Two train stations taking buyers on a journey
The first of 2,000 new homes on once-blighted railway lands behind King's Cross station will be ready before the 2012 Olympics.
An entire new district (67 acres, with its own postcode - N1C) is being built: 50 new streets and "home zones", 10 landscaped squares, revitalised canal banks, retail and cultural space - eight million sq ft in total.
'King's Cross is changing beyond recognition; property in this area could outperform the wider London market'
The area will provide 50 art and music venues. In September, University of Arts, which includes Central Saint Martins College, will move to a new campus for 4,500 students at the site. Already King's Cross is being touted as a new venue for London Fashion Week.
Historic buildings, including listed railway sheds, are being restored, and the scheme will have its own heating and electricity generation plant, boosting its green credentials. The £5 billion project includes transformation of King's Cross train station itself.
Homes are even being created within the structure of the listed Victorian gas holders. Other apartment buildings will have rooftop allotments and there will be four-bedroom houses, called Lifetime Homes, reflecting the new emphasis on family living rather than small flats for the buy-to-let market.
About 40 per cent of the homes are "affordable", a mix of shared ownership and rented units. The first 284 of these new homes will be released for sale later this year. To register, visit onehousinggroup.co.uk.
Prices have yet to be fixed. Before the credit crunch, estate agent Hamptons predicted values of about £800 a sq ft for the private homes. For more details, and to register for these, visit kingscrosscentral.com.
"What's happening at King's Cross is awesome; the place is changing beyond recognition and we think property in this area will outperform the wider London market over the medium term," says Carl Schmid of estate agent Fyfe Mcdade.
York Way runs between the station and Battlebridge Basin, where canalside warehouses such as Ice Wharf have been turned into trendy lofts (resales from £450,000). A former engineering yard next to the station has become Regent Quarter, a smart enclave of homes, design studios and small business premises in cobbled courtyards.
Cube KX in King's Cross Road is a smart new-build scheme of 14 flats. Prices from £335,000. Call 020 7613 4044.
Quaint but neglected Georgian streets off Gray's Inn Road, just south of King's Cross station, where New York art deal Larry Gargosian has opened an art gallery, are also improving. One-bedroom rentals on Leeke Street start at £440 per week. Call Hurford Salvi Carr on 020 7250 1012.
Two-bedroom flats at Caledonia, a pub conversion on Market Road, cost from £499,995. Call Winkworth on 020 7485 9210.