London’s street markets have been reborn with a passion, fuelling innovative gastronomy and providing all things delicious. So strong has been the appeal of new foodie, flea and farmers’ markets that many are expanding and new ones are launching, waking up forgotten areas, shaking up retail parades, revitalising London neighbourhoods and recreating communities.
Small and friendly independent shops and street stalls that provide for everyday needs encourage people to stay local and help to promote village-like living and safer communities. All this colour is crucial for welcoming a home buyer.
It is happening everywhere, from Bloomsbury to Belgravia, Marylebone and Mayfair, South Kensington and the Square Mile, Knightsbridge and Notting Hill.
Developers and the aristocratic landlords of our great estates are working with council planners to create these important microzones with better streetscaping and pedestrian-friendly spaces.
Underneath the arches
In edgier parts of town, derelict railway arches are being transformed into trendy shopping hubs, with new homes alongside, as at Chatham Place in Hackney, where developer Manhattan Loft Corporation is building a new “fashion and lifestyle quarter”.
The £100 million project will have retail space for local and international brands, a café, restaurant, design studios and a “stitching academy” that builds on the area’s rag-trade roots, including local workshops for top brands Aquascutum and Pringle. Funky, light-filled buildings aim to “capture the creative energy of Hackney and give local residents a sense of pride in their built environment”, says architect David Adjaye.
Chatham Place in Hackney is part of a £100 million project, part designed by architect David Adjaye
Penthouses at Textile Building, a factory conversion that is part of this emerging neighbourhood, will be released early next year. Call estate agent Currell on 020 3004 4975 for details.
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Planners gave the green light recently to Shoreditch Village, an innovative scheme to be built below a refurbished railway viaduct. It will have a covered market with nine restaurants and cafés, loft-style offices, a hotel and apartments, and link into the Shoreditch Triangle cluster of design stores and showrooms. Call 01993 831092.
“It mends a broken part of the city by restoring lost connections across the neighbourhood and creating new public space enlivened by a mix of uses,” says architect Jonathan Ellis-Miller.
Cheaper new homes are on offer close to the giant Westfield shopping malls at Shepherd’s Bush and Stratford, and the new one being built in Croydon, while at the heart of a new 85-acre district known as Wembley City is the capital’s first designer outlet with more than 80 shops, open seven days a week. Stadium Reach, a new residential scheme, has two-bedroom flats priced from £264,500. Call Network Living on 0844 809 9148.
Posh and shabby chic
With regeneration spreading inexorably across the capital, it seems every up-and-coming area and fashionable district has a market of some sort — posh ones as well as shabby chic.
London Farmers’ Markets runs more than 20 certified markets, up from a handful five years ago, and says the number is steadily rising, with locations spanning Balham and Brixton, Parliament Hill, Parsons Green and Pimlico Road.
“Street markets are a tell-tale sign of gentrification and can really boost property values,” says Iain Currie of Islington estate agent Thomson Currie. The firm has opened a new branch in Smithfield where there is a proposal to transform the old trade market halls into a new artisan food and retail quarter.
After revitalisation of Borough and Spitalfields markets, Smithfields is set to become an artisan food centre
“Years ago, there were only a few — Portobello, Covent Garden and Camden plus some rougher working-class street markets — but London is now more like Paris, where neighbourhoods have a distinct character and identity, with specialist markets that serve locals as well as tourists.”
Some are spontaneous pop-ups — as at Maltby Street, Bermondsey — while others are revitalised ancient markets such as Borough, Spitalfields and Greenwich. Regeneration is spawning brand-new ones too, such as Hallsville Quarter, Canning Town, a 15-acre zone with a new town centre next to Custom House DLR, which will be a Crossrail station. Eddington Court, the first phase of 1,130 homes, has been unveiled. Prices from £275,000. Call Knight Frank on 020 7718 5202.
Luxury loves luxury
Savills reports a strong link between luxury shops and luxury property, with “concentric circles of value” rippling out from the heart of a select shopping area, with the inner rings, or streets, the more expensive.
London’s most expensive properties are in the SW7 postcode, which extends from near Harrods in Knightsbridge to South Kensington. Next in the league table is the Mayfair pocket of W1 (Bond Street) followed by SW3 (King’s Road) and W8 (around Kensington High Street).
£625,000: for a studio flat at Nova, near Buckingham Palace. Call 020 7024 3889
Traditionally, Victoria and the adjoining Westminster parliamentary quarter have trailed other parts of SW1 because of the dearth of upmarket shops but property values are now soaring as the retail scene improves. As well as the new Cardinal Place precinct, Burberry, Jimmy Choo and Tom Ford have landed in the area. Nova, with 170 apartments and shops, replaces a cluster of drab concrete office blocks, forming a five-acre site near Buckingham Palace. Prices start at £625,000 for a studio. Call 020 7024 3889.
£1.7 million: apartments at 64 Seymour Street in 'Tyburnia'. Call 020 7182 2477
Hang out in Tyburnia
Portman Estate is focusing on “Tyburnia”, a 110-acre enclave just north of Oxford Street. This reborn neighbourhood offers alfresco dining amid the boutiques and art galleries, above which are smart new apartments, including those at 64 Seymour Street. Prices from £1.7 million. Contact CBRE on 020 7182 2477.
Blooming Columbia Road
Delightful Columbia Road, a street of mainly Victorian shops and terraces that is transformed into an oasis of foliage and blooms with the famous flower market every Sunday, has caused ripples along Bethnal Green Road, towards cool Redchurch Street, lined with eateries, galleries and fashion boutiques. Property values here exceed £1,000 a square foot, which was unthinkable even a couple of years ago. Redchurch Lofts is a new scheme of nine apartments priced from £799,500. Call Fyfe McDade on 020 7613 4044.
Lordship Lane in East Dulwich is so hot that it is usurping Dulwich Village, its prosperous but unexciting neighbour. The lively thoroughfare is awash with new bars, gastropubs, restaurants, delis and organic food suppliers used by younger middle-class residents, mainly teachers and public-sector workers, actors and artisans priced out of similar hubs north and west of the river.
Borough is best
Similarly, Bermondsey Street, SE1, is giving Borough Market a run for its money as a fashionable hangout and place to live.
Buildings range from Georgian to modern, mainly small scale, and the street boasts a long-standing community of live-workers and artists.
White Cube gallery, a recent arrival, has upped the street’s status. Behind the street frontages are deceptively big courtyards, where light-industrial premises are now being redeveloped into apartments and loft offices.
A park lining part of the street has been refurbished, including tennis courts, and in recent times, three fashion boutiques, a trendy hairdresser’s and several noted bar-restaurants have opened. Six estate agents now compete for business.
Nearby Maltby Street used to be a slightly off-pitch commercial patch but is now a coveted cheaper address. Lassco, the architectural salvage firm, has a yard there and is collaborating with traders to present their wares, while L&Q is building a development of 154 apartments, a mix of private sale and shared ownership. Call 0844 406 9000.