Euston is already a vital entry point to London. Earlier plans to demolish the existing station as part of the HS2 high-speed rail project were dropped last April after protests, but a full-scale, radical rebuilding is back on track.
It could transform what is widely considered a horrible station set in a crushingly uninspiring neighbourhood. Instead, the Eustonvision.com consortium promises a lively “quarter”, with new homes, shops and offices, integrated with King’s Cross Central, the new district emerging fast up the road.
How the new Euston super-terminal could look. Chancellor George Osborne backs redevelopment
Euston has been a place to pass through rather than live in. Office towers loom over car-clogged Euston Road, which is the congestion charge boundary and one of the capital’s least pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares. Yet even today, there are positives. A short stroll from Euston are the village-like backstreets of Fitzrovia, Marylebone and Bloomsbury, plus all the landscaped grandeur of Regent’s Park — a giant “back garden” for locals.
Few places in Britain are better served by public transport, with trains to everywhere from Paris to Perth. And once HS2 is up and running, long-distance commuting will be revolutionised. From Euston, it will be quicker to get to Birmingham — 49 minutes — than to many M25 commuter towns, while Manchester and Leeds will be within 75 minutes of the capital. And by 2026 Japanese-style bullet trains will arrive.
Euston’s revamp chimes with London Mayor Boris Johnson’s policy for many more new homes to be built around and above transport hubs.
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The new Facebook HQ at Regent's Place
Perfectly located to benefit from all this regeneration, new homes are already part of the local mix at Regent’s Place, a big office and residential “campus” which includes Facebook’s new HQ. The project scooped top prize in the Mayor’s London Planning Awards this year and despite its corporate feel with 14,000 employees, it has become a convivial hub with restaurants, cafés, a food market, art studios and a theatre, plus a public space for performances, art installations and events. The Triton Building is one of the new residential towers, offering 94 apartments including a pair of spectacular penthouses, with 999-year leases. Prices from £980,000 to £6.75 million. Call Jones Lang LaSalle on 020 7993 7397. The estate is managed by British Land, which offers a concierge service and 24-hour uniformed security.
Sir Terry Farrell, the main architect of Regent’s Place, has also devised an area masterplan that includes a public park with trees and water sculptures on decking above Euston underpass. If it comes to fruition it would help to unite neighbourhoods either side of the current divide. The area south of Euston Road, between Great Portland Street and Tottenham Court Road, is about 30 per cent more expensive than the northern side.
From £980,000: apartments in The Triton Building, part of Regent's Place office and residential "campus" on the north side of Euston Road. Call 020 7993 7397
Redevelopment of listed Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital for Women has greatly improved a formerly rough patch moments from the station. Occupying an entire block, the scheme comprises 47 homes, a shiny new headquarters for the Unison union, a gallery and exhibition space.
Despite the disparate elements, the buildings are brought together by a “village square” concept — an open, public atrium, with glazed cafés and restaurants allowing clear views in and out to the street. The shared-ownership and rental homes are managed by Origin, a local housing association whose roots in the area go back to the Twenties, when it was set up to provide accommodation for railway workers. Priority is given to key workers and people already living or working in Camden borough. Call 0800 068 8990 or visit originsales.co.uk to identify homes and book viewings online.
The station redevelopment will entail bulldozing some nearby council housing, but Camden council is insisting on replacement affordable homes.“Euston needs massive redevelopment, it truly is a horrible station,” says local resident Paul Wright, who travels by Tube to his job at a tech company in Victoria.
£150,000: for a quarter share of a flat at Origin Housing's Constable Court, in King's Cross Road. Call 0800 068 8990
Euston is sprinkled with fine period buildings such as the defunct National Temperance Hospital, which the area masterplan seeks to make the most of. The district also has strong academic and charitable links, with numerous university buildings and medical campuses, including Wellcome Trust. This settled backbone gives the area character amid the scurrying commuters.
Grand local buildings include Cornwall Terrace, off Regent's Park
Euston properties, in the NW1 postcode, typically range from £300,000 to £1.75 million, according to estate agent Foxtons, which is selling flats, including a three-bedroom duplex with roof terrace, at a new development in Chalton Street. Call 020 7973 2020. By contrast, homes in Marylebone, only moments away, range from £485,000 to £3.25 million, while those in Lisson Grove, an edgy patch just north of Euston on the Maida Vale border, cost from £275,00 to £449,950.
Between Euston and St Pancras, Somers Town is worth watching. Now largely council estates, it is regarded as a “lost quarter” and is being targeted for new private housing. When first developed in the late 18th century it was envisaged as a middle-class address but suffered when the London and Birmingham Railway cut through the area in the 1830s. Another micro spot to watch is around Drummond Street, best known for Indian restaurants, where gentrification has started.
Developers are also scouting for sites around the northern tip of Euston towards Mornington Crescent and Camden Town. Derwent has permission for a 265,000sq ft office and residential development. Michael Stone, of estate agent Greene & Co says: “The regeneration ripple is rolling. We are seeing a surge in demand, particularly from graduates, young professionals and buy-to-let investors. Over time, the area will entice more people out of the West End.”