their riches.
Last week the entire project was bought for a reported £85m by Orion Capital Managers, a property-based equity fund which has spent the last couple of years snapping up recession-hit retail, hotel and office projects in Spain and France.
The director, Aref Lahham, who oversaw the deal, said that comparisons with One Hyde Park, the Candy twins' £1.25bn Knightsbridge block that ran into trouble after invoking the ire of Prince Charles, are overblown.
"It is very different. The only reason it is being compared is because it is so rare that you get an acre in Chelsea. It is a rarity," he said. Former residents of Glebe Place include the painter Sir Alfred Munnings, while film-trivia buffs will recall that a house on the tree-lined street stood in as Uncle Monty's abode in the cult film Withnail and I.
It has been suggested that each of the detached villas could sell for between £25m and £35m. The whole site might even prove attractive to a single family looking to live together, but within their own homes. "The reason we are interested in this is because we think that London is a pretty fantastic where you are safe and it is very friendly for foreigners if they are rich," Mr Lahham said.
"There is huge instability and turmoil in the world at the moment. With property you can use it – gold bars you cannot use."
Glebe vs One Hyde Park
What it includes: Two detached villas, six "voluminous" apartments (some with ceiling heights above 16ft), a duplex penthouse with roof garden set in an acre of old Chelsea.
Extras: Swimming pool, gymnasium, games/media room, sauna, floor-to-ceiling windows and dedicated garaging.
Unique selling point: Privacy in one of London's most chi-chi neighbourhoods.
One Hyde Park
What it includes: 86 flats, more than 50 of which have already been sold, including Britain's most expensive flat – a £136m, three-storey apartment owned by Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.
Extras: Bomb-proof windows, personal grooming cameras and paintings which rotate to reveal plasma TV screens. Mandarin Oriental hotel next door offers gourmet food service via service tunnel.
Unique selling point: Very well-heeled and quiet neighbours, many of whom live there part-time.
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'
Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank: TV show generates $3.1bn in repeat fees since final episode
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
From Assassin's Creed to World of Warcraft: Videogames are making a new assault on Hollywood
Justin Kelly interview: On James Franco playing a gay man who renounces his homosexuality
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East