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HOW CHELSEA HARBOUR BECAME LONDON’S MOST DESIRABLE POSTCODE

When the stars of the Swinging 60s were ready for retirement, the glamorous Chelsea Harbour was born. Twenty years later, the area is outperforming the rest of Chelsea, Kensington and Prime Central London in terms of property values. Giles Barrett of Knight Frank explains why…

When I think of Chelsea Harbour I think old school style and charm. In their heyday, the stars of the ‘swinging 60s’ strutted their stuff down a vibrant King’s Road. Twenty years later they were ready for a comfortable yet glamorous retirement – enter ‘Chelsea Harbour’.

Giles Barrett, Partner and Senior Lettings Manager at Knight Frank Riverside, on the evolution of Chelsea Riverside

Giles Barrett

Planning was granted in April 1985 and just two years later a ‘commissioning Champagne Party’ was held on two pontoons in the newly flooded ‘marina’. For decades it was the single largest construction project in the UK. To this day it remains a hub for wealthy retirees, international tenants and a smattering of sports and entertainment glitterati.

The 260-acre district located between the King’s Road in Chelsea and the River Thames, referred to as Chelsea Riverside, was until 20 years ago a largely overlooked former industrial area. It wasn’t until 2009 when St George launched the Imperial Wharf development and the station by the same name that the area appeared on the radar again.

In the last five years the area has exploded into life with Chelsea Creek, Fulham Riverside, Chelsea Waterfront and Chelsea Island under development. Residential demand and price growth has been underpinned by the area’s favourable position on the north bank of the Thames and on the edge of Prime Central London.

The Chelsea Waterfront scheme, for example, was described by former London Mayor Boris Johnson as the largest development opportunity on the north bank of the Thames for over 100 years. The wider district includes expanses of parkland, waterways and landscaped areas. The Chelsea Creek development includes five acres of open space, including navigable canals, a restored historic dock and wetland habitats.

In the last five years the area has exploded into life with Chelsea Creek, Fulham Riverside, Chelsea Waterfront and Chelsea Island under development (pictured: The Tower at Chelsea Creek by St George)

In the last five years the area has exploded into life with Chelsea Creek, Fulham Riverside, Chelsea Waterfront and Chelsea Island under development (pictured: The Tower at Chelsea Creek by St George)

Meanwhile, 45% of Imperial Wharf is open space, including riverside moorings and a quarter-mile long riverside walk. The lifestyle offer from the district is also improving, with a growing number of hotels, bars and restaurants joining the interior-design cluster surrounding Lots Road Auctions and the Chelsea Harbour.

In 2015 Knight Frank’s research team undertook a study of the area. The report identified a 200% increase in values over a 10 year period, outperforming the rest of Chelsea, Kensington and Prime Central London. It has been on a watch list ever since.

In 2015 Knight Frank’s research team undertook a study of the area. The report identified a 200% increase in values over a 10 year period, outperforming the rest of Chelsea, Kensington and Prime Central London

Longer-term plans include a Crossrail 2 station on the King’s Road, which will further improve connectivity. In addition to an increased river taxi service from Chelsea Harbour Pier, planning permission exists for a footbridge across the Thames between Battersea and Chelsea Harbour.

With a handful of top agencies recently calling the bottom of the market in Prime London and most talking about the ripple effect from the golden postcodes outwards, Chelsea Riverside could be very well placed in the coming years.

Giles Barrett is Partner and Senior Lettings Manager at Knight Frank Riverside. Call 020 3597 7680 or email giles.barrett@knightfrank.com 



 

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