Chelsea Galleries transformed into boutique apartments and townhouses
Chelsea Galleries on King's Road was once a hub for artists — some impoverished while others, such as Whister, were well off — and the original home of Chelsea Arts Club. The building, with its rare Dutch gable façade retained, has been redeveloped into a boutique scheme of larger-than-average townhouses (up to 2,818 sq ft) and apartments (up to 2,0210sq ft) with terracing, courtyard gardens and gated private parking. From £4.9 million. Call Savills on 020 7409 8756.
It is a handy address for wedding watchers, being next to Chelsea Old Town Hall, where over the decades many celebrities have tied the knot. In early July, socialite Tamara Ecclestone and broker Jay Rutland married there for £49 having lavished £7 million on a pre-wedding party in the south of France last month.
With Made in Chelsea types ruling the roost, King's Road has lost much of the energy, individuality and spirit that characterised the Swinging Sixties. However, new homes continue to be in high demand locally.
Cheyne Terrace, in Alpha Place, is one of the biggest residential developments in SW3 in decades. The team behind the project is Grosvenor and Native Land (whose previous joint venture was Neo Bankside, next to Tate Modern). This scheme has 25 apartments plus a private spa, underground parking, 24-hour security and concierge. Completion is scheduled for summer next year. Call 020 7758 3188.
New flats in Bloomsbury set to benefit from Crossrail
Bloomsbury's superb transport credentials, due to get better with Crossrail, are often overlooked. As well as trains to everywhere from Paris to Perth, there are five Tube lines to choose from and direct rail links to four of London's five international airports.
Bloomsbury Gardens, in Sidmouth Street, has 44 flats on land freed up by Westminster Kingsway College. An unspectacular low-rise building, it fits into the area without fuss and backs on to St George's Gardens, a walled, well-cared for community space.
The apartment mix includes ground-floor duplexes with basement patio-style terraces and stairs to the development's private gardens.
Interiors fail to break any design barriers but are smart enough, with full-height doors, underfloor heating and heated bathroom walls. Service charges should be reasonable as there is no concierge or underground car parking.
"London buyers are getting first bite of the cherry," said Julia Reynolds of Crest Nicholson, the developer. "We're not selling overseas as we want to attract locals."
Prices start at £550,000, which takes Bloomsbury above £1,000 per square foot, though the area is still less than half the price of Chelsea and Kensington. Call estate agent Hurford Salvi Carr on 020 7250 1012.
New penthouses overlooking Finsbury Park
Penthouses directly overlooking refurbished Finsbury Park, which is bigger than St James's Park and Green Park combined, are priced lower than you might expect, from £730,000.
The scheme, Finsbury Park Place, offers 42 flats in Queen's Drive, which runs into the 115-acre park. The three penthouses have floor-to-ceiling glass walls and wide terraces providing 180-degree views.
"In terms of price, quality and location it doesn't get much better value than this," according to Adrian Plant of estate agent Currell Residential. Call 020 7226 6611.
The area is one of the cheaper wellconnected north London locations — in travel Zone 2, on the Piccadilly and Victoria lines — and is attracting buyers priced out of Stoke Newington and Hackney who want to live in a place where they can feel the beat of the city.
More new local homes are in the pipeline. City North is a large regeneration scheme being built on a trading estate close to Finsbury Park train and Tube stations. It has a pair of 21-storey skyscrapers — 308 homes in total plus offices, restaurants and shops. Prices start at £275,000. Completion is scheduled for 2016. Contact developer United House on 01322 665522.
New scheme in one of the UK's most affluent postcodes
Kings Hill, a former RAF base in West Malling, Kent, is one of the UK's most affluent postcodes, according to data company Experian. The 800-acre estate has a community of 7,000 and incorporates a golf course, cricket pitch and country park plus schools, 20 convenience stores, a Waitrose supermarket, pub, vet and restaurants. The centrepiece of the town square is an original art deco control tower, currently being refurbished to provide office space.
Clusters of housing are sprinkled around the estate. The latest scheme is Cathcart Gate, a collection of houses with up to five bedrooms. Hillreed Homes, the developer, is targeting London commuters (50 minutes to Victoria). Prices from £242,950. Call 01622 626800.