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GLOBAL APPEAL: HOW CHELSEA & BELGRAVIA ARE UPPING THEIR GAME

The Resident takes an in-depth look at the developments underway in Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Belgravia that are set to grow the global appeal of three of London’s most exclusive shopping, dining and culture hubs 

As we approached the end of 2016, Westminster City Council approved a grant that will continue to change the face of Belgravia, giving the go ahead to Grosvenor to create 420 sq m of new retail space on Pimlico Road and to grow the area’s global appeal as an independent design and retail district.

Typifying what is happening around Prime Central London, this isn’t just a case of taking the money and running. ‘This is an important milestone for Pimlico Road,’ comments Will Bax, Director of Placemaking at Grosvenor London.

‘We consulted more than 200 people – residents, businesses and stakeholders – in reaching these plans that we believe will provide a welcome boost to the area. We remain committed to growing Pimlico Road’s global appeal as an independent design and retail district, whilst protecting the unique character of the place for retailers, residents and visitors for the long term.’

Mark Ossowski shows why Pimlico Road is a design destination

Mark Ossowski shows why Pimlico Road is a design destination

The plans will see Grosvenor retain and restore the historic character of the existing buildings including preserving the double height space of the timber yard, known as Newson’s Yard, whilst creating two larger and two smaller units from the current five to complement the existing retail mix in the location. It will also reconfigure five existing residential apartments into seven, which will be retained by Grosvenor as part of its market-let portfolio. With names such as David Linley, Lulu Lytle, Nikki Tibbles and Robert Kime (the latter is due to open in early 2017), it’s clear Pimlico Road is a design lover’s dream.

The completion of George House on Sloane Street saw us welcome international luxury brands Giorgio Armani and Red Valentino

Heading up towards Sloane Street and an even greater transformation is taking place. ‘One of the biggest milestones achieved in 2016 was the completion of George House, 129-135 Sloane Street,’ says Hugh Seaborn, CEO of Cadogan Estates, looking back over the past year. ‘The landmark development saw us welcome international luxury brands Boutique 1, Delpozo, Giorgio Armani and Red Valentino. All chose the area as the location to open their flagship stores, each one bringing something different and fresh to the area, complementing the elegance of Sloane Street and reaffirming its unique place on the international shopping scene.’

As The Resident showcased in the Christmas issue, King’s Road has swiftly become a mecca for shopping, with all manner of options to entice visitors in. ‘Chelsea has become the epitome of London luxury when it comes to shopping,’ Seaborn agrees. ‘Originally commissioned by Charles, 1st Earl Cadogan, in the 18th century, Sloane Street has evolved to become one of the world’s most exclusive retail destinations. Its impressive list of flagship stores lines a high-fashion catwalk stretching from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square.’

While these leading brands bring the glitz and glamour to Chelsea, Cadogan Estates – like Grosvenor – is at pains to ensure the character of the past remains a key part of the area’s appeal.

‘In addition to being a fabulous shopping destination, Chelsea is undoubtedly also an area of great cultural significance,’ he says. ‘For centuries it has been an inspiring haven for artists, authors, musicians and designers – from Rossetti, Turner and Oscar Wilde to The Rolling Stones and Vivienne Westwood.

For centuries Chelsea has been an inspiring haven for artists, authors, musicians and designers – from Rossetti, Turner and Oscar Wilde to The Rolling Stones and Vivienne Westwood

‘At the heart of our management strategy is careful curation of the area, preserving its rich history and charm while ensuring future vitality,’ Seaborn states.

‘When we created Duke of York Square in 2004, it was the first new public square to be opened in London for a century, and now hosts a diverse selection of shops and restaurants, alongside a weekly Fine Food Market, which proves equally popular with those who live here and visitors looking for a taste of real London.’

Duke of York Square, developed by Cadogen Estates

Duke of York Square, developed by Cadogen Estates

Plans for 2017 – and beyond – show that Cadogan Estates is looking to build on the existing attractions, with an apparent focus on gourmet and hospitality. ‘The hospitality industry is absolutely a key part of the luxury lifestyle offering for Cadogan,’ Seaborn says.

‘We’ll be introducing more food and drink of greater variety across the Estate – from the new restaurant at George House, to the Cadogan Café on Duke of York Square (pictured far left), which commences construction in 2017. The Café will champion the best of modern design in harmony with its heritage surroundings and will include the UK’s first innovative glass façade, lowering into a single storey basement during fine weather.’ It’s a design aspect that has just been highly commended by The Architects’ Journal Architecture Tomorrow Awards.

The Cadogan Hotel has a colourful history – once home to Lillie Langtry where she courted the future King of England and also the location of Oscar Wilde’s infamous arrest

‘The sensitive restoration of The Cadogan Hotel on Sloane Street is underway, to reopen in 2018 under the management of Belmond,’ Seaborn continues. ‘The hotel has a colourful history – once home to Lillie Langtry where she courted the future King of England and also the location of Oscar Wilde’s infamous arrest – and a wonderful future.

‘The Costes Hotel, now under construction, is a unique partnership combining the quintessentially British style of the Cadogan Estate with Paris’s most talked about hotelier. It will include the elements that Costes is so famous for – outstanding cocktails, music and food – a really exciting addition to the Chelsea scene.’

What’s clear is that 2017 will be an exciting one and The Resident, for one, can’t wait.


 

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